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Davis, California

Monday, April 15, 2024

Federal action must be taken to prevent future mass shootings

In light of the recent shootings in California, we cannot allow ourselves to become desensitized to gun violence

 

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

 

Reading about mass shootings in the news has started to feel commonplace. In California alone, there have been three mass shootings over the span of a single week, with the most recent in Half Moon Bay on Monday and in Monterey Park on Saturday. 

Here are some horrifying statistics — The Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a nonprofit research group, counted 647 mass shootings in 2022 and 39 mass shootings since Jan. 1, 2023 in the U.S. Additionally, gun deaths in the U.S. are more than eight times as high as gun deaths in Canada and almost 100 times higher than in the U.K.

The frequency of gun violence in this country points to a fundamental issue in our government. Those in power have failed to implement effective restrictions on firearms. 

Some may be concerned that such restrictions will infringe on their rights. But how many lives is an amendment worth? The Second Amendment was ratified in 1791 — a time long before assault weapons could take multiple lives in seconds. People will continue to die from guns, year after year, unless there are nationwide changes.

Even California, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, has experienced multiple mass shootings in the span of days. It has become painfully obvious, or rather, has been painfully obvious for a long time, that more gun control is needed at the federal level.

Some politicians are looking to do just that; on Monday, senators reintroduced a federal assault weapons ban as well as legislation that would raise the minimum purchase age for assault weapons to 21. 

This legislation, of course, won’t solve the issue of gun violence entirely, and there are many aspects to consider: the U.S. is in the midst of a mental health crisis and the roots of violence and hate run deep in this country. But in the short-term, the priority must be stopping gun deaths.

After years of mass shootings, it’s been easy to become numb to stories covering gun violence. As a news outlet, we believe it’s important to remind our readers, and ourselves, that events like these are not normal. We cannot let ourselves accept them as a part of our daily lives. It is vital, now more than ever, to allow ourselves to both grieve these events and work to prevent future violence by pushing for action on a federal level.

 

Written by: The Editorial Board