OPINION: SCOTUS, Congress puts lives at risk

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By John Michael Guerrero

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade on June 24, ending 49 years of federally protected abortion rights for people. Yet, gun violence continues to rise steeply within the United States.

The holiday proved to be yet another chance for even more innocent lives to be lost following various shootings during Independence Day celebrations last month in California, Illinois, Massachusetts and Virginia. This would continue to be followed by an ongoing string of  shootings across the nation. The most recent incidents being various shootings and robberies at half a dozen 7-Elevens across Southern California. According to Pew Research, gun violence has risen from roughly seven active shootings in the early 2000 years to at least 30 active shootings per year. Regardless of political standing, if the Supreme Court wanted to protect lives, it would have tackled a more pressing issue within the country.

As a college student, it is scary to think someone can easily access an open campus and open fire on students, faculty and bystanders. Rather than sending condolences to those affected by the recent Uvalde mass shooting or teaching children and faculty to hide during active shootings, measures should be placed now to restrict civilian access to high-grade firearms.

Changing access to high-power firearms is not aimed at banning gun access overall. Rather, it is to restrict civilians from accessing firearms that can cause massive damage and harm to others. Civilians having access to high-grade weapons seems unreasonable for personal protection.

There should also be a way to assess if someone is mentally stable enough to obtain a firearm to avoid giving access to someone who may be suicidal or depressed. If they are found to be in a safe mindset, the owner should also have a safe place to store the weapon. Many countries worldwide have strict gun laws to protect their citizens, yet America does not despite the never-ending mass shootings.

By increasing gun safety, gun violence will finally take a dip in the following years.

In stark contrast, abortion rights may be considered significant, but a further discussion needs to be held to help establish a rigid abortion process. If Republicans cared so much about protecting lives, they should have set aside their pride and looked for a way to help tackle gun violence — in order to protect lives. Similarly, Democrats had equal opportunity to push for a way to protect people, yet they continue to use the issue of Second Amendment rights as political leverage within the House.

Politics in America has shifted from a focus on representing people and underrepresented groups, to a game of who has more leverage over the other.

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