Is this America’s normal?


It seems the light at the end of the tunnel is finally visible. The number of COVID-19
cases and related deaths is on a steady fall, and vaccines are out and being administered at promising rates. An actual Summer this year seems plausible. The dark pandemic clouds are finally shifting and America can finally return to normalcy. However, it seems this imminent return to a mask-free, unrestricted life comes with a return to the dark side of the normal as well.

It had been a while since reports of a mass shooting flooded headlines across the country. In the midst of all of the other darkness, at least this one piece of dreadful news had been missing from the roster, that is until it wasn’t.

On March 16, 2021, an unfortunately familiar headline was once again circulating, another mass shooting. On that fateful day, in Atlanta, Georgia, Robert Aaron Long went on a shooting spree that would take the lives of eight people who were simply going about their day.

One week later, news of another devastating shooting rocked the nation, one that left 10 people dead, most of whom simply wanted to make a purchase at the supermarket. They couldn’t have expected it to be the day Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa would decide to use his gun to end their lives.

According to CNN,, unknown to most, five more mass shootings occurred within that same week. These didn’t gather as much attention, possibly due to the fact that there were barely any casualties.

In the case of Alissa, one could say that those deaths, and the hurt and pain left in their wake, were preventable. It was reported that Alissa had not just a history of rage and delusions but an assault charge as well. Given these facts, one can’t help but wonder why he was able to access such a dangerous weapon. The purchase and use of guns in the United States is still so heavily unregulated and so many innocent lives are affected by this fact.

There is and has never been a reason that a civilian would have access to such a
dangerous weapon and this fact is proven time and time again. Too many people are losing their lives and loved ones to irresponsible governance.

The Las Vegas festival shooting in 2017 is the deadliest mass shooting in recent
American history and a prime example of the dangers of carelessness within the system. Stephen Paddock was able to kill scores of people and injure hundreds more because of how easy it was to purchase bump stocks.

According to , “ A bump stock modifies a semi-automatic weapon so that it can shoot in rapid succession, mimicking automatic fire.” Such an item should never have been available to civilians in the first place, and still it took over a year for these deadly items to be made illegal for civilian use after the Vegas incident. However, semi-automatic rifles, which the bump stocks were attached to are still readily available.

The common variable in the majority of nationally covered mass shootings in the US has been an assault rifle of some kind. It begs the question, how far does a shooter have to go before enough is enough? Will there have to be another Vegas style massacre before the raging need for gun control is acknowledged?