This morning—at 10 in the morning, Pacific time—reports came into the LAPD about gunfire being heard in Boelter Hall at UCLA, a gun free campus.
Students who had been spending their last week of the quarter preparing and studying for finals the coming week, hid in fear of a potential mass shooting on their campus.
Two hours later, the campus was deemed safe and the lock-down on campus was lifted. Police reported that the shooting was an isolated incident, with two men killed in a small office in the engineering department. At this point, police are under the impression that the incident was a murder-suicide, a small contained incident.
The incident may have been small, but at what cost?
It seems as if we hear about mass shootings all the time in the United States. It has become a regular occurrence, more normal than abnormal.
In May alone, there were over 25 shootings reported in America. In 2015, there were over 355. It’s both sad and frustrating that this type of violence is allowed to occur in this country.
The worst part of it all—it’s not even shocking that they keep occurring.
Elizabeth Warren said: “We lose eight children and teenagers to gun violence every day. If a mysterious virus suddenly started killing eight of our children every day, America would mobilize teams of doctors and public health officials. We would move heaven and earth until we found a way to protect our children. But not with gun violence.”
The question at hand is, how many more shootings will it take before the American government takes a stance to end the gun violence in this country? Because clearly, up until this point, doing nothing has done nothing to stop gun violence.
It has become increasingly apparent that our government is not protecting the rights of many—rather, they are protecting the rights of few. It is up to us, the general population, to rise up and take a stance on this issue. By demanding for change from our politicians we can create a safer and more peaceful country for us all to live in.
It’s up to us to create the society we want to live in. Do we want one where violence is the new norm, or one where violence is a rarity among us?
America is supposed to be the land of the brave and the free, but how free are we if we cannot take a stance to stop gun violence around us?
We are all connected, and we need to start acting like it. We must embrace love and compassion for our fellow human beings, not the other way around.
It’s time to put the guns down.
It’s time to stop this violence.
Author: Alex McGinness
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Chris Radcliff