In the wake of yet another public and mass shooting, it seems less than sufficient to say 'our hearts our with you, El Paso.' Although the statement is undoubtedly true, it bares a bigger question of:
Where do we go from here?
El Paso wasn't the first, and if we don't take action, it surely won't be the last.
On the University of Texas campus in 1966, havoc rang out over the campus in the form of a gunshot. Students in the courtyard ducked and ran for cover as shots hailed down on them. 17 people were lethally wounded by a lone gunman before police arrived. This is the first recorded (or acknowledged) instance of a mass shooting in the United States. Although, this would not go down in the books as an active shooter scenario.
The term active shooter was not coined until 1999, after a very famous and very public high school shooting. The result of which ended in a teacher tragically bleeding out on the floor of a classroom. Two senior students at Columbine High School in Colorado had opened fire in high school. Autopsy reports later revealed the teacher died from blood loss, rather than a result of the initial injury. It was because of this, police were prompted to change their procedures for stopping an active shooter, as opposed to other tactics they used, thus coining the term entirely.
Since then 1,185 people have been murdered as a result of what we now refer to as active shooter situations. In 2017 alone there were 29 reported instances of active shooters. Concerts, schools, grocery stores, and even churches are no longer safe for us and our children to traverse on a daily basis.
Am I the only one who feels like sending our hearts and prayers, isn't really cutting it anymore?! What do we do, and where do we even start?
I bet some of you would be surprised to find that nearly half of the 314 guns used in active shooting situations, were obtained illegally! Gun control, no matter how good, can't possibly account for the illegal acquisition of guns!
Heroine and crack are illegal too but, hey people every day are dying from addiction to that mess. It doesn't matter how illegal something is, if people want to do it, they will find a way to do so; it's the same with guns.
I know the founding fathers wrote the constitution before bump stocks and banana clips were even thought of, but that doesn't mean the driving principle was flawed. We still, as private citizens should maintain somewhat of a defense against the government, which is why they wrote it. However, many things in the constitution have been amended and I think it's time we take a hard look at this one.
Adversely, if we are going to allow private citizens to carry their weapons everywhere, maybe it's time we level up our security measures.
Turn your prayers into change
In the case of El Paso, this man opened his car door, pulled out his weapon, and fired rounds throughout the parking lot. He wounded people before he even entered the building! Had there been security at the door, the people inside the Walmart would have been spared. Although, hypothetical situations and prayers do little to aid the reality of active shooting scenarios. It is of course pure speculation on my part, and perhaps a little asinine to say this close to such a tragedy, however, so are continued prayers.
If you watched someone get run over with a car, you wouldn't yell out, "thoughts and prayers," to them and hope that makes things better. You surely wouldn't say it after the third time, fifth time, and especially the thousandth time it happens, because yes it hurts and it's completely unnecessary.
Although, after the prayers are said and the candlelight vigils are done, when the angry fight inside the weekend protester dies, nothing ever changes. Everyone forgets....until it happens to them.
Say your prayers and send them where you want to, but in my personal opinion, as Americans, we can stop saying anything at all if we aren't going to try to help CHANGE anything!