Gun violence in America today: Why we need a change

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Antione Brown, Jurnee Thompson, Gracie Anne Muehlberger and Micah Tennant are four victims who have lost their lives due to gun violence in America this year.

Just a few weeks ago, I listened to a grieving mother who only lived a few blocks away from me screaming in tears the word “why” after her son was shot seven times within his own house. 

Whether it’s a school, church, high school football game, mall, concert, etc., no one can go anywhere these days without being afraid and worried about being another victim. People as young as five years old and under are losing their lives before they even had the chance to truly live. Every day mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings and cousins are being forced to say goodbye to a loved one way too soon.

For me, I came close myself to being another victim. When I lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I came home an hour earlier than expected and went to bed. An hour later and the car that we drove in had a bullet hole in it. If my dad and I had come home at the time that we were supposed to, there would be a great chance that we both would be dead. 

Gun violence has become so normal in our American society today that we have become completely numb to the thought of it. For example, today three sadly died at a Walmart in Oklahoma. And yet unless you lived in the area or checked the news then no one tends to pay any attention to these events. 

Today, people are creating school bags that are supposed to protect students from bullets and schools are now currently being designed to include escapes for students in an effort to improve safety. While this is the case, there have been tests done that show these bags don’t protect students. And if a shooter knows the layouts of the school then how could it be a benefit for students?

No other country in the world has more deaths related to gun violence than the United States. The simple fact is that it is way too easy to get a hand of guns both legally and illegally. Furthermore, how can citizens feel like the government can protect them and be fair when cops are wrongly killing innocent unarmed African Americans and minorities on a daily basis due to racial profiling and the systems that we set in place to train them.

Victims like Trayvon Martin and others have constantly been shot and killed without ever receiving the justice that they deserve. 

In order to prevent another shooting from happening and protect people from future harm instead of making schools or bags, we need to create stricter gun laws that make it more difficult than it currently is to buy a gun. Everyone should have to go through a process similar to getting a license. People should have to go through background and mental health checks yearly.

They also should have to pass a test. Furthermore, people should go through training for it and learn how to safely store it and the harm that guns cost. Lately, no types of machine guns should be sold within the country, you have to be at least 21 and they can only be sold in licensed establishments and prevented from being sold in convenience stores.

The U.S. also needs to invest in providing mental health for people of all backgrounds; it costs an average of $100 per therapy visit. Most people who live in rural and intercity areas cannot afford these costs. We should provide these services through government program funds that provide citizens proper mental health care at an affordable cost. Counselors, therapists and crisis center workers need to be at every university and community college.

Too many people in our country have died due to gun violence this year. Many babies, children, young adults and adults have tragically lost their lives due to something that we could’ve changed.

It’s been 20 years since the Columbine shooting, seven years since Trayvon Martin and a year since Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and nothing has changed. We have protested and stood up for our rights, yet the government at large has done basically nothing to make it harder to have access to a gun, or to make America safer.

Until we as a society create real changes in our government systems we will be in this cycle that leaves us devastated and without seeing our loved ones again.

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