UNITED STATES—It is really difficult to fathom what is going on in our country right now. It is like a common theme that we have a mass shooting transpire in this country every other week. Maybe that is a bit excessive, but it feels like we have a mass shooting in this country once a month and its getting beyond scary at this point in America. If you haven’t watched the news, been glued to a tech device or social media there is absolutely no way, you don’t know what has transpired in this country.

First, on Saturday, August 3, a shooter unleashed gunfire on shoppers inside a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. A total of 22 people were killed. Just a few hours later, a shooter unleashed fire at multiple nightclubs/bars in Dayton, Ohio killing 9 people. In a matter of 24 hours, the United States suffered two mass shootings. I mean Columbine, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Parkland, and so many others. I should NOT know these things, they should not be second nature to me, but they are America.

Second, I’m hearing people try to point the fingers, and right now, you can’t pinpoint one specific issue, but the fact of the matter is SOMETHNG HAS TO BE DONE! This is not acceptable and we should not. Is this going to stop people from going out in public? No, but I think the edge of caution is definitely in the mindset of most Americans. They have NOT forgotten about it; they will NOT forget about it, and having this public dialogue about mass shootings in this country is key to solving the issue.

The one issue that we must talk about is mental health. There are individuals in this country who suffer from mental illness and are NOT being properly diagnosed or receiving the medication or treatment they need. This is NOT to say all people who suffer from mental illness are driven to partake in gun violence or a mass shooting. There are signs being seen in some of these mass shootings, where the suspect or suspects are posting disturbing comments or making threats via social media.

I hate the notion of policing people’s comments on social media, but it is apparent at this point in our country, these are things that we have to consider. Ignoring those signs can be dangerous, very dangerous, and at the same time irresponsible as a country. The other issue we have to discuss is gun control. We have chatted about this for years, but the common threat we keep seeing is the usage of rifles or gun power that allows many of the suspects in these shootings to unleash a barrage of bullets instantly killing or injuring tons of people in a short time frame.

If it wasn’t for quick action from officers in Dayton, the suspect who was killed may have gotten away with injuring and killing way more people. The one thing I am not against is people having the right to bear arms per the Second Amendment, but I question why some people want certain weapons. I mean a machine gun, a rifle that shoots without a break; the notion of an automatic weapon just baffles my brain. I cannot explain why someone would need or want such weaponry in this country.

You cannot use the excuse of hunting, because you don’t need such a weapon for that. The only reason I can think of someone needing an automatic weapon is if you’re going to war, and let’s be honest, most of the people with such weaponry ain’t going to war. Should we be doing more background checks in addition to mental health evaluations? I don’t see why not. There is even the discussion of forcing more legislative measures to be put into place to perhaps prevent individuals who might be seeking to do harm on our country from getting their hands on dangerous weaponry.

Trump’s assertion that violent video games are possibly responsible for the mass shootings, I was not buying one bit. Yes, video games are violent, but there is violence in music, the news, TV and cinema, so are we planning to limit the exposure of that violence to children and teens and young adults? I think not.

I am just so troubled by these latest shootings, I am actually quite speechless. I don’t know what to say, I just know I’m tired of us having these discussions weeks after a previous mass shooting. We sometimes place more focus on the suspect, then the victims in such incidents. The innocent lives lost because someone decided to utilize a gun to take lives of people for reasons a lot of the time we cannot fathom; we cannot process and we cannot understand.

America we cannot just talk about the issue and then place it to the waist side, until another mass shooting transpires and we have this discussion all over again. The time is NOW; we have to do something about this because for some of us we are impacted by the violence, for others they are directly impacted because the life of a loved one or someone close to them is lost.