A shooting happened in Virginia this past weekend. It is the latest in a series of shootings that have plagued this country at an all too frequent rate.
Three people were shot dead and two injured when Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. shot the victims coming out of a school bus. Jones, a former football player and student at the University of Virginia, had been convicted in 2021 of a misdemeanor concealed weapons violation. He failed to mention this to the university when they were investigating a claim from a fellow student that said Jones told them he had a gun.
According to Jones’ father, his son was paranoid about something but would never tell him what. So with all this in mind, how was Jones allowed to carry these weapons?
Our country and states must do a better job in restricting who can own guns so people don’t fear for their lives while simply going through their everyday activities.
Unfortunately this will not be easy. According to Science.org, gun laws vary by state and because of this, as well as limited funding, it has been difficult for scientists to study the effects of gun laws on gun-related deaths. That is why it’s so important for more funding to go towards gun control studies. When there is more hard evidence it’s easier to create laws that will keep us safe.
With more and more frequent child deaths in this country, why is this not a top priority on lawmakers’ minds? What will finally be the tipping point in making change and keeping people safe?
According to the Rockefeller Institute of Government, compared to other high-income countries, the firearm homicide rate in the U.S. is 25 times higher. For 15 to 24 year-olds the gun homicide rate in the U.S. is almost 50 times higher than other countries.
Other countries around the world look at our country with fear while we portray ourselves as the country of freedom. Freedom should not include the fear that young children will be sent to school and never return.
In order for this fear to stop, gun control and gun safety must be put as a priority for state and federal lawmakers. One of the biggest factors preventing lawmakers from making gun control laws is the millions of dollars some receive from the National Rifle Association (NRA). For example, Utah senator Mitt Romney has received a total of over $13 million from the NRA through direct and independent support. Although Romney has continuously denied that this sways his votes, it’s difficult to take this as the whole truth.
After many fatal mass shootings in early 2021, Romney made clear he would not support any federal legislation tightening gun laws.
“I made that commitment when I ran for office, and I intend to honor that commitment. So I will not be voting for new federal legislation related to guns and leave to the Legislature of Utah, closest to our people, any decisions they have in that regard,” Romney said.
It’s concerning to see lawmakers prioritizing money over the safety of the citizens they were put into office to protect. That is why it is more important than ever to elect officials into office that won’t be swayed by NRA funding. But beyond that, it is difficult to imagine if there will ever be a breaking point for these lawmakers to finally work to put an end to the killing of innocent people.