Gun violence solutions should not be a campaign strategy

While I respect all of the work Harris has done throughout her term as vice president, the timing of these initiatives being announced are concerning. |Angela Alvarez, PantherNOW

Kailey Krantz | Staff Writer

Gun violence has a devastating effect on our community and as politicians begin announcing their long-lasting policies that could stop it, our fears remain untouched. 

Disappointingly, the gun violence initiatives announced do nothing to quell the fears we have about gun violence.

On March 23, 2024 Vice President Kamala Harris visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a mass shooting occurred on Feb 14, 2018 and resulted in 17 deaths – mostly young students. There, she announced two gun reform initiatives that promise to slow down this epidemic.

One initiative is a “National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center” that would train local and state governments to implement red flag laws that temporarily remove guns from people who are deemed ‘violent.’

The temporality of these laws is frightening because all that person has to do is feign good behavior until they get their guns back and turn the other cheek to cause harm to themselves and others.

The second initiative announced was pushing the 29 states who don’t have red flag laws to adopt them and be put into effect.

Ironically, these laws were underused because of the lack of awareness and reluctance to enforce these laws, thus making their case for them less appealing. 

While I respect all of the work Harris has done throughout her term as vice president, the timing of these initiatives being announced are concerning. 

Up until now, the only other time the White House spoke about this tragedy and their plans to resolve gun violence was through a press statement on the sixth anniversary of the shooting.  

This is a superficial attempt to raise awareness about the tragedy. 

This statement doesn’t do much to give us hope for long-term legislation resolving gun violence in the community. Their words feel far removed from the gravitas of the shooting and feel like they had to put this statement to prevent backlash. 

Also why have no visits been planned beforehand or on the anniversary of the shooting to pay their respects? At least, there would be some attempt to connect with the parents who lost their children and had their families torn apart because of the shooting. 

While some initiatives could help resolve this issue, I fear this would become yet another broken promise made by a political party.

Every election year, politicians are scrambling to put policies, such as in 2020, where only 24% of Republican House voters wanted to make gun access restrictive, in place that would otherwise fall through the cracks or prove ineffective had they been placed during the rest of their terms. 

Political conversations around gun violence are no exception. 

This issue is brought up over and over again in every presidential debate for politicians to give a half-baked response to sway citizens to vote for them. 

It’s as if gun violence has been boiled down to nothing more than a political buzzword that is tossed up with other popular political topics such as abortion, the economy and civil rights. 

One of the reasons I found interesting as to why gun reform hasn’t been effective in our community is how the Democratic Party treats their Hispanic voters.

In elementary and secondary learning, students are being taught that Hispanic voters are one of the demographics that are commonly associated with the Democratic Party. 

This way of thinking can make Democrats believe they don’t have to do much in convincing Hispanic voters to vote for them because it’s a ‘predetermined’ demographic when that’s not the case anymore. 

On the contrary, more Hispanic voters living in Florida vote increasingly more conservative, bolstering their presence in the Republican Party, a party more willing to defend having assault rifles at their disposal because of the Second Amendment

We cannot let political ideologies blind us to the reality that having unregulated gun access isn’t dangerous for mentally unstable individuals and can harm innocent victims.

The hope is these gun violence initiatives do work in the long run, but as of now, politicians need to do better than announcing them at the last minute during an election year. 


The opinions presented on 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.

Be the first to comment on "Gun violence solutions should not be a campaign strategy"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.