Texas & Colorado Shootings: their effect on the public and gun control
Aditya Garg, Staff Writer
August 31, 2012
Filed under Opinion
Thomas Caffall, James Holmes and Jared Lee Loughner. In the past few months, the U.S. has experienced a number of public shootings—most prominently, the Texas A&M University and Colorado shootings.
Instigated by Caffall, the Texas A&M shootings resulted in three dead and four injured. The Colorado shootings, involving James Holmes, saw 12 dead and 58 others wounded.
While certainly tragic, these shootings have not only rocked our foundations but also have inspired widespread fear and intimidation throughout the nation. What has instigated such permeating acts of violence? Is this the result of loose gun control, poor law enforcement and government inaction, or does this represent a deeper instability of the American people?
While stricter regulations have the potential to somewhat infringe upon citizens’ liberties, these shootings represent a deeper misconception, in part, of the general populace.
When evaluating both of these shootings, we see there are a number of elements that are similar. In both cases, the shooters were college age students studying at universities. A major point in both of these shootings is that both of these students were dissatisfied with their lives.
Holmes had recently fallen out of favor from university professors and had failed a key oral exam. The Texas A&M shootings occurred while police officers were attempting to serve an eviction notice. Thus, ignoring the possibility of mental instability, both of these shooters had a prominent motive.
Furthermore, many of us have failed to see that, instead of facing their problems, these men committed mass slayings. Instead of confronting their problems, they chose to blame the government and the public.
I believe that this demonstrates an important fact: people expect too much from their government and their society. Instead of taking responsibility and facing their problems, these citizens have been taught to rely solely on others.
This represents a fundamental flaw in our society: an emphasis on dependence instead of self-reliance and responsibility. While this may stem from a number of sources—school, community, relationships—if we are to prevent such occurrences in the future, we must first instill fundamental moral values.
However, these shootings also prompt the argument for stricter gun control. I acknowledge that gun control is a sensitive issue, and many believe that it is an established right of the people.
While I do not wish to debate or conduct an extensive review of the Second Amendment, I do want to point out that the public supersedes the individual. Thus, to protect the general public, we must enact stricter gun control.
Both of the individuals involved in the Texas and Colorado shootings were partly able to vent their anger on the public due to their ease in procuring guns, armor and explosives.
If we want to truly attempt to guarantee public safety, we must limit the flow of such weapons into the general public. Military-grade firearms and weapons are not needed for sport, hunting, personal enjoyment or protection. These firearms only serve as a medium to kill small children, teens and adults quickly and effectively.
In the context of the eight or more shootings that have happened recently, the public has come to find ease in a sickening mixture of fear and a false illusion of safety. Though Congress and government officials may continue to cower behind the power of the National Rifle Association, and people will continue to seek rights through the Second Amendment, it is time that the general populace accepts the true realities of widespread gun availability, unless they want another repetition of the aforementioned acts of violence.