“For Gun Control” vs. “Against Gun Violence”

By Helena Aytenfisu

What does the world think of when they hear “The United States of America”? One would hope they would think of wealth, opportunity, and individualism. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the U.S. name bears a heavy weight.

Mass shootings and daily gun violence plague the nation, leaving the American dream as a far away ideal. Many are quick to condemn these horrendous events, but we have seen a lack of action on the behalf of Congress. This sparks the question, should we be against gun violence or for gun control.

First, let’s clarify the difference. Those who are against gun violence span both aisles, and no one has any problems expressing their contempt for such atrocious actions. Those who are in favor of gun control believe that universal background check laws and stricter gun laws could help prevent these tragedies in the future. This dichotomy is not something that is solely specific to the issue of gun control. It is far easier to be against a universally bad thing than it is to be in favor of something, but how much progress can come from merely being against something? Being against gun violence is palatable: people won’t think you are an ideologue or radical, but is it helpful?

Current events would indicate that it is not, as it is this cycle of condemning these events, yet failing to take any action, that is leading this problem to persist. In a 2018 Gallup poll, 61% of Americans expressed that they are in favor of stricter gun laws, yet nothing has changed.

Inhale Exhale

By Claire Gelillo

Every day’s a new day

New horizon but the same fate

We the people

But we the weak

We the ones who can’t take the heat

We the ones who stand for the machine over the man

The man over the woman

The abuse with gun in hand

Face over body after body

After body

Aftermath

After the fact that we’re struggling just to stay intact

Then we take flight

We breathe and let it go

But we know

The bright light

Is just a reminder of all we failed

It’s the end of a tunnel that we can’t seem to escape

But the bones crack and break

Under pressure

We rise and we fall

The last breath in the high school hall

We inhale with no exhale

We feel the heat

We stand shoulder to shoulder

But what solution do we meet

We write the letters and cry the chants

But we fall at their feet

We beg for a chance we never had

And maybe we’re glad

Because what excuse do we have

We drank the last drop of hope

Last time we heard of mass destruction

Mass killing

Mass eruptions

Of the things we can’t control

And they call us bold

For saying that something’s wrong

But then hang up the phone

They put us down lock us up

Chain them up

Hands up

Until not a hand remains raised

And we boil with rage

Nobody left to stir the pot

But the cries remain

Ringing out into the night

Not a second to waste

But we breathe

Inhale Exhale

Another body on the ground