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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Stronger than steel and hate


The Pittsburgh shooting’s intersection between gun control

On Oct. 27,  the United States had to rally together once again after a horrendous act of internal terrorism and gun violence. Eleven innocent people were killed in their place of worship, Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Pa, by a truck driver named Robert Bowers.

According to a report  by the Washington Post, “little is known about Bowers…online, though, he posted anti-Semitic and racist rants, comparing Jews to Satan and using slurs to refer to women who had relationships with black men.” Bowers is the embodiment of an ignorant, racist anti-Semite who is just another part of a larger spectrum of hate.

I still cannot believe that I am sitting here in 2018, writing an op-ed about Nazis and white supremacists. Didn’t the world learn its lesson in the 1940s? Apparently not, and apparently not enough has been done to shut down this hate.

How come it has to take 11 lives being lost in what is supposed to be a melting-pot nation of tolerance to bring attention to the fact that this kind of white supremacist hate still exists? And, moreover, how are we as a nation still allowing people with this kind of hate in their hearts  own firearms?

I ask these questions because I truly do not know the answer. We are a country that is supposed to protect freedom of religion, freedom of association, and freedom of speech. If for some reason you don’t believe me, go check the Constitution.

But, of course the Constitution’s second amendment still remains an important proponent to consider when these situations arise. It is a right just like the other rights listed above, and it carries the same weight as any other Constitutional amendment as it states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

With this, of course I think people should be allowed to own firearms to some extent. At this point, it is impossible to rid our nation of firearms anyway. But, that does not mean citizens need military-grade weapons nor should people with severe mental illnesses have access to these weapons. It’s not 1791 anymore, and the list of firearms is certainly not limited to muskets and pistols.

The Constitution carries immense weight and when the amendments challenge one another, it is a more powerful clash than pineapple and pizza.

Therefore, in this country, we can not and should not tolerate any hate and ignorance of this nature. Nor should we arm it.

We have to assess these amendments that cause our debates, and ultimately enforce legislation that upholds the rights of citizens. At the same time, we have to combat hate and violence in our country to protect everyone from every background.

I think the first steps to achieve these goals must include supporting common sense gun laws and finding ways to prevent hate in our own lives. The key is to start small.

If you check your St. Joe’s emails you’ll have read an email from the administration which details this week’s latest event of “It’s OK to Be White” posters being discovered on our own campus. This is a prevalent slogan used by white hate groups, and now it’s floating around right outside our classrooms.

You don’t have to look far to find hate and prejudice, and I think that this is something many of us forget to realize.

Whether it’s in Pittsburgh or right outside of McShain Hall, anti-semitism, racism, hate, and ignorance remain just as they did in the 1940s.

Let’s use this as a driving force to say “no more”. We will not tolerate any kind of discriminatory behavior or speech and we will not sit back and be an enabler or a bystander. We have seen the atrocities this type of institutionalized ignorance can cause, and let’s not ever let it happen again.

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