By Pegah Golpira

America’s love affair with guns

February 23, 2018 - 19:54

INDIANA - The eighteenth school mass shooting of 2018 in America occurred in Parkland, Florida, only a few days ago, leaving 17 people dead.

The suspect is 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. He is neither a Muslim extremist, nor an immigrant. Since Cruz is a white male, the government hasn’t called him a terrorist nor a threat, but just an individual with mental illness. US authorities have claimed that only people with mental illness would go on a shooting rampage, even though studies suggest otherwise.

Meanwhile, the police managed to arrest the suspect unharmed, which brings up the question why the police can’t peacefully arrest black suspects for shoplifting?
Further on, President Trump tweeted: “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Supposedly, neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem but didn’t take action to report it to authorities. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!” Which is almost blaming the victims for the mass shooting. But the truth is people did report Cruz’s behavior and the FBI knew about it all along, though he still went ahead and easily bought an AR-15, and maybe 10 of them for his private collection, to shoot up the school.

An AR-15 is easier to buy than a handgun, says the New York Times.

Had the incident happened anywhere else in the world, the government would have changed gun control laws with the first incident of mass shooting. In the UK when a deadly school shooting occurred back in 1996, guns were banned immediately, and ever since there’s been just one mass shooting. But not in the US, where its government administration is controlled by the National Rifle Association (NRA), an association that only cares about its own self-interest and wants to pocket more money. A group that wants people to believe that the only way to fight the mass shootings is to give the “good people” guns. They want to arm school teachers to make schools safe!
The arguments are mostly surrounded around the Second Amendment which gives all Americans the right to bear arms. But the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791, and things have changed since then. The solution for mass shootings is not more guns.

Unlike the other mass shootings though, the Parkland students are voicing their opinion to bring an end to this cycle of tragedies. Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, passionately makes a speech about how “We are going to be the last mass shooting.” As a result, all the high schools in the nation have come together and decided to have a walk-out on April 20th at 10 am. This peaceful protest may show the US officials that the young people, the future of this country, are tired of the gun laws and demand changes. This time again teenagers are making changes to their nation for the best.

It is common sense that the safety of a nation’s children is more important than someone’s obsession with having guns or making money off of guns.
This is an important juncture in history for America. Will the US prove its love for the safety of its people or its love for money?
Pegah Golpira is a 17-year-old student from Bloomington High School North in Indiana.