COLUMN: Put an end to the apathy around gun control

By Marielle Decena, Opinions Editor Follow her @_marsbarz23

By Marielle Decena, Opinions Editor

Follow her @_marsbarz23

Scrolling through social media, it was inevitable to come across the gut wrenching videos recorded by terrified concert-goers during the Las Vegas shooting that ensued on Oct. 1. In what seemed like an eternity, bullets relentlessly sprayed the crowd of many unassuming people, 58 of which lost their lives. 

In the wake of the Sandy Hook, Orlando and San Bernardino shootings, we must ask ourselves what has collectively been done and what we have learned from these tragedies. The answer is clear.

Nothing.

Is it apathy? Acquiescence? Or perhaps both? Regardless, our country’s wounds are still fresh. Shock, anger and helplessness riddle the minds of countless Americans like myself and we’ve asked ourselves what can be done about something that seems so terribly complex.

As a supporter of the right of individual gun ownership, the harrowing details that have surfaced from this particular massacre have certainly compelled me to take a step back and to reevaluate my stance on gun control. 

As disturbing as these videos are, these personal accounts allow us to sympathize with others’ loss. That is precisely what separates this massacre from others and, in some ways, that is a good thing.

My eyes have been opened to the fact that we are almost helpless at the hands of people who should not have been able to purchase firearms to begin with.

In what can only be deemed as one of many “American” tragedies, onecan only question why more efficient and intelligent gun regulations have not been implemented.

Our country is a reservoir of regulations that have improved the lives and safety of countless Americans. Intelligent automotive regulations in response to car-related deathsare testament to that fact and today, the vehicles that we drive are insurmountably safer than their outdated counterparts. 

Additionally, airport security has dramatically changed since the events of 9/11 and there is little reasoning to challenge this initiative. So, why has our action been lagging on a gun epidemic that our country alone is notorious for?

There isn’t a single opinion or act of counsel that has been left unsaid about gun control and gun safety. The effort to put forth smarter gun regulations has been long past due and more haste needs to be taken to make sure change happens. 

This change isn’t going to happen overnight and there is nobutton that can simply “delete” thethousands of gun related deaths that happen on U.S. soil each year, especially with the surplus of 300 million firearms that populate our country. 

Still, it makes a substantial difference to implement better policies in the way we handle firearms as a country.

For starters, the legalage to purchase a gun is 18 years old. Yet, the minimum age requirement to legally consume alcohol is 21 years old. If an 18 year old is legally restricted from purchasing alcohol, then why should they be able to purchase firearms?

Among other possible regulations that have been brought up, four out of five Americans are in support of universal background checks for any individual purchasing a gun. This could prove to be a pivotal policy that will essentially ban those who have a history of domestic violence from possessing firearms. 

As a student, I would want to see more changes on campus security in slew of the fact that our safety practices aren’t keeping up with the leniency of gun control. Literally anyone can walk into campus with the intention of causing harm, and it is quite unsettling to know that we haven’t taken any measures to prevent a possible shooting.

Gun lobbyists will argue that this is not the time to politicize gun control; yet, this very mentality is precisely why we hold these debates and why we are forced to have these conversations in slew of these tragedies. 

Enough with the stagnancy. Otherwise, history will simply just repeat itself and the Las Vegas massacre, along with many others, will have happened in vain.