Armstrong Williams (26543)
Armstrong Williams

Interpret it how you wish, but the veracious or apocryphal nature of the above statement (depending on how you view it) does not blur the fact that guns are out there, and even if they are restricted from being sold, there will always be a black market for purchase.

Recreational drugs of varying types are deemed illegal and unattainable via a legally permissible vehicle. However, drugs often end up in the hands of our most precious beings—children. This piece is not to lay the groundwork for an argument stating that various gun restrictions or controls should not be enforced, because it is clear that there are phenomenal (and somewhat obvious) ideas that ought to be initiated immediately, including (but not limited to) an age limit of 21 years old, a ban on bump stocks, universal background checks and the enhanced safety of school grounds.

The last notion seems to have gotten the media all kinds of upset. The president has proffered that arming up to 20 percent of “qualified” teaching personnel in any given school with firearms could prove to be a major deterrent for a potential shooter who is cowardly enough to prey on a vulnerable population. People will point to the fact that even a properly trained officer with a firearm did not do anything to prevent or mitigate the damage caused during the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Fla. (referring to school resource officer Scot Peterson, who has since resigned from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office). Others will allude to the disturbing fact that dozens of calls were made to the Sheriff’s Office regarding the Stoneman Douglas shooter, in addition to numerous warnings provided to the FBI in the months preceding the catastrophic event.

Will things change? Maybe, but maybe not. And that is a sad, sad truth that exemplifies the nature of American politics. There should be an affirmed commitment to the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, but does that necessarily exclude us from enacting policies and laws that are common-sense in nature and strongly align with constituents’ beliefs? An onlooker can make a “detached” and “objective” argument as to what would serve as the root cause(s) of disturbing scenarios that have plagued our nation for far too long—whether it be mental health concerns, gun control, video games, school safety, parental guidance, etc. But no matter the topic that you choose to focus on, the bottom line remains that lobbyists and interest groups have a chokehold on our election system—a chokehold that precludes the progress and momentum that our public so dearly desires.

Election reform is a core issue that affects a vast range of societal concerns, but it is often overlooked and passed over in favor of “sexier” or more entertaining and media-driven topics that tend to capture higher viewership ratings.

Let us not be tricked into believing there is a panacea that can solve all of our problems (past, current and future), because that is truly unrealistic and extremely ignorant. Nevertheless, digging deep into the underlying contributing factors that provide that foundation upon which other problems are cultivated, institutionalized and embedded is a crucial start toward making a society that we can all be proud of.