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By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, M.Ed.

It is very saddening what happened in Sutherland Springs, Texas as one man killed many innocent women, men, and children. We all have to die one day, but for people to lose their life over nonsense is just sickening to me. President Trump declared this situation an “act of evil,” and he stated that this was a “mental illness issue, and not a gun issue.” I recently wrote an editorial that focused on the topic of mental illness, and how it is very common for people to have a mental illness and not even know it. I also mentioned how this topic is not discussed as heavy as it should be. Gun violence is nothing new, but I have a question, is this a mental illness issue, a gun control issue, or simply an act of terrorism?

We cannot forget the recent mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas, and many others  incidents that have come before that shooting. How can we prevent these incidents from occurring, and how many more lives do we have to lose before we do something? The question that I’ve heard many people ask when discussing this topic is, what can we do?

I want to bring up something that you may not have thought of before. Could these acts of violence also be considered terrorism? I looked up the definition of terrorism and there were two that stood out to me:
1. “A person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.”
2. “A person who terrorizes or frightens others.”
Looking in particular at that second definition, in my opinion, these recent shooting events could be looked upon as an act of terrorism. President Trump early on in his presidency,spent a lot of time trying to ban certain people from the United States in order to prevent acts of terrorism. I did not agree with his methods, especially when people who have lived here for years were not allowed to enter back into the country. He was so afraid of other cultures creating an act of terrorism, but what happens when these acts are committed by our own people that are born and raised from our own country? Is this still a mental illness issue? Is this still a gun control issue? I don’t think so.

In order for these “acts of evil” to occur, it takes thought and planning. It takes gathering resources to prepare for the task that you are going to get accomplished. It takes a whole thought process. This can not be a mental illness issue. Let’s be honest. If the shooter of the Las Vegas shooting, and this recent shooter were Muslim, or Pakistani,etc…, would they be considered as having a case of mental illness or is it a gun control issue? I don’t think so. Why can’t we admit that there is terrorism that occurs in America by Americans? We are so quick to throw gun control and mental illness out there just so that we can have “a reason as to why this happened.”