Journal Address

The lack of gun control is imposing on Americans’ safety


On Thursday, April 15, gunman Brandon Hole took the lives of eight innocent people at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis International Airport. Twenty minutes from SHS. The victims were someone’s family and friends, brutally murdered in our own backyard.
Hole obtained the two firearms used in the shooting legally. Even after an incident in March 2020 in which he had a gun seized by IMPD after safety threats reported by his mother, he was still able to purchase the assault rifles legally in July and September of last year.
In Indiana, the Jake Laird Red Flag Law grants police officers the ability to seize weapons of people suffering from mental health issues. Hole’s access to numerous firearms blatantly shows the limitations of this law. We, The Journal, believe that this is where our country’s issues lie in regards to gun violence.
Within this law, according to CNN, prosecutors only have 14 days to file a petition for a person to be designated as mentally unstable after that person’s weapon is seized. Following the March 2020 incident, Hole’s family was not interested in the return of the gun, and the state didn’t have enough time to access substantial records that would’ve categorized Hole with mental instability, so there were no pressing issues to petition for. There was nothing stopping him from purchasing more firearms in the long run.
According to the New York Times, there have been 147 mass shootings this year in the U.S. as of April 16. President Joe Biden has recently issued a list of executive orders encompassing the issue of gun violence. These orders called for increased prevalence of violence-intervention programs, decreased presence of “ghost guns,” which are firearms with no traceable serial numbers, and stricter red flag laws, according to The Harvard Gazette. He is also calling for Congress to ban assault weapons. While we are grateful to finally have a president who recognizes these issues, the shootings happening constantly are evidence that nothing is being done quick enough.
Although it may seem like the U.S. is making great strides in solving gun violence, the number of casualties on the news every day says otherwise. We believe that more needs to be done, and quicker. There’s a lack of action from our political leaders and a multitude of empty statements. Before we lose another American life to senseless gun violence, the government needs to make gun prevention a priority.
Red flag laws need to be better enforced. Not just in our state, but across the country. Also, safety concerns coming from family and community members, like in Hole’s situation, need to be taken more seriously by prosecutors. People with outstanding mental health issues should have extremely limited, if not fully limited, access to firearms. Guns should not be readily available. Firearms do not provide safety, they just jeopardize it.