Inside out: On terrorism at home


People stream in steadily throughout the day to pay their respects at the memorial site for victims of Wednesday’s mass shootings near the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

People stream in steadily throughout the day to pay their respects at the memorial site for victims of Wednesday’s mass shootings near the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

When I was in the ninth grade, 2012, the Sandy Hook shooting happened. Twenty first graders were murdered in their elementary school by an insane person with a gun. These children not only had families who loved them; these children represented the future of America. When the literal future of America was killed back in 2012, I thought that surely, surely, there would be a bipartisan agreement that gun control laws needed to be passed. Alas, fourteen people died in a mass shooting today, Wednesday. Less than a week ago a man stormed a Planned Parenthood and killed three people.

I don’t understand the difference between action taken when terrorists attack the US and actions taken when US Citizens murder each other.

The 9/11 death toll was 2977. Afterwards, the USA Patriot Act was passed which allowed the US government to search people’s homes, businesses, and personal information without warrant in order to track potential terrorists. This act contradicted the Fourth Amendment which protects US citizens from unwarranted searches and seizures. This was one of many laws immediately passed following 9/11 because of the fear of terrorists. Our military took action, we passed laws, we completely revolutionized safety protocol on planes, and the government ignored a constitutional amendment in order to protect the people of America from terrorists.

In 2015 alone, 12,209 people have died at the hands of gun violence on US soil. I am not minimizing the horror that was 9/11. Afterwards the government rallied its citizen and protected them, but now, when 12,209 people die from gun violence inflicted by US Citizens, nothing is done, and the second amendment is incredulously supported by many conservatives.

The Tea Party is a group of right-wing conservatives that pride themselves in supporting the Second Amendment, which protects citizens’ right to bear arms. Here is the mission of the Tea Party: “Our mission is to bring awareness to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty or domestic tranquility of our beloved nation, The United States of America.” How is the Tea Party supporting the security and tranquility of the United States when more US Citizens have died at the hands of guns shot by citizens in 2015 alone than 9/11 (2,977) the Iraq war (4,995), and the Afghanistan war (2,372) combined?

Tea-partier and presidential candidate Ted Cruz (who has 16% of Republican support) proposed a bill allowing the government to strip the citizenship of “suspected terrorists.” He has obviously spent a lot of time thinking about ways to take down terrorists, which is understandable.  What isn’t understandable is that he still avidly supports gun rights, It [the second amendment] is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny — for the protection of liberty.” From 9/11 in 2001 to 2013, 406,496 people have died from gun violence in America, while 3,380 people have died from terrorism in the United States. Deaths from terrorism make up .83% of the deaths of US Citizens from gun violence.  

Graph courtesy of CNN
Graph courtesy of CNN

How can the Tea Party say that they bring awareness to ANY issue which challenges the security of the United States when they obstinately refuse to recognize that US citizens have been shot in churches, schools, movie theaters, and health care centers? Why does the Tea Party make great strides to hinder terrorism spreading to the US while terrorism within the US, in the form of domestic gun violence, runs rampant?

Donald Trump said that if a Parisian civilian was carrying a gun during the recent attacks they could have killed the gunman and saved people. While this argument could easily inspire its own lengthy column (the civilians would have been shooting into a dark, crowded theater, hoping to kill the attackers, this wouldn’t have ever worked…) Trump essentially proved the Conservative party’s major flaw in regards to gun rights. Gun rights advocates say that citizens should  carry guns to protect themselves from other people abusing the Second Amendment. Trump says we need to protect ourselves from our own policy. This proves that the Second Amendment is null.

Nothing has been done to limit gun violence in the United States. The unbelievable partisan nature of gun laws is causing US civilians to die in their places of worship and education. I won’t tolerate arguments for gun rights any longer because they are invalid. The Second Amendment is outdated and is killing more US citizens than terrorism, the Afghanistan and Iraq war combined. Gun control is eons overdue.