Kristen Dragotto, Staff Writer

Oct. 27 marked the day as the biggest attack against the Jewish community in the United States. It also became 297th mass shooting to take place this year, according to Business Insider. News like this, seems like it is becoming more common in our daily lives. In the aftermath of disasters, we should look to one another and say this has got to stop. But will it? Because tragedies like this one keep happening and we have yet to see any real change take place. 11 more people just died, how many more will it take before we do something?

I understand this is a problem that does not have an easy fix, but there must be something we can do to decrease the number of incidents that take place every year. I find the topic of gun control to be one that gets heated very quickly. That conversation often leads to the discussion ending into two sides that oppose one another. It seems people often fall into one of two categories: guns are bad, let’s ban them or guns aren’t bad, people are, don’t take away my Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The issue with conversations like these is that you are incapable of getting anywhere. For those of use who fall in the middle it becomes very unclear into what category we fall into. Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooter, used four guns to commit this heinous act,  an AR-15 assault rifle and three Glock .357 handguns. According to the Pittsburgh KDKA article, Bowers did have a history of mental illness and was committed to a mental health intuition for being suicidal at one time; it still has not been made known to the public whether this was related to this incident.

It seems to be a more and more common theme we see in shootings like these where the shooter or gunman has some history with issues pertaining to mental health. Posing the question, is this where we start? Having this being part of the background checks when one buys a weapon? I understand that it would be a violation of privacy for some but that seems a small sacrifice if it means saving lives. In addition, changing the protocol for purchasing a gun at shows and keeping this protocol for rifles versus where most states have these only set in place for handguns.

There is also the question of how many guns one should be able to own. It was discovered Bowers owned 10 guns in total when the police did their investigation. Four found at the scene, three additional handguns and two rifles that were found in his residence and a shotgun found in his truck. While rifles and shotguns can used for hunting, how are we able to determine intent for the weapon at the time of purchase. The answer is we can’t, but by having more in-depth screening and background checks we might be able to better understand the person we give that weapon to.

Bowers did not give any red flags that would have prevented him from purchasing these guns. This tells me that there is something wrong with that system. I fully understand that sometimes perfectly sane people do horrific things, but I find it hard that in every shooting that has happened, the shooter is sane. We are one of few countries that find themselves in this predicament. Other countries that have stricter gun laws do not struggle with this issue like we do in the United States.

So, I beg my fellow Americans to stop fighting and using these situations for political gain. Instead come together and find a reasonable solution to this problem. Have the conversation where compromise can be had, that’s how issues like these get resolved. Otherwise, this will just keep happening.