Just days after a van barreled through a New York City crowd, killing eight people, the country was rocked by yet another attack. This time, the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas was targeted.
The shooter was later identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley. Kelley had previously been discharged from the Air Force for bad conduct, and was later denied a gun license by the state.
According to Gun Violence Archive, we have now had 307 mass shootings since Jan. 1. That averages out to be roughly one per day.
That statistic is going off the definition for a mass shooting as when the shooting kills four or more people and occurs around the same time and location.
The weapon: a Ruger AR-556, a variation of the AR-15, which notably is one of the weapons used in the Las Vegas shooting.
For the record, an AR-15 can be purchased without a waiting period or permit in Texas.
According to The Independent, the rifle Kelley used has a retail price of $849.
$849. That was the cost of the lives of 26 people who died Sunday afternoon, along with over 20 who were injured.
The saddest part is that this has become something we should be used to.
It seems as though we wake up every day to the news of another shooting, dating all the way back to Sandy Hook.
President Donald Trump has already come out and said that this is not a gun control issue.
“This isn’t a guns situation,” Trump said. “This is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.”
You are right, it is a mental health issue. Obviously, there is something wrong with someone’s mental state when they are willing to go and kill over two dozen people; at a church, no less.
But at the end of the day, this was a man that was able to get a hold of an assault rifle, despite being denied by the state. That is a problem the president has yet to address in the days after the Texas shooting.
Something has to be done here. We have to find a way to restrict the sale of guns to prevent people like Kelley from carrying out these senseless acts.
I don’t care if the NRA is in your back pocket, funding your campaigns just so you can blindly worship the Second Amendment.
That is not to say we need to forget about the Second Amendment altogether. But we need to evaluate how advanced these weapons have become
We need to learn from Las Vegas. We need to learn from Texas. We need to learn from the countless other mass shootings that have taken place over the course of American history.
How many shooting — how many lives — is it going to take before we say “enough is enough?”
But something tells me there will not be any real change until we find a president and Congress that are willing and able to look past party lines and realize that this simply is not okay.