Within the first three weeks of this new year, there were 39 mass shootings throughout the United States.
We are now a month and a half into the year, and the states have seen 71 mass shootings from Jan. 1 to Feb. 14. According to the information from Gun Violence Archive, there have been about 105 deaths and 283 injuries from these mass shootings.
Just a few days ago on Feb. 13, three people were killed in a shooting that took place at Michigan State University.
Rowan’s campus and the surrounding area is not unfamiliar with shootings either, and while these incidents do not typically lead to death or injury, they do happen and all students have seen the alerts.
Less than a month ago on Jan. 20, Rowan issued a Timely Warning email stating, “Please stay clear of 204 Carpenter St, police are currently investigating a shots fired call. There are no reports of victims and suspect fled prior to police arrival. This is an active police investigation.”
While I understand how controversial a topic this is to discuss, it needs to be brought to light and talked about. And right off the bat, I want to say that I am not against guns.
Guns can provide a sense of safety to say women living alone, parents who wish to have an extra safety precaution in the home or can be used to hunt. They are fun to take to a range and practice your aim. They are a piece of innovation and the advancement of technology in the world. They are even great to collect — if you’re into that.
The problem comes when we look at the misuse of them. Mass shootings, illegally owned guns, accidental shootings, children gaining access to guns and those who may not be in the right mindset to have such a dangerous weapon around are the concern. Of course, there are many other concerns, but these are just a few.
It is hard to argue that guns should cease to exist as the right to bear arms is the Second Amendment in the Constitution — right below the freedom of press and speech. So, to say that this Amendment should be abolished is a direct violation of our rights, no matter the dangers of these arms.
However, I have two notes that come to mind when I think of the Second Amendment. For one, it has been argued that the phrasing of the Second Amendment was meant to portray that we as citizens of the United States have a right to have militia services.
The second thought that comes to mind is that when the Constitution was written, James Madison and George Washington could not have accounted for how many people the United States would grow to have — nor could they have imagined how weaponry would have advanced.
Regulations and gun control can only do so much, so in a world where we must exist with guns and all the dangers that come with them, it is important to think about the lives lost because of them.
With that I say, do what you can to keep yourself safe. Be alert and always pay attention to your surroundings and be kind to everyone you can, as it may save your life one day. Listen to your gut and stay away from places you feel unsafe in.
Hopefully, the world can follow suit and do more to teach about gun safety, as well as implement better security to detect guns in all places.
For now, stay safe. Take a moment to pay respects to those lost or harmed in mass shootings, remember them and hope that one day things will become better. But, don’t let a fear of guns plague your life — we must coexist with them and keep our fingers crossed that those who wish to harm others see a new light.
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