The Need for Gun Control

After the many recent tragedies that have happened in 2023 with already 146 mass shootings in four months, the amount of loss people have endured due to the lack of gun control is sickening. One of the more recent mass shootings taking place was at the Covenant School in Nashville, with a total of three children and three adults being murdered, and even more on Saturday, April 15, with a total of seven mass shootings in one day resulting in at least 10 fatalities and many injured. The question of how many lives will have to be lost in order to make a change continues to leave many fighting for a change.

The lack of gun control in America is no secret, but the fact that children go to school with the fear of not returning home is not acceptable. Many people are aware of the tragedies such as Columbine, Sandy Hook, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Robb Elementary, and now the most recent, Covenant School. The excuse that action can’t be taken is not true, and if the 87 deaths that occurred with only those five school shootings isn’t enough, then I don’t know what is.

On March 30, 2023 a protest took place at Tennessee’s state capitol in Nashville in order to demand tighter gun control after the recent tragedy that took place at the Covenant school. Inside the capitol, three Tennessee lawmakers Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson  brought proceedings to a halt in order to join protesters and their fight for gun control. Jones and Pearson were expelled for their participation in the peaceful protest but later reinstated. The real takeaway from the Tennessee House Republicans’ choice to punish members for simply exercising their first amendment rights is what’s concerning; the fact that lawmakers themselves punished their own members for simply speaking the truth and doing what others couldn’t bring themselves to do. When responding to the action taken against him, Pearson stated that “We have heard from thousands of people asking us to do something about gun violence,”and that “what is in the best interest of our people is ending gun violence.” 

Many people have responded to the actions taken against the “Tennessee Three” including President Biden and Former President Obama. Biden has invited the three lawmakers to the White House to further discuss gun control. Obama came out and made a statement saying that “No elected official should lose their job simply for raising their voice – especially when they’re doing it on behalf of our children,” further saying that “Silencing those who disagree with us is a sign of weakness, not strength, and it won’t lead to progress.” 

Despite all the obstacles we continue to face for gun control, as a country we have to continue to fight, as stated by Tennessee lawmaker Justin Jones, “flexing of false power has awakened a generation of people who will let you know when your time is up.” And time is up; the cycle of families losing the ones they love due to the lack of action taken to stop gun violence needs to stop.