Culture of Violence

Another day, Another massacre

Antoine Thompson, Guest Columnist

There is a dark force in The United States. There is a dark force in the world. There is an emptiness in men who choose to take a life. And there is a void in men who have power to prevent bad things from happening, but choose not too.

February 14 wasn’t just Valentine’s Day, it wasn’t a day of happiness and love. It was a day of hatred and violence. A simple and sinister reminder that no one on this green earth is safe.

Not even innocent school goers.

February 14, 2018 marked the 18th and the second-deadliest public school shooting and the 9th deadliest amongst other mass shootings in United States History.

The Stoneman Douglas High School shooting massacre, widely referred to as the Parkland shooting,  just added fuel to long going, gun control debate.

The Republicans largely support the NRA and are against strict gun laws and policies. President Trump largely encourages the freedom to bear arms and continues to support the NRA. After a meeting with President Trump, Chris Cox, a NRA lobbyist, posted on Twitter yesterday night just after 9 p.m. ET that he had met with the president and Vice President Pence. “We all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people,” he tweeted, adding: “POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control.”

The president also has suggested that he would have run into the high school in Parkland, Florida, during the mass shooting, “even if I didn’t have a weapon.”

“You know, I really believe — you don’t know until you test it — but I really believe I’d run in there, even if I didn’t have a weapon,” Trump said. “And I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too, because I know most of you. But the way they performed was really a disgrace.”

The president made those remarks in criticism to an armed sheriff’s deputy waited outside for minutes as a gunman opened fire within Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The president has also promoted the idea of training and arming teachers to defend against shooters.

Other than that, Trump has done nothing.

School shootings aren’t new. Presidents before Trump dealt with similar issues. After the Columbine shootings, President Clinton lent support to a proposed ballot measure in Colorado that would require unlicensed dealers at gun shows to run background checks of gun buyers within three days. And five days after the Sandy Hook Massacre, President Obama announced that he would make gun control a “central issue” of his second term, and he created a gun violence task force, to be headed by Vice President Joe Biden. On January 16, 2013, Obama signed 23 executive orders and proposed 12 congressional actions regarding gun control.

President Trump lacks the necessary sensitivity to topics like these.

Now don’t get me wrong, mass shootings have always stirred the social and political pot and have also called for a change in gun laws. And a lot of these feelings seem to have been magnified after the Parkland massacre.

But it seems like everytime something terrible happens, America always formulates the best, “Band-Aid” solution. A temporary gauze to stop our bleeding. But will it ever bring back those children that lost their lives in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting? How could it possibly replace the 50+ people that died in Las Vegas last October?

While it is unfortunate that we don’t have a legislation that is willing to save lives, it all boils down to politics. And in America, politics determine some live saving factors like gun control.

These lawmakers, these politicians, these “lobbyists” are the true killers here. Now while they didn’t pull the trigger and end innocent lives, the might as well have put the guns in their hands. They won’t take a stand. They are so concerned with their own well-being. What will it take for President Trump to understand the pain of thousands, perhaps even millions. But of course, he doesn’t live in fear. He has his Secret Service, his bulletproof limo and his fortress of a house. He has never had to bury a child.

After last years Las Vegas shooting that left more than 50 people dead., President Donald Trump has said his administration would take measures that would ban the bump stock accessory that can convert a semi-automatic weapon into one that fires like an automatic weapon with the ability to fire hundreds of rounds a minute.

I’m 17 years old, a senior in high school and I never want to know what is like to be involved in a school shooting. However, in today’s society, school shootings are more prevalent. So it makes me wonder…when will it happen to me. I’m sure that the students of Columbine High School never expected anything like that to happen.                                                                                                    

The truth is, there is no better solution to gun control unless we have the discussion to remove guns off the streets. And to do that, it’ll take a country…something we don’t have.