I am not an angry person. On the rare occasion that I do get angry, I tend to keep it to myself, and particularly not post it online where it could rock the boat. But today, I’m going to try something different. Because I’m furious.
What happened in Orlando was completely preventable. There is no reason any civilian should be able to get their hands LEGALLY on a semi-automatic assault rifle (in this case the AR-15). The gun in question “was designed for the United States military to do to enemies of war exactly what it did this morning: kill mass numbers of people with maximum efficiency and ease. That is why the AR-15 has remained the weapon of choice for the United States military for over 50 years,” lawyer Josh Koskoff said in a statement.
Why on Earth should a gun designed to “kill mass numbers of people with maximum efficiency and ease” be available to the public? What possible reason could any civilian have for needing the power to kill mass numbers of people efficiently and quickly besides murder? There are few compelling reasons why a civilian needs to own a firearm of any sort in the first place, let alone one capable of this kind of destruction.
People argue that we already have gun regulations in place. Omar Mateen, a man with “a chilling history that included talking about killing people, beating his former wife and voicing hatred of minorities, gays and Jews; most of his victims were gay, Latino, or both,” was able to walk into a store and buy multiple guns legally with ease. Then, with equal ease, he murdered 49 people and injured 53 more. All because easy access to guns made one man’s violent hatred easy to act on.
Gun control measures currently in place are not enough. If they were, mass shootings in the US would be an anomaly rather than the tragic norm. We are on day 165 of 2016 and there have already been 178 mass shootings. The satire newspaper The Onion perfectly sums up my frustration through their oft repeated post-mass shooting headline: “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”
If only we could amend the Constitution. But as you know, the Constitution has never once ever been altered, which is why slavery is still legal, only white men can vote, and why that one time where we banned alcohol and then changed our minds is just a figment of our collective imaginations. Why are we upholding laws created by people who are long dead and knew nothing of America as it is now instead of fighting for ways to stop the needless deaths of people today?
So many people have responded to these shootings, as they have all recent ones, with the response that they’re “praying” for the victims and the victims’ families. Praying is great if you are doing it as a means of comforting yourself or those involved, and everyone reacts to trauma differently. But do not mistake prayer with actually doing something to prevent this from happening again. No amount of prayer is going to fix this unless it is also accompanied by action.