By Tanvi Mittal — Editor-in-Chief
Recent shootings in Atlanta, Georgia and Boulder, Colorado horrified the country and increased calls for gun control.
Tuesday, March 16, eight people were found dead in the Atlanta area at three different spas. Robert Long, the prime suspect, was arrested that night.
The first out of the three shootings happened around 5 P.M. at Young’s Asian Massage where four people were killed and one wounded. Later, three more were found dead at the Gold Massage Spa and finally another dead at the Aroma Therapy Spa.
According to Long, he had a sex addiction and felt that the spas were a temptation that he needed to eliminate. Yet there has been much discussion that these attacks were racially motivated. This was largely because out of the eight people that died, six were Asian women.
The victims were Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Soon Chung Park, 74; and Suncha Kim, 69. The one injured victim was Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30.
Monday, March 22 another shooting occurred killing 10 people, including a police officer.
The shooting happened at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. The gunman was arrested the following day, and his information was released. The suspect is Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a twenty-one-year-old man, who has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and one charge of attempted murder.
Alissa was armed with an assault rifle and wearing an armored vest. According to the suspect’s brother, Alissa likely suffered from a mental illness and had been bullied in high school, making him “anti-social.”
Following these horrific shootings, many have called for gun reform.
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet has called for the Senate to act after the shooting in his state. “Boulder will heal but this scar will always be there — my daughter’s generation will always bear the burden of a national government that did nothing to protect them. They and the children that I used to work for at the Denver Public Schools, they carry a burden that we didn’t carry… They have grown up with a reasonable fear that they will be shot in their classrooms or in their schools or at a movie theater or in any public place. I didn’t grow up in an America with more gun-related deaths than virtually any country in this world, and we can’t accept it for their America,” he said.
“I’m just asking us to show just an ounce of their courage by doing whatever we can to keep weapons of war out of our communities, to pass universal background checks, to limit the size of magazines, to address the epidemic crisis of mental health in this country. It seems like that would be the least that we could do,” Bennet added.
President Joe Biden agreed, calling for new gun control laws on Tuesday. “As president, I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep people safe,” he said. Specifically, he called for “a ban of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines,” according to NBC.
“I got that done when I was a senator. It passed. It was a law for the longest time, and it brought down these mass killings. We should do it again. We can close loopholes in our background check system, close the Charleston loophole. That’s one of the best tools we have right now to prevent gun violence,” said Biden.
According to NBC, “Biden has called on the Senate to ‘immediately pass’ two bills the House recently approved that change background check laws. He argued gun laws shouldn’t be a ‘partisan issue,’ adding, ‘this is an American issue.’”
image from chicagotribune.com