“Enough is enough” is not enough

%E2%80%9CEnough+is+enough%E2%80%9D+is+not+enough

Graphic by Hannah Schmidt ’19

Since Jan. 1, 2018, it has been 321 days. Three hundred and thirteen days of waking up to seeing some notification on my phone about the newest pop-star drama, the latest viral video or a missed facetime call from my sister. But 308 of those days were spent waking up to news of yet another mass shooting in America.

One of the most recent, at The Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on Thursday, Nov. 8, killed 13 people.  

There’s a certain cycle that sets the precedent for reacting to  events like these. Flags are lowered and candles are lit. Signs are written and marches are marched. Tweets reading “enough is enough” are tweeted and retweeted by protesters alike.

But it’s not enough.

When I hear “several people dead,” “open fire” and “horrific scene,” I don’t even wince anymore. I don’t shed a tear and I don’t spend my day despairing over the tragedy from the day before. Mass shootings have become ingrained into my daily routine.

Much has been attempted and nothing has been done. Public action is not bringing about enough change, but a legislative response and the simple concept of bipartisan unity could solve this epidemic.

More than ever before, political parties are butting heads in nearly every setting. Whether it’s about healthcare, immigration reform, abortion rights, unemployment or climate change, Republicans and Democrats are about as similar as oil and water. On the topic of gun control, politicians are reluctant to notice that they share a common goal: preventing gun-related deaths in mass shootings. Political disagreements aside, both parties should work together to put an end to mass tragedies.

As citizens, we can do our part by voting in each election, ensuring that we elect politicians who make gun control a priority. By doing this, we can trust that our government will be doing everything in its power to strengthen background checks and ban bump stocks on semi-automatic weapons, taking just the first steps in this long process of developing safer communities.

Our leaders are relying on thoughts and prayers to wade through the over 1,000 people who have died at the hands of mass shootings. The only way any sort of progress can be made is if the pointing-fingers and the silly games that keep our nation divided are done away with. Crossing fingers will not do it. Nor will a temporary band-aid. This is about everyone working together regardless of political party, race or gender to save the lives of our citizens, our neighbors and our families.