Over the course of history, firearms have gradually ingrained themselves more and more deeply into the minds and daily lives of Americans. According to a 2016 article by CBS news, “Guns are so woven into the fabric of our foundation that on the fourth floor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, they have their very own vault”. Guns have become so prominent in today’s society that there are entire museums or sections dedicated to these pieces of metal. People fight fiercely for their second amendment right and it seems as though everyone has an opinion on this controversial issue. However one must have a solid understanding of the dynamics behind the gun topic and how it came to be such a dominant part of the world.
Recent events such as the Parkland High School shooting and not so recent events like the Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, and Columbine shootings have made the topic of guns a much more heated discussion amongst politicians and rising student leaders. After decades of losing lives and being forced to stand still and watch it happen, high school students have had enough and are fighting for their voice to be heard.
“I think guns have always been a prominent part of our society. There’s an innate “Murica” aspect about guns that has been a part of our culture since our nation was formed.,” says Debate junior Michael Fish. “What set people off is the fact that the pushback following Parkland wasn’t being pushed by politicians but rather the students themselves.”
More shootings means more deaths and more deaths mean more despair and more despair means the loss of hope. Hope is the building block to all human achievement for it creates the belief that change can happen and it leads up to determination which carries that belief all the way through. With the increase in shootings as of late, the long time burning, underlying tension living within people is finally bleeding through in fits of passionate words.
“We are the turn of this century. We are the voice of change. We are here to fix what America is falling short of,” says Mya Middleton who said the well known quote at the student organized mass walkout, March for Our Lives.
Students are rising up to protest gun violence and increase gun restrictions. Meanwhile, these shootings only seem to increase U.S. gun-maker productions rather than hindering it. In fact, the year after Sandy Hook, 11 million firearms were produced on demand.
“People have always been riled up about school shootings. We can look to the haunting atmosphere in America following Columbine and the filibusters and attempts to pass legislation after Sandy Hook,” emphasized Fish. “That being said it is causing our generation to become very vocal in their positions. This vocalization will carry through when our generation starts to take higher office.”
First used for war and hunting, firearms soon became a love and symbol of the “Wild West” with several different styles popping into stores including some for children. Don’t fret, BB and Nerf guns are here to safely fulfill their empty void as well. In an attempt to control the growing violence, FDR signed the first gun control legislation in 1934, seven decades after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination but three decades before JFK’s, Robert Kennedy’s and Martin Luther King’s. Combined, those lead to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Gun Control Act of 1968.
To fully understand the dominance guns have in the world today, one must only look at the news. War weapons, domestic disputes, gang rivalries, mass shootings are only the effects but there are so many other things happening behind the scenes such as gun license, training, background checks, concealed carry and/or open carry bills. The increase of thought further helps students avoid such outcomes and discuss the true issues at hand.
There are only so many condolences a person or nation can offer to the victims of senseless violence; only so much sorrow can be expressed and absorbed by the bystanders; only so much anger and despair can go around before someone’s mind finally succumbs to the madness.
Over the course of reading these articles, the questions you need to be asking yourself is how dominant guns should be in today’s society and what role they should play.