Our view: Still a violent society requiring change

Kent State Editors

Editor’s Note: This is the same Our View we ran in the Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, and Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, editions of The Kent Stater. The only difference we made is changing the lead from the shootings in Roanoke, Virginia, and Roseburg, Oregon to San Bernardino, California. We made the decision to run this editorial again because gun violence remains an issue in this country, and nothing has changed to address it.

At least 14 people were killed and 17 were wounded Wednesday in San Bernardino, California, at the Inland Regional Center, a facility that serves people with developmental disabilities.

In Savannah, Georgia on Wednesday, a gunman shot and killed a women and injured three men.

A man shot and killed three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood Friday.

According to a Washington Post report, there have been 355 mass shootings this year, which are defined as shootings with four or more victims. At the time of the last heavily covered mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Oct. 1, there had been 274 shootings. Violence is everywhere in our society, and it has been for most of our lives.

One of the most defining moments of our generation are the terrorist attacks on 9/11, when footage of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers was played over and over again.

Since then, we have had ColumbineVirginia TechChardonNewtownAuroraCharlestonRoanokeRoseburg and now San Bernardino – a list with a tragedy behind each name.

After each event, we all hear, “How many more times does this have to happen before something is changed?”

However, because our nation is so deeply politically divided when it comes to the issue of gun rights and gun control, nothing ever changes. 

We think there should be meaningful change from our politicians, with stricter requirements in place before a person can walk into a store and buy a gun. There should be mental health evaluations and background checks to determine the person is of sound mind to be purchasing a firearm. 

We need legal change and a willingness from our political leaders to make tough, possibly unpopular decisions, to prevent people from getting guns who should not have them and murdering innocent people.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of The Kent Stater editorial board.