Guns Are Blazing

Shootings nearly every day in 2015 only highlight how broken our systems are

Arturo Hilario / El Observador

Another shooting occurred while beginning to craft this piece, so its initial purpose has been skewed, if only made more true by the ongoing violence, in which the United States, in a “time of peace”, is one of the most violent places in the world.

On Wednesday, two armed shooters entered a social services facility in San Bernardino. 14 people were killed, 21 injured, in what is now officially the most deadliest attack on U.S. soil since 2012, when the Aurora, Colorado (July 20th), and Sandy Hook (December 15th) shootings took place.

While motives still linger in the shooting this week, it is known that two individuals, a male and female, shot at a crowd of county employees at a Christmas party at Inland Regional Center. The nonprofit is a support center serving community members with developmental disabilities.

Guns have long have a history with war, and revolutions. Gunpowder and revolt have been figments of our own country’s history, and its storied attachment to the ideals and freedoms of the country have made it a sign of our nation, with both good and bad elements. The west was won with Colt’s and Winchester’s, and that ambition of conquering the wild and deafening the ‘villains of the saloon’, carry onto the 21st century.

It’s becoming difficult, even to the naysayers, that gun control laws currently allow for shootings to occur more often than not. But the issue of this debate isn’t how we should take away weapons but how to regulate those who own them. For every criminal shooter we have thousands more who are cautious, and responsible gun owners. To take away these rights would be against our country’s beliefs and foundations, yet not all guns are created equally (The M134 General Electric Minigun and flamethrowers are legal to own), and not all people are within the safest mental capacities to own them.

But the problems stem not only to gun owners but to the protectors of the peace themselves.

UK Newspaper The Guardian has a thoroughly investigative branch of its website called “The Counted”, , dedicated to covering every officer related shooting in the United States. They only do this with the United States, and are currently at 1,043 deaths by police officer.

Not only is the issue of officer related killings problematic, so are the rampage shooter cases, like this week, or just last Friday at the Planned Parenthood in Denver.

The data tracking site compiles all the shootings that occur in the United States. This year alone there has been a shooting nearly every day (355), a climb from past yearly figures. This data submits circumstantial proof of a rise in gun related killings.

Violence Policy Center in Washington DC released a statement shortly after the shootings in San Bernardino, with the Center’s Executive Director Josh Sugarmann stating “Today, yet another mass shooting has occurred. None of us want to live in a country where public mass shootings are routine.” After going over the known details of the shooting at the time he ends with “we already know this national crisis will not end until our elected officials take actions.”

Whether this action be tighter restrictions on assault weapons, or how mental health has a role in weapon purchasing, to altering the second amendment, it truly is in the hands of policymakers to fix what is broken, and help curb a very American tradition that we do not want to keep.