Oregon shooting: stop the vicious cycle
Ten are dead and many are wounded at a school last week in rural Oregon. Yet another mass shooting that occurred at a college campus.
It’s another blast from television news stations and other media outlets reporting the tragedy, another act of violence has been imprinted into the minds of the American people.
For a few days, the nation’s attention will be drawn to Roseburg as we once again confront senseless mass death.
And then the country will move on.
“Somehow this has become routine,” said President Obama, a few hours after the shooting. “Our thoughts and prayers are not enough.”
Obama is right. Furthermore, actions need to be taken and legislation needs to be passed.
We cannot continue with this routine of violence, media reports, speeches and healing, again and again. It is a vicious cycle. We are becoming accustomed to this. Our society is blinded by our own self-interest.
What many people don’t realize is that we are engaged in a war within our own country, a war to decide whether we will continue to let the senseless tragedy of gun violence continue.
“Being from Texas, I believe in my rights from the Second Amendment, although there have to be responsibilities,” said Andrew Parker, an economics sophomore. “There needs to be an open and honest discussion in this country about what we can do as a people to reduce the number of victims of gun violence.”
It is not sufficient to assume there is nothing we can do to prevent someone, even someone with mental illnesses, from getting a gun if they want it. At least something can be done to make a small difference.
According to USA Today, following the tragic 2014 mass shooting in Isla Vista, California, legislators in the state passed a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) policy. GVRO is a “life-saving reform” that allows family members and/or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from a loved one in crisis.
It isn’t a guarantee that a bill like this for the entire country would prevent any more mass shootings but it can be a step in the right direction.
“I think no matter what the government does, it cannot be controlled,” said Yassin Ibrahim, acomputer science junior. “The root of this problem comes from the home. This issue is greater than stricter gun regulations.”
Whatever may be the cause, it is an even bigger problem when Democratic and Republican candidates are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to what needs to be done. In times of crisis, no good that can come from being close-minded about possible long-term solutions.
According to NBC news, GOP candidates’ positions on gun control remain unchanged. Republicans such as Dr. Ben Carson and Jeb Bush maintain the same position that more gun control won’t make a difference in mass shootings. Meanwhile, Democrats Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders support a “comprehensive approach” to gun restrictions in order to reduce violence.
Each time a massacre has occurred, we have seen not only a striking mobilization against any new restrictions but an equally striking absence of strong pressure to address this issue.
The country needs to do a better job dealing with its gun problem. Otherwise, we’ll find ourselves just going through this all over again.
Opinion columnist Rebekah Barquero is a print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]