Government officials are elected to represent the public, on good faith that they will listen to their constituents. Yet, if so many Americans believe more should be done, why hasnít Congress done anything? Will the public take action?
Itís the same plot we have sadly become familiar with as Americans. Peopleís lives are taken too soon, communities are left trying to put back together a picture that has missing pieces and another group of childrenís innocence has been replaced with a nightmare that may haunt them their whole lives. The school shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida last month is undeniably devastating.
Media, politicians and anyone who has access to a social platform all have opinions about whatís to blame Ė guns, mental illness, violence on TV. While we all can agree this tragedy shouldnít have taken place, how to prevent it from occurring again is murkier. The typical questions roll out one after one: Is it time to remove all the guns? Do we need to provide better mental health services? Are automatic weapons really covered under the 2nd amendment? Should it be harder to get guns? Should more people carry guns?
We are inundated with many different answers to these, and similar questions, from conservatives and liberals, yet there has been surprisingly little action. A graphic published by New York Times outlines the few preventative steps that Congress has taken over the five years since Sandy Hook in 2013. (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/15/opinion/congress-gun-progress.html). The lack of action is frustrating and as there are more and more instances of innocent people losing their lives, we are left questioning if anything will ever change.
But, we live in a democracy, a government that is supposed to represent the people. If Congress has done little, maybe it is because there is so much disagreement among Americans or maybe Americans just donít want change. Maybe the frustration is wrongly placed on Congress and maybe our representatives just have a better understanding of what Americans want.
Most Americans think owning a gun is an individual right.
Most believe itís too easy to buy a gun.
A little over half of Americans with a gun in their household support a ban on assault weapons.
Most people do not think that arming teachers is the best way to reduce gun violence in schools.
Congress should be doing something.
Government officials are elected to represent the public, on good faith that they will listen to their constituents. Yet, if so many Americans believe more should be done, why hasnít Congress done anything? Why are conversations continuously revolving around what politicians want, what the National Rifle Association wants, or what Democrats or Republicans or Independents want and not what Americans want?
There are some solutions Americans donít agree on, but many of us share similar ideas on progress. Congress, regardless of where you stand on this issue, please listen to Americans. We want you to do more. And Americans, please hold government officials accountable. Take action and demand that your voices are heard: speak out when you are ignored and vote for those who will listen and represent you.