by Tyler Roaix
The events of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting two weeks ago have left the country in a state of complete outrage, sparking a new wave of debates about gun control.
For years, politicians have gotten off the hook offering useless “thoughts and prayers” to families and victims during a string of school shootings. The reason is simple: no accountability is placed on lawmakers’ heads about what they will actually do to make the world a less dangerous place.
At a Town Hall, students from Stoneman Douglas were given the opportunity to present questions to politicians, including Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio was presented with the question of whether or not he would continue to accept donation money from the National Rifle Association.
The question, one in which Rubio sidestepped the best he could, proved to be one of the most substantial and important questions a politician has ever been asked. Today, politicians are focused on campaigns and bringing in money far more than they are in creating actual change. Ask anyone from the Republican Party about this; when they fail to answer your questions, go look at the grade they get from the NRA.
For the record, the NRA has donated over $3 million to Rubio and has given him an A-plus rating, according to The Washington Post.
The activism of the students from Stoneman Douglas has finally created a serious discussion over the validity of the Second Amendment in the modern world.
The misconception of the times in which the Second Amendment was adopted, in 1791, is the weapons available. Cannons were legal and rifles were equipped with .70-caliber ammunition—anything above .50-cal is illegal today)—but those weapons pale in comparison to what we have today. Today we live in a world on the verge of nuclear war, tanks and high-powered assault rifles.
At the end of the day, the Second Amendment paved the way for Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman at Stoneman Douglas, to purchase an AR-15 assault rifle at 19-years-old.
It’s surprising that is has taken a mass tragedy like this to question why people are able to buy high-powered weapons at such a young age. How, especially with a supposedly tough background check, did someone not question a 19-year-old’s need for this particular weapon?
“I think it is time to have a conversation about what the right to bear arms means in the modern world,” Condoleeza Rice, a Republican and former U.S. Secretary of State pose on The Hugh Hewitt Show last week. “I don’t understand why civilians need to have access to military weapons. We wouldn’t say you can go out and buy a tank.”
It’s time we take a look at the archaic law that it the Second Amendment. That’s not to say we should scrap it, but we need to figure out what “the right to bear arms” actually means in the 21st century.
Put simply: the NRA is one of the worst things to happen in this country’s history. Its hold on our politicians, who are supposed to be representing the people, has plagued our nation for years and is at the heart of the dissent in American politics.
If we take a step back and analyze the Second Amendment, which is the NRA’s main reason for even existing, we can finally start to realize that military-grade weapons have no place in civilian life. It’s too late for the victims in Florida, and for all the others before, but there are still things to be done to make our country a safer place for students.