The Weapons Crisis: Who Is In Charge Of Change?! Survivors May Be The Ones To Make The Difference

The Weapons Crisis: Who Is In Charge Of Change?! Survivors May Be The Ones To Make The Difference

Editorial By Alex Sher

In light of the horrific mass murder in Florida resulting in the tragic and completely unnecessary, preventable loss of precious life, most of the world watches the U.S and cannot believe our eyes.

One of Trump’s first reactions to this unfathomably sad crime was to not address gun laws but instead to remind the public the shooter was mentally ill and evil. Trump has since visited some of the survivors and law enforcement bringing his wife, Melania, along to soften the situation somehow, taking photos, smiling while so many parents are now forced to plan their teenager’s funerals. What should be a sombre occasion of reflection by Trump, followed by action is instead overshadowed by Trump’s infidelities and denial over Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possibly his desire to golf.

Politics seems to have become a business of corruption akin to a gangster chess board game employing mafia like strategies and the masses are suffering for it, unable to persuade Republicans to act in Congress and just do the right thing. Why are weapons of war available to the public in the supposed to be greatest, safest and civilized Country in the world? Which war are the NRA promoting on their own soil by convincing people they need to have all weapons ever invented, available all of the time just in case..but just in case of what?

What kind of country’s leaders make it possible, and by lack of restrictions, encourage, mentally ill, volatile people by providing them the ability to purchase weapons some of their own community law enforcement do not have at their disposal?

What kind of country calls itself the greatest country in the world and simply passes off these tragedies categorically referring to mentally ill people as the cause? The NRA and second amendment advocates would like to see even more people carrying guns because it’s all about the money, not the people and so POTUS(President Of The United States) will never stop promoting the NRA slogan, “Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People!” But isn’t it true upon reflection that “People Who Make Guns HELP PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE?” By this calculation, it’s difficult to figure out who is mentally ill, the shooter, the gun makers, the NRA, Trump, Congress, and anyone else who doesn’t address this problem that is sweeping society today. At the end of the day, people, innocent people, die and POTUS, especially Republicans will not step up and the reasons all have dollar signs with little NRA emojis flying around them. But is the NRA really that untouchable? Many times the NRA glorified Charlton Heston for his quote, “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it form my cold dead hands. “ Well, there are many pairs of innocent, cold, dead hands as a result of NRA supporters like Heston with their antiquated resolve and the world watches in horror and disbelief as tighter gun laws never happen.

Most people can remember when the Tobacco Industry underwent huge reforms because the masses had decidedly suffered enough death when tobacco products were proven to be Carcinogenic. Safety measures were introduced resulting in age restrictions, warning labels on packaging, and a huge price hike happened. All of these measures did not deter the public from smoking this addictive product, however, smokers were never referred to as mentally ill. Smokers were never referred to as mentally ill even when dying of lung cancer and still smoking. Smokers were never called murderers even when loved ones, exposed to second hand smoke, died. It was a tough fight taking on the Tobacco Industry, but it happened.

The gun issues society face today is not an issue solely surrounding mentally ill people. It’s a gun issue. Simple. While FBI and law enforcement were aware of this particular shooter, what exactly could the FBI legally do in advance of the shooting? Is society going to start rounding up mentally ill or people of suspect just in case?  The shooter purchased the gun legally and that’s on law makers. Law makers are responsible for the deaths of these children and by providing a weapon like this to the public, they might as well have pulled the triggers themselves.

Instead, POTUS takes the side of the NRA, second amendment (which doesn’t even apply to society today but may if society keeps being convinced they are at war with themselves) and instead of addressing the needs of a young man who was adopted as a boy, eventually losing his adoptive parents, becomes alienated from society, discovers racism and hate as a substitute niche, a family, society just throws up their hands wondering how it all happened when in fact, society watched the destruction forced upon this person for years.

Society needs a health check, a mental health check. Somehow compassion is missing during the course of our lives.

Canada is not exempt from this issue as crime escalates and serious measures need to be addressed. We all have to care about gun laws. Violent people will commit crimes but it does not follow that gun laws should be so lax, that law makers are putting guns into the hands of crime?

As a result of this tragedy, Trump may be a catalyst, creating a new kind of republican to be formed and they might be able to take on the NRA’s influence in Congress. And let’s not forget, there is a newly formed, young, political force created simply by being tragically belonging to the club of survivors of school shootings, church shootings, movie theatre shootings, concert shootings, and baseball games. Change can happen and perhaps these brave teenage survivors can lead adult lawmakers to a better path.

My advice to the brave survivors who are planning protests is to remember the sad issue comes down to money. Money can make congress act, as we already have seen by their negligence in action towards tighter gun restriction laws. When an issue becomes about money, not loss of life, Trump will hear. Money can shift power. Find your power and stand strong!

Alex Sher

The Shelburne Freelancer