Gun Violence in the U.S. Needs to be Better Addressed

Early last Saturday, Jan. 20, Wake Forest experienced something that is unfortunately not all that uncommon in the U.S. — a school shooting.

Najee Ali Baker, a student from Winston Salem State University (WSSU), was shot on Wake Forest’s campus and passed away soon after.

This tragedy is something that has been normalized in recent years, and in 2018 alone (as of Jan. 24), there have been 11 school shootings, one  shooting every other day. Even more alarming is that the shooting at a Kentucky school on Tuesday, Jan. 23 was the 50th of the academic year.

What happened on our campus may seem like a rarity to us, but the reality is that this happens all of the time.

Now that our community has become part of the discussion surrounding this grave issue of gun violence, it has become, even more so than before, our responsibility to question the problem, and to further question why it seems to be growing.

A recent New York Times article reported that since 2013, there has been approximately one school shooting every week. This fact should be as startling as it is heartbreaking.

The editorial board of the Old Gold & Black believes that gun violence needs to be stopped, and that the best way for us to contribute to stopping it is to pay attention and talk about it. What happened here, in Kentucky, in Seattle, in New Orleans, in Iowa, in California and in Texas needs to be addressed.

The U.S. is often referred to as an innovator, as a leader, but when it comes to gun control, the U.S. has not earned those titles. According to the New York Times, in the U.S., Americans are killed by other Americans with guns more often than in any other countries — gun violence is significantly worse here.

In the U.K., 50 to 60 people are killed yearly by guns, but in 2011, 11,000 Americans were killed, not including those by suicide, according to the New York Times.

The important takeaway here is to keep discussing it. It may be hard or uncomfortable, but at the end of the day if we’re not talking about gun violence and what is happening across the country, no solution will be found.

We don’t know what the best solution to gun violence is, but something close to it is out there. If we don’t address the issues and all come together, conservatives and liberals alike, our country will continue to face tragedy, loss of life and loss of liberty.

Gun control shouldn’t be a partisan issue; the safety of our nation should not be partisan. We should all work together to find the best way to ensure that every person is safe.

Students should not have to fear going to school, and Americans should never fear leaving their homes.

  • gdogs

    I recommend that the editorial staff start actually looking up stats (rather than making them up).

    “Americans are killed by Americans with guns more often than in any other country — gun violence is significantly worse here.”

    Let’s see, Mexico had 23k homicides in 2016. Syria had 60k. Oh wait, you must not have been counting sh1th0le countries.

    • wfuogb

      Thank you for your comment. Just to clarify, we got those numbers from a recent post by the New York Times

      • Farmer Don

        Got the numbers from the New York Times so everything is OK? The New York Times is notorious for publishing slanted and inaccurate statistics and “studies” to support their views.

        If you remove the cities in the states with the most restrictive gun laws, the US ranks very low in gun violence. Guess which party has controlled these states and cities for years.

        Amusing that advocates of draconian gun laws express a concern that things will turn into Dodge City. Actually there was very little gun violence in Dodge City because almost everybody had a gun. Don’t get your history from movie and TV fiction and anecdotes.

        Like most college papers, OG&B parrots the leftist/statist line.

        • Tom Daly

          Farmer Dan, you could look this up by you did not.

          States with restrictive gun control laws have a lower rate of death – even if then tend to be the states with large cities. CDC 2016 Guess which party has control of which state?

          Lowest death rates
          Massachusetts 3.4
          Rhode Island 4.1
          New York 4.4
          Hawaii 4.5
          Connecticut 4.6
          New Jersey 5.5
          Minnesota 7.6
          California 7.9
          Maine 8.3
          Washington 9.0

          Highest death rates
          West Virginia 17.5
          South Carolina 17.7
          Arkansas 17.8
          New Mexico 18.1
          Montana 18.9
          Missouri 19.0
          Oklahoma 19.6
          Mississippi 19.9
          Louisiana 21.3
          Alabama 21.5
          Alaska 23.3

    • Tom Daly

      In 2016, there were more than 38,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. —
      4,000 more than 2015, the new CDC report on preliminary mortality data
      shows. Data not out for 2017 yet. Yes it is smaller than those countries having a civil war.

  • tom2

    Too many talking points to cover them all so I’ll just list the now famous “…11 school shootings, one shooting every other day….”

    A 31-year-old killed himself in the parking lot of his former elementary school.
    Shots were fired at a High School. No one was hit or hurt.
    A pellet gun shattered window a school bus window. No one was injured.
    A 14-year-old student killed himself in the bathroom of an elementary school.
    A bullet hit a university building, No one was injured.
    A college student accidentally fired while training with an instructor. No one hurt.
    Reports of gunfire on a campus. A bullet entered a dormitory but no one hit.
    A football player was shot and killed at Wake Forest University.
    A 16-year-old shot and injured a student.
    Someone fired at a students in front of school. One boy was injured.
    A 15-year-old high school student shot and killed two and injured 17 others.

    This claim seems deceptive at best. With only three murders out of 14,000 schools and 71 million students, it seems pretty safe. Perhaps Wake Forest ought to invest in a course that shows students how to vet their claims before they embarrass themselves again.

    • Tom Daly

      How many student were killed in Europe in the same time frame?

      • tom2

        I’ll take that to mean you don’t wish to discuss leftist propaganda and lies anymore.

  • Tom Daly

    More Americans have been killed by guns domestically since the end of WWII than in all the wars combined.

    Polls show most Americans, even Republicans and NRA members, want devices that increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic weapons to be banned.

    Statistics show that states with stricter gun laws have fewer deaths by guns.

    The US rate of death by guns in the US is much higher compared to European countries and other English speaking countries, all wealthy and stable democracies.

    In the last decade If you have a gun in your house you are much more like to die by a family member or acquaintance than by a terrorist.

    Over 80% of the guns in this country are owned by a small percentage of the people,

    But there is hope, the percentage of households without guns keeps on growing.

    • dft

      “In the last decade If you have a gun in your house you are much more like to die by a family member or acquaintance than by a terrorist.”

      It is also true that in the last decade if you do NOT have a gun in your house you are much more likely to die by a family member or acquaintance than by a terrorist.

      Both your stat and mine only show that relatively few die from terrorist attacks compared to the number who die from attacks by people with whom they have previously interacted.

      • Farmer Don

        Just shows that you need to evaluate your family and associates, not necessarily that it would not be a good idea to have a gun.
        Home invaders pay no attention to gun laws.

  • Tom Daly

    Two of the leading Senators receiving NRA “contributions”

    Richard Burr
    $6,986,620

    Thom Tillis
    $4,418,012

    17 dead in Fla school shooting

    One school shouting every 60 hours in US this year.