The shooting at a high school in Oregon has become the 74th school that has been associated with gun violence since Sandy Hook in December 2012. The need for strict gun laws has never been more of an issue in America. The availability of guns has meant that students are able to purchase and use these weapons with ill intentions.

The backing that many gun-wielding Americans opt for is the Second Amendment; an Amendment that protects the right to keep and bear arms. This amendment should not supersede the right to a life, the irony that comes to pro-gun wielders from the assumption that, having a weapon ensures ‘protection’ and by taking guns away it becomes a violation of their constitutional right. This was a constitution that was drawn up in 1787, which validated the right to bear arms as a form of protection against the Native Americans. This is no longer a threat to American society, and as such the need to acquire guns should not be a part of everyday life, as the widespread violence it creates that predominantly targets students and children, is evident that this should no longer be classed as a ‘right’. The policy of ‘gun-free’ zones is ultimately failing Americans, as most mass shootings occur on a campus or school grounds. The NRA and Congress need to impose stricter restrictions on the accessibility of guns. As mass shootings, which were something that only happened in extreme cases are now becoming a part of everyday life. As The Onion wrote, “ ‘No way to prevent this’, Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”

The events in Oregon echoed the need for mental health education, as the past shooters were unstable, and thought by shooting others it would make their own lives better. This presents the major holes in US democracy, as the increase in mass shootings and the lack of mental health care are the areas they are not paying into. In essence, mass shooting has become a way in which people are trying to gain a ‘better life’ by taking away someone else’s.  The debate on whether America needs an overhaul on mental health was specifically brought forward by the shootings on a college campus in Santa Barbara. The 22 year-old who shot six people to death, showed signs of mental instability. Through reforming mental health laws, individuals who require consolation will be granted this which could help lessen the threat of violence of the kind witnessed by the shootings in Oregon and Santa Barbara.