Mariantonia Mejia | Staff Writer
As a US citizen, I already live with a sense of fear. Any open area feels like a shooting range. With House Bill 543, a new legislation allowing permitless carry of firearms, any regular day may very well be my last.
Though the exact number is disputed, between 143 and 170 mass shootings occured at the time of this writing. 254 people have died as a result.
Completely ignoring these statistics, and general lack of regard for human life, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 543. This allows Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a permit, going into effect July 1, 2023.
He signed it a week after the March Covenant School shooting in Nashville, in which six people died as a result.
Disturbingly, gun-rights activists are aiming for even looser restrictions and advocating for open carry, claiming DeSantis isn’t doing enough. Scarier still, DeSantis supports the idea, rousing concerns that even those with a history of violence are free reign to own and brandish their weapons openly.
It takes a very deep sense of depravity to turn a blind eye to innocent people killed senselessly over a fixable problem. All while continuing to advocate for something that will only make the problem worse.
We’re taught to view this excessive display of violence as normal, forgetting that we’re the only country in the world regularly allowing mass shootings without change.
This problem is getting worse, as gun violence deaths rose 22% from 2019 to 2022. Unfortunately, this ties to gun ownership rising as well. The mass hysteria and fear mongering perpetrated by the conservative gun-owning crowd only worsens the issue.
As a woman, these laws terrify me. Now, not only can any man assault me at any moment, but that situation could potentially turn deadly.
Every month in the US, 70 women on average are shot and killed by their romantic or intimate partner. With gun laws becoming increasingly lax, this number can skyrocket.
Further, as a student, I’m very afraid of the unique position I’m in every time I step foot on campus. Because schools are so often the targets of mass shootings, it’s difficult not to assume the worst at the slightest sign of danger on campus.
Gun zealots insist that owning guns keeps the population safe. However, look at the facts. Age-adjusted homicides caused by gun violence are 13 times that of France and 22 times that of the European Union. These only include purposeful killings done with guns.
It’s laughable, looking at these numbers alone, to say that easy access to firearms gives us any protection. All of these other countries, with stricter gun laws, are clearly safer than the US in terms of gun violence.
Those who advocate for guns must stop pretending this issue will help us, when it clearly won’t.
Guns are killing your friends and family, and Florida is the open shooting range.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
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