Gun control laws are long overdue


Lorie Shaull | Flickr

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

Gun violence plagued the United States long before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nation’s leaders must unite as one entity to combat the never-ending gun epidemic.

The United States just passed the four-year anniversary of one of its most grueling moments in history, the Parkland Shooting, where former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people.

To show remembrance for the day, Manuel Oliver, father of one of the students killed in the massacre, sent a message to President Joe Biden on Feb. 14.

Oliver climbed a 150-foot construction tower near the White House where he dropped a banner urging Biden to pass gun legislation.

“On this difficult day, we mourn with the Parkland families whose lives were upended in an instant, who had to bury a piece of their soul deep in the earth,” the White House said in a statement.

Some believe Biden is not doing enough and should take more action. David Hogg, a Parkland survivor who has arguably become the face of gun control reform, appeared on CNN’s “New Day” on Parkland’s fourth anniversary

“I’m disappointed, and frankly, if I could say one thing to the president, it’s that we need you to go out and act right now before the next Parkland happens,” Hogg said, referring to Biden’s progress on the issue. “There are things that you can do right now to help prevent it that you have not done. We need you to make good on your promises because kids are dying.”

Biden said that he requested Congress pass legislation that adds half a billion dollars to work on reducing violent crimes. While there is the federal call for action on gun violence, state and local responses to their violence numbers are still necessary.

The local office can be a vital asset for combating gun violence.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams released a “Blueprint to End Gun Violence. In a statement, Adams rightfully called gun violence for what it is — a “crisis.”

“Gun violence is a public health crisis that continues to threaten every corner of our city,” Adams said. “Public safety is my administration’s highest priority, which is why we will remove guns from our streets, protect our communities, and create a safe, prosperous, and just city for all New Yorkers.”

The argument on whether Adams’ plan will work is a separate conversation. There are some states where politicians prioritize their love for gun culture over the safety of their constituents.

April 2021 was marked by multiple mass shootings including the dreadful Atlanta area spa shootings. During that time, Biden issued several executive orders placing restrictions on untraceable ghost guns.

While Biden’s response to the mass shootings deserves to be credited, it wasn’t enough. Creating restrictions on guns will save lives but Congress must key in on circumstances that lead to violent crime and reoccurring gun violence.

For marginalized communities, it is the lack of economic opportunities that lead to violence.

More states should follow Adams’ lead and properly fund summer youth programs that give the very youth affected by these senseless shootings positive ways to contribute to society.

The United States reported the 28th highest rate of gun deaths in the entire world. Black Americans are suffering nearly 10 times more in gun homicides compared to their white counterparts.

There is no argument that more comprehensible gun control laws would reduce gun violence. Politicians must brush aside their political lure of gun lobbyists to save their constituents from suffering more bloodshed and years of trauma at the hands of guns.