Gun violence: an SA epidemic

Cheyenne Morton, Contributing Writer

With another shooting taking headline news in San Antonio this past week, Americans across the nation are left to reflect on just how often gun violence takes place in our country. We’ve grown so accustomed to the violence and the killings. When another shooting is broadcasted, our life progresses as if it is just another day. How have we come to this point, and why have we let ourselves become so numb to death?

In 2018, a protest took place in schools across the nation as students filed out of class to gather and stand in silence for 17 minutes, honoring the 17 students killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre. I recall walking out of my Algebra class with two other students and standing in the courtyard with a mass of people, all of us different, unifying for one cause. At that moment, I thought we were doing something that would finally change gun policy. I thought the government would see how much people cared. But when it was all over, nothing came of that unified moment. It was over like it had never occurred at all.

I’m not the only one noticing the cycle. Shooting after shooting, the ball starts rolling, but it suddenly stops before we can create change. Progress means nothing if we continue to repeat our past mistakes. Now, here we are in 2020, still dealing with mass shootings.

Gun violence is a problem we all recognize as real, a problem that is apparent in every state across America and a problem that we do nothing about. When countries across the world look to America and see these headlines, what do they think? America only makes excuses for these shootings: Politicians point to mental health and video games. But mental health problems are similar in France, Australia and Spain, and video game sales are the same in America as they are in the U.K. America always blames shootings on everything except what is at hand: guns.

Meanwhile, the NRA sits back and sells lies to the people and preaches the axiom that citizens need guns for protection.

We are connecting security to a weapon, and by doing so, we are giving the free market the power to take life away. Juan Maretti, a teacher in Argentina, commented on Americans gun violence, stating, “We have violence in our society too, but gun control laws limit its physical translation. A mass shooting in Argentina is a failure of the system, a mass shooting in the U.S. is part of the system.”

In 2019 alone, UTSA experienced the same loss that has been gripping the nation for years. Four teens were charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony in March, an argument at a late-night party in Maverick Creek ended in a fatal shooting in May, and three people were robbed at gunpoint at UTSA Blvd. and Vance Jackson in October. The only viable answer is gun control. America and San Antonio have seen too much death to remain unmoved.