Two Sides of a Tragic Story

Today, I’m focusing on the two sides of the Parkland Shooting aftermath. On one side we have a group of survivors who organized and spearheaded the Marches for Our Lives which occurred all over the world yesterday. They have monopolized mainstream media for several weeks now: Jaclyn Corin, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and Alex Wind have been the most vocal about wanting gun control and have received the majority of media and social media attention. One name, however, hasn’t gotten as much attention and that is Kyle Kashuv, who is also a survivor of the Parkland shooting. He is experiencing the same thing as Corin, Gonzalez, Hogg, Kasky, and Wind but he is speaking out in support of the Second Amendment. Where the others are being supported by a wide section of society, Kashuv, I feel, has been largely ignored.

            “There were so many levels [in which] the government failed: the police force failed, the FBI failed. And simply representing this as the NRA issue is so counter-productive because we could be doing real legislation to make sure this won’t happen again,” Kashuv said in an interview with Fox News.

What he says here makes a lot of sense. The issue of school shootings doesn’t simply involve the stance of the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment. This is a multi-level problem. And we need to work together to find common ground. However, this doesn’t fit with mainstream media who continue to tout an “us” versus “them” mentality. They divide Americans between those who want gun control and those who don’t and those who don’t are, to some respect, demonized. Although the NRA’s “the sky is falling” mentality is pretty extreme telling followers that the “other side” wants to take all their firearms. It’s just so divisive and would automatically put firearm owners in a strong defensive stance.  What needs to happen is for both sides of the issue to come together and just try to find common ground from which to build on. For example, we all want to keep our children safe in schools. Let’s start there and then find other issues we can agree on.  For me, I can see the need to ban assault rifles. Untrained civilians and those with a violent past or dangerous tendencies should not have access to military grade firearms, that’s just common sense in my mind. At the same time though, the right to bear arms is in the Constitution, it can’t just be done away with. It can, however, be amended to conform to modern day society. When our Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment, rifles took quite a while to reload, they couldn’t have imagined a world where firearms could fire multiple rounds per second. The 2nd Amendment was written for an 18th-century world, not a 21st-century one. But amending an amendment takes a great deal of effort and compromise.


I was going to write about something else today but the latest school shooting in Florida is all that I can think about. Seventeen more innocent people killed for no reason. Another murderer who got his hands on an automatic rifle and made his sadistic dream a reality. Who knows how long he had planned his killing spree or why he chose Valentine’s Day to carry it out. The question everyone is asking is why won’t the US government act? Do they have some secret quota that has to be met? Ten thousand dead first? Twenty thousand dead? How many innocent people have to have their lives cut short before the government listens to its people and acts? It boggles the mind how we have mass shootings weekly and Congress just sits there and offers up its thoughts and prayers but nothing else. No measures to curb gun sales. No measures to make automatic rifles illegal. Nothing. Now, I understand we have the Second Amendment and I feel like everyone has a right to own a gun but when the Founding Fathers wrote that amendment it took up to 30 seconds to reload a rifle. They could have never dreamed there would someday be a gun that could shoot multiple rounds per second. Something needs to change. The shooter yesterday, whose name I’m purposely not using, was known to students, teachers, even the FBI. So how was he able to get an automatic rifle? How was he able to gain ownership of a gun whose only purpose is to kill people? Something needs to change. I’ve had enough and the country as a whole has had enough. Enough with just thoughts and prayers, it’s time for action.