Protect Bodies, Not Bullets

America needs to prioritize people’s safety and not guns, or the cycle of mass shootings will never end.


Acadia Manley, with permission

An art piece by junior Acadia Manley raising awareness for school shootings with their dates and number of victims.

Amaya Turner, Editor-in-Chief

On May 24 news broke that another school shooting had occurred. This one was at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas; and was the cause of twenty-one lost lives, with nineteen of those being children aged 10 or below.

This is the latest of hundreds of other shootings; such as Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas. It comes a mere ten days after the Buffalo supermarket shooting in New York, a racially motivated attack against the Black community with ten dead.

“…The only way we’re going to be able to successfully address this is why we’re working together as Americans to create a more perfect union, because right now, our union is incredibly imperfect and deeply broken…”

— David Hogg

Social media outcry has once again raised the issue of gun control, as politicians from around the world, and people around the country, all come together to mourn and offer condolences to affected families.

But thoughts and prayers are not enough. Words of condolences do not help grieving parents holding tiny shoes that will never again be worn, or ensure supermarket visits do not come with the fear of death.

What is needed is to reduce the number of guns available to people, and to make it more difficult to obtain them. The country is in desperate need of gun control- a need that becomes more and more urgent with every buried coffin and new victim name.

The Gun Violence Archive has recorded 2022 as having 213 mass shootings and 17,196 national deaths from all manners of gun violence.

America has a major issue with gun related violence, and yet still there is protest over the idea of change. While the Second Amendment does guarantee a civilian’s right to carry, it was written in in 1791- only eight years after the end to the Revolutionary War. It was created in the wake of international war at a time where the most sophisticated guns were the likes of muskets and flintlock pistols, not a semi-automatic rifle.

A musket can fire around three effective rounds per minute.  Comparatively, an AR-15 style rifle, such as the one used at Robb Elementary, has a maximum effective rate of fire at forty-five rounds per minute. The constant evolution of gun technology does not sync with the static, unchanging words of a nearly 231 years old document

The idea of stricter gun control is not difficult or revolutionary, in fact, many other countries implemented similar laws decades ago.

Scotland passed the 1997 Firearms Act, which created heavy restrictions on hand gun ownership, after the Dunblane Primary School shooting. Sixteen children were killed. Gun violence peaked in 2005, and has been on the decline since.

Australia endured 35 fatalities with the Port Arthur shooting at a tourist site in 1996. This brought about the restriction of all types of guns through the National Firearms Agreement and within a year the government had bought back just over half a million firearms. Australia has had no mass shootings since 1996.

Scotland and Australia are just two examples- dozens of other countries have implemented stricter gun control and then witnessed mass shootings decline as result. Yet America continues to witness mass shootings, lament the tragedy, not pass more legislation, and then repeat the process when more lives are lost.

Calling these shootings “a tragedy” is more than fitting, but these tragedies will only continue if action is not taken to prevent them. It is not enough to offer thoughts and prayers, then repeat the cycle when another inevitable shooting occurs.

In an interview with CNN, Co-founder of the March for Our Lives organization and Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting survivor David Hogg stated, “The only way we’re going to be able to successfully address this is why we’re working together as Americans to create a more perfect union, because right now, our union is incredibly imperfect and deeply broken because we can’t protect our most valuable asset, which is our children.”

Change needs to happen fast. Every time a shooting occurs, people vow to never forget or let it happen again. How many more children must die before the laws are changed? Is being able to buy a gun for a few hundred dollars worth sitting back while the headlines declare a rising death toll and show images of grieving families?

Cecilia Vega, ABC News’ chief White House correspondent, shared via twitter a quote from Lydia Martinez Delgado, the aunt of Eva Mireles; a fourth grade teacher who was killed in the Uvalde shooting, “I’m furious that these shooting continue, these children are innocent, rifles should not be easily available to all.”

This sentiment is echoed by millions around the country. Mass shootings must not continue, the lives of people are infinitely more valuable than the ability to arm them.