I had the same reaction as many around me when I heard that another mass shooting had taken place in Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 14. I had the same reaction when I heard that the blood of 17 victims, aged 14-49, had been spilled in a normal everyday high school, according to the New York Times.
I had no reaction at all.
According to gunviolencearchive.org, 29 mass shootings have happened in 2018 so far. We have not made it out of February, and over 50 people have been lost to gun violence. A number as high as 17 in a single shooting makes people remember to send prayers on Twitter, but no one is surprised anymore.
I and many others no longer feel safe from gun violence while attending university. I do not feel safe going to a movie theater, or visiting any historically charged site or event.
With the frequency of the violent acts around us, it is natural to be afraid.
The question is, are these instances unavoidable? Are these tragedies, so constant that we are numb to them, the result of chance? How can it be chance, if the U.S. makes up less than 5 percent of the world’s population yet holds 31 percent of its mass shooters, as reported by CNN?
CNN also cited the Congressional Research Service, to show that Americans owned approximately 48 percent of the 650 million guns in the world.
The Second Amendment is important in its place in history, but it is being abused. People are dying because Americans cannot stand the idea of proper gun control other countries have had for decades. A law by itself is not a moral stance; if the law is not working correctly, it should be modified or changed.
The right to bear arms in and of itself is not worth the blood bathe the U.S. has experienced for the last several years.
Having a gun to protect your family is not helpful when you or your family might be just as likely to pick up the gun and either use it for the wrong reasons or cause a deadly accident. If you must keep the gun locked away in a safe so that your children cannot get their curious hands on it, it will never be properly available should an emergency surface where its use would be appropriate.
As other countries reel in horror as our death count rises, we Americans post a prayer or condolence to our favored social media and scroll on. Claims have risen, predictably, that the Florida shooter had a history of mental illness. At the end of the day, however, these are not indicators of a killer; they are as normal in the average individual as in a random killer. Many of these people are as sane as we would deem necessary, and the people with mental illnesses and disorders we attribute this to are more often victims than perpetrators. The fact is, the option to commit the crime is enough for some people. Some may figure out how to cheat even a solid system and get their hands on a gun, but as we see in other countries, the likelihood of an actual mass shooting would drop exponentially.
It is not mental illness. They are completely average, dangerously average people. It is that average people are not actually the moral positive we take them to be. Until guns are more difficult for the normal person to come by, this trend of gun violence will continue.
Until then, the average American will scroll past, and hope they are not next.