Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Gun violence has become new norm

Ten dead and seven wounded during America’s latest school shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College. As I look at the pictures of the nine victims, I wonder when college campuses will become a safe place.
According to several news sources, this is the 45th school shooting this year.
As President Obama said during his speech on the incident, “The reporting is routine,” Obama said. “My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We’ve become numb to this.”
Are school shootings going to become such a common occurrence that we say “oh that’s terrible” then shrug our shoulders and continue on with our lives?
I certainly hope not.
The shooter, after taking the lives of ten, took his own life as he exchanged fire with police forces. He opened fire on two classroom and according to CNN, asked who were Christians in the classroom. Reports also said he was in body armor and had enough munition for a prolonged firefight.
I’m all for the 2nd amendment protection. I think people should be able to own guns, but there has to be a limit to how guns can be attained and kept out of the hands of mentally ill people, such as the Oregon Community College shooter, the Newton shooter, and other school shooters.
Yet there will be a rallying cry for more guns, to put guns in the hands of teachers and school staff to prevent these school shootings.
But we have to take a step back. Will armed teachers prevent school shooting or will stricter gun purchasing laws prevent these school shootings?
I think stricter gun purchasing laws will carry a better, healthier response.
The Obama administration has tried to pass stricter gun control laws. Back in 2013, the Obama administration made a huge push to ban assault weapons and have wider background checks on gun purchases.
The attempt failed and since then, nothing has changed. We have seen children gunned down in schools, we’ve seen the faces of their loved ones echoing what we feel in our hearts as we watch these atrocities continue again and again.
What we need is to change the system, to limit how these murderers get these guns and what guns they can receive.
The Oregon shooter carried six guns with him into the school, a Glock pistol, a Smith & Wesson pistol, a Taurus pistol and a Del-Ton assault rifle, all legally purchased by him.
Is it really necessary for an American citizen to own that many guns? There should be no reason these sorts of weapons should be available to anyone outside people with specific permits or police/military forces.
And how was he able to legally purchase these firearms without the authorities questioning what this man was going to use these weapons for?
Other countries are farther along with gun control laws than the U.S.
Australia has banned automatic and semi-automatic rifles since a mass shooting that killed 34 people in 1996. The UK has done the same following the Hungerford massacre, which claimed the lives of 16.
How many more American lives will be lost until we realize we must do the same?

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Gun violence has become new norm