People shouldn’t have to fear for their lives

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Imagine it is 9:30 Saturday morning. Shabbat. 

  You and your family are going to synagogue as you do each week. 

  However, this week is different. In addition to celebrating the Sabbath, the entire congregation is celebrating an even more special event, the gift of life as you witness a baby naming ceremony. 

  The doors burst open, a man that none knew raised his hands, not with prayer but with malice as he opens fire on the synagogue. No longer is the joyous day marked with the beauty of birth but with the red stain of the eleven worshippers who died. 

   This situation is no imagination for those who knew belonged to or knew people who attended the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

   One of my friends lived in Pittsburgh, in the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill and frequently attended the synagogue of the Tree of Life. Gun violence is closer to home than most would think. 

  Everyone has their own opinions on the topic of gun control, whether there should be restrictions, bans, or if it should be left alone. However, we must face the facts. In 2017, gun deaths reached their peak in the past 40 years, with 39,773 deaths that year alone. 

   If enforced correctly, more gun regulation laws would reduce the number of deaths by guns per year. This was proved by states such as Hawaii, which have some of the strongest gun laws in America. Not only would these laws restrict shooters but also deny accessibility to those with mental illnesses and attempting suicide. 

  This raises the question as to why United States suicide rates are incredibly high. Without the means to purchase these weapons not only would gun violence reduce but suicide rates, as alternative means, are harder.

  Many guns are purchased legally with appropriate background checks; however, these are the same guns doing the damage. Legally owned and purchase if nothing is done. Radicals on both sides of this movement must find their middle ground and create reasonable and just restrictions to keep the most violent weapons out of the hands of an average Joe. The presence of guns alone in any conflict causes the situation to become increasingly dangerous and violent.

  No longer should humans how to fear going to school or synagogue. For many it has now become second nature to identify all possible exit routes when entering a room. Generation Z is being born and raised into the peak of gun violence in the United States. 

   Rather than normalizing this culture and desensitizing the youth, it is important to create a generation of activists. 

  In local communities youth deal with supposed threats of school shooters and gun violence, even in Voorhees. Without any change, America and all the towns in encompasses subject itself to more years of turmoil and threat in guns are frequently stolen and sold on the black market or used by the criminals.

  According to the U. S. Department of Justice, “the vast majority of guns used in the commission of crimes were not purchased at gun shops or gun shows but were stolen, borrowed, or purchased on the black market.”

   Many adults already support a stricter universal background check, so why not enforce it?

  Despite the statistics, gun supporters are still opposed to restriction due to a multitude of reasons and additionally reject assault rifle restrictions. Many plead the second amendment an their right to bear arms. 

  In the 2008 Supreme Courts decision, the court found stated, the phrase “well regulated Militia” referred not to formally organized state or federal militias, but “the pool of “able bodied men” who were available…” 

   The pleas for self-defense are just, but it is unnecessary to possess assault-rifles as a means to protect someone. No civilian of any kind should be allowed to own military-grade weaponry. 

  Gun violence will not stop if guns are banned nor will it disappear our backyards.