The Problem with Debates on Gun Violence

Saurish Srivastava / July 04, 2022

5 min read–––

Just this morning, Americans in Highland Park suffered a horrific act of gun violence – a shooter perked on top of a roof fired into a Fourth of July parade, killing six and injuring dozens others. If you would like to read more into this, check out this live (at the time of writing) New York Times article.

My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this heartless tragedy. I’ve written in the past about how these thoughts and prayers don’t do anything, but what else can I do? What can you do? Most youth are asking the same questions, without having any answer, instilling a mindset of pessimism on social issues. Even when we try, we're shut down by the opposition, who seems to avoid logic on emotions.

Guns are the epitome of this. I will never understand the logic of stopping gun violence by having more guns. What happens when you fight fire with fire? Does anything happen? No. You simply create a larger fire. So, let me get this straight: if fighting fire with fire makes a bigger fire, giving more guns to citizens is going to simply stop gun violence? Obviously not. There is a fallacy within this logic and anyone who says the answer to gun violence is to give more citizens guns, is simply wrong.

An art piece I found online representing many individuals’ feelings on the “system”
An art piece I found online representing many individuals’ feelings on the “system”

These discussions always end up getting really heated, because there is an intense emotional response to the topic. There is a large population of individuals who love the (outdated) piece of work we call the Constitution of the United States. And by the Second Amendment, we, as Americans, have a right to “bear arms.” So, any attempt at taking that away in any way, shape, or form, has (generally) Republicans whining about their “rights.” And this is precisely the problem: emotions. Admittedly, there are emotions on both sides of the equation, but what Republicans are unable to understand, is that it could very well be a loved one that is next: have a gun, but if you’re not on surveillance nonstop, you wouldn’t be able to stop anything. And this is why I think Ted Cruz is an idiot, when he says that we should give teachers guns – like no, their job is to educate us, it’s society’s job to protect us.

But at some point, the discussion needs to change. It’s no longer about “our rights” – I mean very clearly the Constitution does not care about women’s rights – but it’s about safety. It is unfathomable to me that life can be taken away so easily. And as a student, someone who is struggling right now in the early stages of life, to even imagine that someone can have their entire life just taken away with just a shot, brings me to tears. No one deserves it. We’re all just trying to live and make our impact on this Earth. A life is so much more than its prenatal development stages – a life is that which takes place after one is born. And again, I’ve struck another political issue, just in trying to show how safety is what should govern us all now. It is not about what some document written in the late 1700s says, but it’s about what a modern society should be able to treat its citizens as.

So, the question we need to ask now, is what is our future going to look like? What do I want my future to look like? And how can I get my future to look like that? These are all essential questions now, because America is changing – and it seems to be going into the past.