OPINION: Another day, another mass shooting in America

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According to The Gun Violence Archive (GVA), there have been 147 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2021. Six of those shootings took place in Indiana. That is 4% of the mass shootings in the United States this year and it is only April. The ones included in this count are only the ones that fit the criteria set by the GVA as said on their website. 

“Mass Shootings are, for the most part, an American phenomenon. While they are generally grouped together as one type of incident they are several with the foundation definition being that they have a minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter who may also have been killed or injured in the incident.”

Gun Stats for Indiana 2021

Date Location Killed Injured
4/16/21 Indianapolis, FedEx Facility 9 5
3/15/21 Indianapolis, Northside 1 4
3/13/21 Indianapolis 4 1
2/28/21 East Chicago, Indiana 0 4
2/13/21 Indianapolis 0 4
1/24/21 Indianapolis 6 1
TOTALS 20 19

After the latest mass shooting that took place Thursday night at the Indianapolis FedEx facility where nine people died, including the shooter who took their own life, and six more were reported as injured, Indianapolis City-County councilor Ali Brown released a statement encouraging state legislators to take action to prevent more mass shootings in Indiana. 

"It would be absolutely coldhearted of House Speaker Todd Huston, Senate President Rodric Bray, and Governor Eric Holcomb if they failed to address gun violence as the state is currently in session and able to find a solution to this problem," Brown said in their statement. "The conversation will be tough, but we must get a firm grip of the situation and the collective epidemic — and if that means passing background check legislation, banning automatic rifles, and advocating for other common-sense gun control measures, let’s get that done immediately."

Oftentimes, in a red state such as Indiana, conservatives and right-wing citizens get riled up when the topic of gun control is brought up. There is no denying that the second amendment of our constitution guarantees the right for American citizens to bear arms, however, the same amendment does not say anything about restricting it for the safety of our citizens.

Americans have the right to bear arms, but just like anything else, there must be lines drawn at a time of crisis, and the way gun violence has escalated in this country and in this state in recent years more than constitutes a crisis.

The founding fathers of this country could have never imagined the destruction firearms would be capable of today, and if they were, it probably would not have been something they would have prioritized guaranteeing to every citizen. Mass shootings were not a problem in 1789, but they are in 2021 and they have been since 2011. 

All you have to do is aim the weapon and pull a trigger and you can take someone’s life in less than a second. The average American does not need that much power, or the power to take multiple people’s lives in a matter of seconds with an assault rifle.

If a citizen wants to own a gun to protect themselves and their family, by all means, they have the right, however, does the average citizen need an automatic weapon that fires multiple rounds, with more firepower than the weapon even the average police officer carries? 

Firearms as declared in our constitution are for self-defense. Not intimidation, not to threaten, not to murder, but to defend yourself when you are unable to defend yourself otherwise. Guns are not the answer to violence, they are the main cause. They are the problem. 

No one has the power to stop a bullet. So it is time for our government to step in and prioritize preventing the wrong people from firing a bullet or often several rounds of bullets. 

If someone is unwilling to sacrifice their assault rifle or automatic weapon for the safety of humanity, perhaps they should not own one at all because they do not own it for the right reasons if they feel threatened by the government prioritizing public safety.

The lives lost to gun violence are not simply statistics, they are human beings. They were family members, children, students, coworkers, friends, neighbors and community members. It is not about you and your guns, it is about them, their families and the irreplaceable loss they have endured, a loss no one should have to endure.

Gun control is not about taking away guns from law-abiding citizens, it is about protecting all citizens and ensuring that no more lives are lost to senseless gun violence. 

Contact our state legislators and Governor Holcomb to request action today.

Governor Holcomb’s contact information http://ai.org/gov/2752.htm

Indiana House of Representatives at (317) 232-9600, (800) 382-9842 , (800) 382-9842. Contact your Indiana State Senator at (317) 232-9400, (800) 382-9467 or through Legislators web site regarding state government issues.

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