Our view: Still a violent society requiring change

KS Editors

Editor’s Note: This is the same Our View we ran in the Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, edition of The Kent Stater. The only difference we made is changing the lead from the shooting in Roanoke, Virginia, to Roseburg, Oregon. 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.

Ten people were killed and at least seven were wounded in a shooting at Umpqua Community College, a rural campus in Roseburg, Oregon.

According to a Washington Post report, there have been 274 mass shootings this year, which are defined as shootings with four or more victims. 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 TechChardonNewtownAuroraCharleston, Roanoke and now Roseburg – 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.