Point Park Globe

Amidst the Squirrel Hill tragedy, guns remain an issue

It’s time to band together and put legislation in act to protect our citizens

Written By Jordan Slobodinsky, Opinions Editor

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The second amendment comes under a lot of scrutiny. The far right claims it as an American bonus gift, while the far left treats it like heresy. Needless to say, guns are a hot topic in this day in age. However, far too often do we see them coming into the spotlight for the wrong reason. Now before all you conservatives go and grab a Breitbart news link with stories about concealed carry, hear me out.

I grew up in an area which was heavily pro-gun. We got the first few days of hunting season off of school at Central Mountain High School. At home, I live next to a state trooper who, to my knowledge, has a firearm sometimes when he drives into the driveway.  I’ve never felt unsafe around hunting rifles, handguns and especially not when my state trooper neighbor comes home to see his family after he risks his life. So I’m sure you’re asking, “Well then when do you feel unsafe? Guns can stop crazy people.” That’s where I break on this issue.

The United States just lost 11 victims in a shooting in Squirell Hill at the Tree of Life synagogue. The shooter reportedly had an assault rifle to mow down innocent people at their place of worship. So to that end, I have to say to all you NRA supporters, and all the people who claim that people kill people not guns: it’s time to shut up and face some facts.

12,077 people have been killed in 2018 due to gun violence. I’m sourcing this from gunviolencearchive.org, and I want you to go and see exactly what is happening. We are living in a country whose refusal to enact gun control legislation is causing our citizens to die.

244 police officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty in 2018. Now you might say “Well that’s just the nature of their job,” and to that I implore you to understand that the men and women who protect you on a daily basis have families they’d like to see. I’m not much of a huge cop supporter. I very much believe police brutality is a problem, but I acknowledge that they took an oath to protect and serve.

There have been 297 mass shootings in the United States during 2018. I don’t want to hear a thing about “Oh, it doesn’t happen enough,” because I’m watching a city grieve over deaths and the hatred of a anti-Semitic conservative who thought he was above another person. No other country on Earth comes close to that amount of shootings, because most other countries have taken the time to acknowledge the issue.

People are violent creatures. Our prehistoric ancestors grew up hunting and killing. The development of the first firearm didn’t come until much later in our history. So there is some merit to the hunting rifles. However, do you want to use it as a hunting resource or self-defense? Which is fine, but here’s my stance. Every citizen should have a national ammo limit and that should be checked thoroughly. All gun owners need a yearly updated mental check-up. By no means should an assault rifle be up for purchase. Really now, you need a semi-automatic rifle to kill a deer? Get out of here with that noise.

I’ve said this a thousand times but we do not want your hunting rifle or your self defense weapons. We want assault rifles gone and we don’t want lunatics to have easy access to these weapons. I am constantly antagonized on social media by conservatives who argue that guns are the only way to sop a shooter. So many of these people try and argue that the problem is the people and that the guns are not in any way, shape. or form an issue.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but a gun is a piece of metal that is designed to launch a much smaller piece of metal at a high velocity in order to cause pain and or kill something. When our police officers or our military uses a gun, it is a different story. What I implore you to look into is getting rid of this mentality that assault rifles are normal in today’s society.

You do not need a semi-automatic weapon to hunt, or to protect your home. A few years ago my father found a shotgun that my step-mother’s father owned. My dad never bought a bullet and to my knowledge, it lays somewhere in his room in case anybody breaks in. He always told me that as long as he cocked the gun, he felt safe pointing it at someone.   

Gun control is heavily needed in this country whether you realize it or not. Our mentality in America is skewed because some believe that guns are the safest thing when in reality there is too much harm to justify their existence in every-day society.

Our politicians have pockets lined with NRA money so conservatives can further their white agenda. Don’t let them continue this. It’s our job as citizens to make sure our government understands we don’t want semi-automatic weapons, bump stocks or anything military-grade in circulation. This is truly how we fight for our lives, we have to fight for control.

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