Trapped in tragedy

Editorial Board

On April 12, commuters riding a Manhattan-bound train found themselves trapped in tragedy as a gunman released two smoke bombs and blindly opened fire. 

The gunman fired 33 bullets into the smokey crowd, striking 10 people — both men and women. Not only that, an additional 13 people were injured via smoke inhalation. Fortunately, nobody lost their life on that subway, and those injured were transported to the nearest hospitals. 

This pulls us back into the age-old debate: Does the United States need stricter gun control? E.J. Dionne Jr. shared his thoughts on the matter in The Washington Post.

“It’s maddening that doing the obvious thing — strengthening our gun laws — is off the table,” Dionne Jr. said. “Our permissive gun statutes are insane, which is why no other advanced democracy has anything like them. Even if states enact tough gun laws, weapons can pour across state lines. The easy availability of guns is a national problem, not a local one, as is the robust underground trade in weaponry.”

Joy Behar, a co-host on “The View,” shared a similar sentiment on the most recent showing.

Those countries do not have a Second Amendment, and that’s the difference,” Behar said. “When you take guns away, you take away gun violence.”

With these views in mind, it is important to take a step back and truly understand what happened on the train that day. It was a normal Tuesday morning for Brooklyn commuters, and it took a split second to turn it all around. A split second defined by a poorly thought-out decision — one that easily could have been avoided with proper gun laws that protect citizens instead of enabling criminals.

Making decisions about which gun laws would best serve the community is nuanced in nature and requires the cooperation of the government and the people. There are a number of solutions to the problem at hand, and it is difficult to choose which one should come first. Should we prioritize gun safety? Should we create a different set of criteria that one must meet in order to own a gun? Should we ban guns in their entirety? 

The bottom line is that we, as citizens, must be fully informed about the repercussions that could follow this event. We can educate ourselves by understanding the current gun laws, learning the criteria for owning weapons and advocating for change that will benefit every citizen instead of only a handful.