Here I was sitting down at my computer today, prepared to write about a tech advancement, but I will save that for another day because I just cannot stay silent regarding this latest travesty in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen children between ages 9 and 10, and two teachers were killed in cold blood. It is absolutely abhorrent and monstrous that we are STILL talking about how to solve the mass shooting cancer in this country! There is no excuse that we as a country allow this chaos to continue. And for what? Because “guns are my birthright” or “guns are fun”. Well maybe they shouldn’t be your birthright if you cannot be trusted with them.
In the United States, when you harass another person, that person has the civil right to get a restraining order lawfully enforced against you. When you commit a violent crime and get sent to prison, you lose your right to participate in the democratic process of elections. So, why in the United States, when it is clear as day that the average citizen cannot be trusted with automatic weaponry, do we continue to allow them to be purchased without adequate background checks? All this talk from the government (and make no mistake, I hear it from both sides of the aisle) about protecting gun rights and the 2nd Amendment, what about the rights that children have to live free of terror in their schools? Why does that not supersede the rights of gun ownership?
Universal background checks for every citizen looking to purchase a firearm is the bare minimum to begin to right this sinking ship of a system. The Uvalde shooter bought two AR-style rifles after his 18th birthday, then shot his grandmother and warned online minutes before that he was going to shoot up the school. If we had any kind of background check that reviewed this person’s online history, perhaps he never would have been able to acquire the guns. And don’t give me the “black market purchase” argument because while those avenues for acquiring weapons do exist, they would never be able to keep up with the demand if legal purchases were suddenly severely prohibited, and remain incognito. Imagine how many people would do cocaine if it was available at the drug store. And if the retail supply of guns diminished, black market pricing would soar anyways, thereby making guns harder to acquire simply due to cost, which let’s face it would be a major hurdle for the average citizen.
Practically every other western nation has some sort of universal background check in place, and it is supported by 90% of Americans. That is a staggering statistic because when was the last time that many Americans agreed on anything? Then we have a Senate, ripe with NRA-corrupted officials (not to mention that the two-senator State representation setup is outdated and grossly undervalues populous States) that are unwilling and proud to ignore the will of 90% of the country. And why? Because they are bribed to look the other way. They say “thoughts and prayers” so frequently, it makes me question whether they actually have thoughts at all, because they definitely do not believe in prayer. If they did believe in the teachings of the Bible, they would know that faith without work is dead, which is what their souls are.
So, instead of legislating for gun control, what are their brilliant solutions to these never-ending crises? Over the past few days, I’ve heard them all. Some politicians call for armed teachers or armed guards in the schools. Some suggested (literally) installing trip wires and “man-traps” to trap the intruder, which would be activated like a fire alarm pull switch. What is this, the latest iteration of the film franchise Saw? Teachers are already underfunded and underappreciated at the State level, and now we are ordering them to pack heat too? The solution to gun violence should never be more guns. Let’s say hypothetically that the teacher was armed when the intruder entered the classroom. What do they expect to happen? This is real life, not some action movie with zero consequences. They might end up shooting a child by mistake, or another teacher, thinking it was the intruder. Besides, most mass shooters in recent years have been wearing body armour, so what’s a handgun going to do? And if they’re suggesting the teachers be armed with military-grade automatic weapons, I do not have words for how stupid that sounds.
These are our children. Kids are supposed to be coloring chubby caterpillars, finger-painting flowers, and regrettably learning the recorder. They are not supposed to be learning the sound of a gunshot or why they should avoid the main entrance vestibule in case something malfunctions on the “man-trap”. Kids learn fire drills because fires are most often caused by accident. Mass shootings are never by accident, just like politicians never accidentally pass pro-gun legislation while depositing their blood-soaked checks at the bank.