Government’s slow reaction to mass shootings worrying

December 7, 2017 — by Alex Yang

You can almost set your calendar by it.

Once or twice a month, headlines will scream about the latest mass shooting in some part of the U.S.

  • Fifty eight people were killed in a mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.

  • On Nov. 5, 26 died in a church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

  • In Rancho Tehama Reserve in Northern California, a gunman went on a shooting spree that killed five, left 18 injured, and led to the lockdown of an elementary school on Nov. 13.

This year alone, there have been 316 people across America injured or killed from mass shootings; the number goes to over 40,000 when all shooting incidents are factored in.

It’s easy to look at these numbers and feel sorry for the victims, but it is vastly harder to solve the problem. Unfortunately, the federal government and other national firearm organizations seem committed to the status quo.

In fact, just days after the deadly Las Vegas shooting, the NRA moved out to Congress to lobby against bump stock regulations. Bump stocks are a type of weapon attachment which uses the recoil of the gun to pull the trigger in a cycle, increasing the fire-rate.  

We oppose the gun-control legislation being offered by Senator Feinstein and Representatives Curbelo and Moulton,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said on the topic of new gun control legislation proposed after the Las Vegas shooting. “These bills are intentionally overreaching and would ban commonly owned firearm accessories.”

However, in a poll conducted by the Morning Consult after the shooting, 72 percent of responders stated their support on a bump stock ban in America. In a moment of cross-party agreement, the Republicans voiced 68 percent support to the Democrats’ 79 percent.

Not even talking about guns as a whole, it seems absurd for the NRA to be supporting the continued distribution of bump stocks to the public — there is not safe enough regulation of the firearm industry for there not to be a high chance of someone misusing their weapons. Indeed, there’s no reason for people to buy bump stocks unless they’re planning on gunning something or someone down.

Gun control has always been a hot-button issue in American politics, but the recent mass shootings should make it clear to all politicians, both Democrat and Republican, that it’s idiotic to continue shoving the gun control discussion under the rug. Quite literally, the longer government sits on its hands waiting for the other side to give in, the more people die.

In fact, on Nov. 12 alone, three mass shootings in Indiana, California and Georgia left 14 people injured and two dead.

If the recent past is any indication, the epidemic of gun deaths will continue into the foreseeable future. What’s needed are courageous leaders who will figure out a way to better regulate firearms and dangerous accessories that threaten the safety of every American.