On Thursday at 9am, the city I love so dear had a tragedy that we all knew was inevitable. According to many sources the Fifth Third shooting is not the most tragic shooting that Cincinnati has witnessed in the last five years. Before Thursday it was a shooting that happened in 2016. Officers that responded to the shooting had told the public that the shooter had enough ammunition on him to kill over 100 people, however he only took the lives of three, injuring two.
That morning Brandon had gotten off of work, to pick me up at home and take me to school. Being a night shift worker on Walnut Street, he dropped me off and went to bed. Having no idea what happened, moments after he left his job… which is right next to the Fifth Third building. All of a sudden, I had family and friends blowing up my phone asking if Brandon was alright. For a moment as we sat in class watching as the updates came pouring in, I had forgotten that he was at home, safe, and as mentioned, had no idea that the shooting even occurred. It wasn’t until the sixth or seventh message that I came back to reality and told myself, “he’s fine, he’s fine, we are fine.” However, his coworkers crossed my mind, and what would happen when he would go into work on Sunday also crossed my mind. That Downtown Cincinnati would need time to heal and recover.
Over the weekend, Brandon and I watched the updates that happened. The shooter was able to walk around Fountain Square for an hour, drink coffee, holding a black bag around his shoulders, and nobody questioned it. Nobody stopped to question a man, drinking coffee, holding a gun in a black bag. As a society, are we that oblivious?
It is events like this that we, as a society, bring up gun control. Everyone has an opinion, anyone who says that they don’t is a liar. Many times, when gun control is brought up people hear the same things over and over again, “I’m an American and I want to keep my guns” or “Guns kill people and this is an epidemic”. Both of these are so broad that it then becomes conservative versus liberals. And while this is happening we begin to point fingers, instead of listening to one another and realizing that the overall issue, is that we as a society aren’t educated enough about mental health and actual gun control.
My first argument is that when the constitution was written, the guns or weapons we have now, weren’t what they were. Also, the whole point of owning guns was to protect you from the government. That being said, the guns that were accessible to those when the constitution was written, was not an automatic gun that could harm a mass amount of people.
My second argument is that accessing a gun is way too easy. Anybody with a good fake ID or over the age of 18 can access a gun, by going to a shop that sells them. The background check, is a 24 hour background check (if that) that just makes sure that you aren’t a felon. That’s not enough. I am definitely for better gun control, and no that does not mean I want to take away everyone’s guns and have everyone sit around a friendship circle talking about love. What that means to me, is that I believe that it should be a week’s process in order to get a gun. Step one would be having a doctor verify that you are mentally stable enough to own weapons, next would be a background check that would verify that you do not have any domestic violence charges, no psychiatric ward history, and/or felony charges. On top of that, upon purchasing a gun, you must show that you have gone through the proper training, including a max amount of time in a shooting range. When you finally are able to pass all of that and you purchase your gun, they should give a recommendation list, that includes recommended safes or vaults for you to keep your gun in. That being said, I also believe that if you keep your gun in an unsafe place, and another person uses your gun to harm someone, then you are also responsible for what that person does. A bit over extreme? That’s what we do for getting our license… think about all of the steps you have to go through to get your driver’s license. Getting a gun should be that hard, if not harder.
My third and last argument, is that people do not view mental health as an issue. Did you know that 1 in 5 adults have a mental health condition. That’s about forty-three million Americans. On top of that, half of that population has some sort of substance abuse disorder. In almost every mass shooting case in the past three years, it has been linked to some sort of mental illness. Shouldn’t we do more than judge? In this day in age, it’s hard to go the doctors when you have flu symptoms, because it could cost you an arm and a leg… let alone get a referral from a doctor to see a physiatrist. Also, take it from someone who has been in counseling since the age of six, it’s very hard to find a counselor, or physiatrist, who treats you like human being. In the past two years I have been through three different counselors, because each one treated me like I was crazier than I actually was. Finding a counselor that you can trust can be very overwhelming. Luckily for me, I have relatively decent health insurance, but for someone who isn’t like me their insurance company might clear their bank account.
Just something to think about with all of the chaos within this world. As always I want my reader to be able to enlighten me with their opinion. I believe that instead of judging everyone’s opinion, we can find knowledge through it. Please let me know what your mental health or gun control opinions are.