California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    I’m Sorry Gun Laws Are Inconvenient For You

    On Oct. 1 at about 10:00 p.m., Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man, killed 59 people and injured more than 500 with automatic weapons fired from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. This attack amounted to the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, according to the New York Times.

    As a country, we should be able to say that this will never happen again. We should be able to come together and acknowledge that our nation is failing to confront the public crisis of gun violence. Unfortunately, this does not seem likely because we are collectively unwilling to do anything.

    After every shooting in this country, we go through the same motions. Politicians will claim that their thoughts and prayers are with whatever city was senselessly attacked while reminding us that it’s not the right time to talk about gun control. We shouldn’t talk about gun control in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy – it’s disrespectful.

    However by this standard, the right time to talk about gun control will never come because as soon as we’re done burying the bodies from the previous shooting, another person with a gun terrorizes a different location and ruins more lives. Before Las Vegas, the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida was the deadliest in recent history. Before that, the shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech was the worst. These three incidents all occurred in the span of 10 short years, according to USA Today.

    Given these trends, we can expect another shooting in a few years that will be even worse than this one. We can also expect to go through the same motions. Again, people will say that it’s not the right time to talk about gun control.

    If this moment is the wrong time to talk about gun control, then I have no problem with being inconvenient. Too many people are dying for us to continue doing nothing.

    In a functioning country, one in which the government serves at the pleasure of the people, citizens respond to the death of their fellow countrymen with laws designed to protect themselves and prevent future tragedies.

    On the other hand, in a country where the National Rifle Association (NRA) has enough power, influence and money to contract politicians to do their bidding, even laws that are common sense such as increased background checks and tighter regulations on semi-automatic weapons face opposition in congress.

    In a country where fringe conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones lie to millions of people about a tyrannical government plot to disarm and control the masses, a federal gun buyback program, like the one that has prevented mass shootings in Australia for 20 years, seems impossible.

    The Republican Party has dug their heels firmly in the ground. They have decided that they will tolerate meaningless death and tragedy in order to stay true to their interpretation of the Second Amendment. They have abandoned justice because there is no justice in adopting inaction as a policy.

    They are willing to tell their constituents that a movie theater, a concert, a shopping mall, a college campus and a public school are all places where a person runs the risk of being killed. They are also willing to tell us that this is just the way things are.

    According to The Telegraph, Former Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once infamously declared that there is no such thing as society. While she intended to say that the family and the church were the institutions we should embrace instead of the national government, she accidently shared an important truth about the way the right wing thinks.

    A society would vow to do all it can to prevent this from happening again. A society would put partisan politics aside in favor of protecting citizens’ lives. A society would not tolerate people regularly dying for no reason.

    In a way, Margaret Thatcher is correct. If we continue to do nothing, we have no right to call ourselves a society.

     Jack Rockwood
    Reporter and Distribution Manager