Our view: A violent society requiring change

KS Editors

Summary: Mass shootings have become commonplace in our society, and our generation has become numb to the shock and tragedy of an event like murders on live television. Our politicians need to make tough decisions for meaningful gun violence change.

Alison Parker and Adam Ward, two journalists with television station WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, were shot and killed Wednesday on live television by a disgruntled former employee. 

Although the murders were deplorable and horrific, many people watched the video or saw the still photos without a second thought. Newspapers, like the New York Daily News, ran the photos on their front pages.

According to a Washington Post report, there have been 247 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 Columbine, Virginia Tech, Chardon, Newtown, Aurora, Charleston and now Roanoke – 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 divided politically 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 victims.

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