06/16/2014 03:12 pm ET Updated Aug 16, 2014

Why I Believe in Gun Control


It was 12:28 on a Tuesday. I opened my Twitter app expecting to see selfies, tweets about upcoming finals and Buzzfeed quizzes. Instead, modifications of the same headline flooded my timeline.

Fatal Oregon high school shooting: 'This is not a drill' (CNN)
Oregon High School Shooting Leaves Two Dead (NBC)
Oregon School Shooter Was 15-Year-Old Student, Police Say (NPR)

Sadly enough, this wasn't the first time this month I had heard of a school shooting. It wasn't even the first time that week. Since the December 2012 Sandy Hook shootings, there has been a subsequent 74 school shootings. More lives have been destroyed, families have cried and sadness has been felt. How high must these numbers climb before action is taken? How many lives must be sacrificed before something is done?

I distinctly recall a conversation that transpired between me and my mother about a year ago. We were watching one of those cheesy I love the '80s! TV programs, and whatever B-list actor was on the screen began to discuss the paranoia surrounding nuclear attack from Russia. My mom recalled how afraid she was growing up of a nuclear bomb. Because she lived in a suburb of NYC, my mom assumed there'd be no way she'd make it out alive. This information was so shocking to me because the idea of a foreign attack has never occurred to me. However, the idea of a homebred shooter consumes me.

I should not be forced to live in fear. I should not be forced to look for hiding spots every time I enter a new room. I should not have to worry about my friends in all corners of the country. None of this should be my job. None of this should be anyone's job. Unfortunately, present circumstances have dictated otherwise. Such circumstances created by certain political figures arguing against gun control, against mental health reform and against peace of mind.

The constitution was designed with change in mind. The founding fathers recognized that situations would change in the future, and specifically accounted for a way to deal with those changes. In Article V of the U.S. Constitution it is written, "the Congress... shall propose amendments to this Constitution... " and continues to describe in great detail how those proposals should be handled. It is time for such action to be taken in regards to the Second Amendment. I am 17 years old and I understand this. It's time for the nation's lawmakers to try and do the same.

I am not anti-gun or against the military. I am pro-gun control. I am pro-background checks and waiting periods and mental healthcare support and reform. I am not anti-gun. I am pro-peace of mind.