Fourteen students woke up, got dressed, went to school and died. Three men went to work and died. They were all shot and killed by a man with an AR-15. 

Social media sites have erupted in anger and dismay, and are calling for one of two things: prayers or gun control. 

Some, such as conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren, are criticizing people who have spoken about tightening gun regulations in wake of the shooting. Lahren tweeted that “Left” can’t let families “grieve for even 24 hours before they push their anti-gun and anti-gun owner agenda.” 

However, student survivors and parents of those who died have publicly called for tougher gun laws immediately after the situation. 

So when is the time to talk about gun control? Should we wait days, weeks or months after a tragedy? 

Valerie Mancia | The Poly Post

We should have had this conversation when the first school shooting occurred, but it’s too late for that. It’s too late for the souls we lost from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fl. 

The time to talk and take action is now. It’s not about being opportunistic; it’s about being proactive and preventing this from happening again. It’s to save families the very grief some are feeling at this very moment. 

Stricter background checks and longer waiting periods could help save lives. In California, the law only imposes a 10-day waiting period for a gun to be released to a purchaser. A rifle, such as the one used by the shooter, can be bought at 18 years old. 

Some argue that restricting the Second Amendment infringes the rights of “law-abiding citizens.” 

Gun ownership was a right given to the people by the Founding Fathers. The Supreme Court has ruled that an individual has the right to keep guns in their home for self-defense. It’s rooted in history. 

However, there was an armed officer on campus the day of the shooting and not once did he encounter the shooter. 

There’s no guarantee that someone else with a gun would have been able to react quickly enough, or harm someone else in the process. 

Others say that criminals will still find a way to illegally obtain a firearm. If a criminal is attempting to obtain a firearm illegally it’s the job of law enforcement to help prevent it. But, it’s our job as a country to prevent a criminal from legally obtaining a firearm. 

We should not be making it easy for people with ill intentions to buy a gun. 

If mental health is the larger issue, then why did Trump sign a measure calling off a regulation that would have kept guns away from severely mentally ill people? 

Calling for gun control after this horrific incident isn’t being opportunistic; it’s being realistic. 

The United States has had 18 school shootings since the start of 2018. 

Thoughts and condolences can only go so far. The time has come for Congress to finish its prayers and start acting. 

The likeliness of a gun measure passing is incredibly slim due to the power behind the money the gun lobby spends to control legislators. 

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the National Rifle Association (NRA) spent $31 million to help Donald Trump during the 2016 election. 

Senators John McCain, Richard Burr, Roy Blunt, Thom Tillis and Cory Gardner have the most contributions the NRA ranging from 3.88 million to 7.74 million. All of these Senators happen to be Republican and heavily oppose gun legislations. 

This is why we have to use our voices today, tomorrow and for however long it takes for someone step up and do what’s needed to keep students, children and our loved ones safe.

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