Thousands of protesters, led by survivors of last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, congregated at the Florida State Capitol building Wednesday. Their message: Never again. Never again will a murderer purchase a gun easily. Never again will a school be riddled by a mass shooting. The movement, identified on social media through the hashtag #neveragain, has also galvanized students around the US.
The shooting rampage on February 14, in which a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 students and educators with an AR-15 rifle, has revived the urgency of a perennial question: Why can't the country establish sensible gun control?
If we look back in history, the US was founded on the use of firearms. The right to gun ownership is regulated by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Opponents of gun control argue that the Constitution guarantees them the absolute right to own guns. However, the situation of the US now is different from that of more than 200 years ago when protection of gun ownership was written into the law.
There is an urgent need for the US to impose harsh restrictions on gun purchases nowadays. The US has witnessed mad proliferation of guns and rampant gun violence. It's estimated that civilians in the US own about 300 million guns, enough for every adult in the US. There are more mass shootings in the US than in any other country in the world. According to CNN, a 2016 study looked at 292 incidents in which four or more people were killed, finding 90 of them occurred in the US.
The US has no other choice but to adopt gun control. The right of life is the most fundamental human rights. The right to bear arms cannot overpower the individual's right to live.
Washington has been pointing an accusing finger at other countries over human rights issue. However, more Americans have been killed by gunfire in the country than American soldiers being killed in all US wars. It's inhumane for the US, which boasts about its human rights record, to turn a blind eye to gun violence, snub increasing calls for gun control and risk more innocent lives.
The US will have to adopt gun control in the future. It's better to decide sooner rather than later. Gun ownership in China is strictly regulated, which helps reduce gun-related crimes and deaths. The US should learn from China and genuinely protect human rights. If the US does not control its guns, problems caused by firearms in the foreseeable future will continue plaguing US society.