Gun control needs to be a more urgent priority in America


Mason students in 2019 demonstrated outside of the school for gun violence prevention after the Parkland Shooting. In this article, Lasso writer Umer Sohail argues that as a country, we still aren’t doing enough to prevent mass shootings. (Photo by Tenzin Namgyel)

Umer Sohail, Staff Reporter

Every time our nation suffers a mass shooting, we have the same conversation. Should we implement more gun regulation? Why are there loose regulations and loopholes that allow virtually anyone to gain access to a gun in America? When will these tragedies end—how will any child or adult go to school or ride a bus without the fear of a shooting? How do we put an end to the sorrow and grief families are facing?

Often in these conversations, the Second Amendment is invoked, with too little regard for the real victims of mass shootings, which are facilitated by weapons of great destructive power. Mass shootings in America have affected schools and churches. They affect babies, teenagers, adults, and the elderly, and often in high numbers—in 2017, more than 50 people were killed in one night at a Las Vegas mass shooting. Often, these shootings are perpetrated by people with powerful, modified guns, specifically designed to harm and kill people. In response, many of our elected leaders send prayers to gun victims, but never agree to the restrictions on guns. Their prayers don’t make a difference, but their actions could.

Right now, we’re in quarantine fighting a pandemic, but we cannot forget when we go back to school that mass shootings will still be a reality in our country, unless politicians start taking action to enforce laws fighting against gun violence. We need to limit the number of guns being sold. The government should require very extensive background checks for anyone, including police officers, who have access to guns. We should monitor the way guns are being used by those who buy them.

Additionally, we need better policy that prevents straw-purchases, meaning someone buying a gun on behalf of someone else who is prohibited from buying a gun. We should have very high taxes on ammunition. We should work harder at enforcing laws about guns in school buildings and other crowded places. There are so many things we could be doing as a country to prevent mass shootings.

Our politicians are failing us when it comes to enacting gun violence prevention laws. Inaction will only lead to more violence and mass shootings, and more communities will be hurt. It is appalling that we can’t settle on sensible gun laws after the dozens of tragedies our country has endured—we need to start protecting our communities through real, substantial gun violence prevention.

Opinion articles in The Lasso reflect the opinion of the writer(s). They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Lasso Editorial Board or of George Mason High School.