opinion   |   column

The US needs more gun control

Following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida — the 34th mass shooting where four or more people were shot or killed in 2018 alone — President Trump tweeted about his disappointment in the FBI for allegedly not following protocol for the tips they received about Nikolas Cruz, the mass shooter.  

Although this negligence by the FBI did cost lives, the blame is not entirely on them. 

It is irresponsible for the president to pretend  the cause of mass shootings is not the lack of legislation regulating gun ownership and purchase. 

Someone close to Cruz contacted the FBI in early Jan. to report his erratic behavior, gun ownership and desire to kill people. The caller specifically mentioned their fear of Cruz carrying out a school shooting. This report was supposed to be sent to the Miami office for follow-up, but this never occurred. 

The mistake on the FBI’s part definitely needs attention, but we cannot pretend all would have been well even if the FBI had investigated.

Cruz was a legal gun owner, despite an extensive record of school and behavioral problems that should sound an alarm. 

There is no reason why this troubled 19-year-old should be able to purchase a semi-automatic weapon in the first place. And Trump refuses to acknowledge this crucial part of the conversation. 

Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, our president puts more value into a 300-year-old document written when people had muskets — not AR-15's — than into the safety and lives of children in the country. 

The word “amendment” quite literally means a correction or alteration, according to Webster’s dictionary. The constitution has undergone 27 amendments since its passage. These amendments have furthered our society, and yet one of the oldest flaws in the document has yet to be changed. 

Some Republican lawmakers erroneously point the blame at every other factor, except for their lack of effort to create change. 

Australia implemented strict gun laws after the 1996 mass shooting in Port Arthur and has experienced a sharp decrease in mass shootings since

The solution for reducing gun violence is viable. The decision of our officials to not pursue such is reckless. Furthermore, it is disrespectful for the president to point fingers and incite bickering instead of offering condolences to those who have lost friends, family members and teachers. 

And while the FBI has issued statements, the fact remains: “sorry” doesn't fix anything. Legislation does. 

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