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How many times?

I am sure that readers are sick of seeing op-ed pieces about gun control. And guess what? I’m pretty tired of writing them. But, the fact still remains that the 18th incidence of gun violence on school grounds in the United States has already occurred this year, and that 17 innocent people lost their lives in Parkland, Florida, and that nothing is being done about it. So I’m going to write about it — again.

But the question I have is: how many times?

How many times do I, as well as many other opinion writers, activists and concerned citizens throughout the nation, have to write these articles? How many times do the same words have to be written in renewed desperation? How many times do we have to hold the unreasonable, should-not-even-be-a-debate argument on whether we value the right to own a deadly weapon more than the lives of our fellow citizens, families, friends and children?

The same articles are being written and the same words are being said because the same arguments keep being had. In an attempt to sit down and decide which one is the most prevalent in light of the recent tragedy, I realized none of them should even be considered adequate.

There are arguments that try to discuss different policy issues to get guns out of the spotlight. Whether or not gun violence is a mental health issue; whether violent video games and movies are the cause; or why abortions are allowed but guns are not — these have nothing to do with the situation at hand. Guns are the problem.

There are arguments that paint victimized children and teachers of the shooting as pawns in a political game, controlled by the media or the left to promote an anti-gun agenda. But these students are not naive; they are angry and scared. They are pushing a movement that focuses on the real problem: guns.

There are arguments claiming that even if guns are banned, people will still find a way to attack others. But there is no way to look at a fully automatic military grade weapon and make an adequate comparison to a smaller weapon. Once again, the problem is the gun.

There are arguments that adding more guns to the situation would have fixed the problem. But putting armed guards at schools, churches, movie theaters, malls and other public spaces sounds a lot like the introductory settings of a dystopia with authoritarian government in control of its people. Not to mention the level of training it would require to trust individuals to correctly utilize weapons and protect our children, whether it’s teachers or veterans. If the problem is guns, then adding more is not the solution.

There is something about the Parkland shooting that feels more desperate. There is a new level of hopelessness. Florida students are taking buses to their state house just to watch legislatures, paid by the National Rifle Association, to refuse to address gun restriction possibilities. Children voicing their opinions after suffering a horrible tragedy are being accused of being false flags and media pawns. It seems as if the nation is rushing through the same process: mass shooting, fight for change, push it down and become desensitized until it happens all over again.

I urge anyone who decides to take the side of guns in this endless argument to watch the videos those children took while passing by their dead classmates’ bodies, trying to desperately run to safety. I urge you hear their sobs and reflect for a moment — consider whether the right to own a fully automatic weapon truly is more important than making sure something like this never happens again.

I urge anyone who takes the side of the children to call their legislatures. Go to your state house and protest, act and demand change. In the age of social media, it is easy to feel like reposting a hashtag or sharing a story is adequate work. But if we are going to ever reach a day where we can stop asking ourselves how many times we have to hear the same old arguments, it is going to take active political action. That is the only flicker of hope I see left.

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