In the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas this past Sunday, the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, my Twitter feed was cluttered with tweets surrounding the topic of gun control, terrorism, information on the shooter and some information on the victims. As well as tweets surrounding the 20-week abortion bill.

The 20-week abortion bill would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for instances where mother’s life is at risk and in cases involving rape or incest. The legislation passed in the House of Representatives this past Tuesday.

How is it that a mere two days after the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, Congress is worried about passing an abortion bill instead of working towards gun control?

Our political system has become completely focused on party politics, so much so that one’s political affiliation takes precedence over the general good of the American population. Historically, conservatives have occupied the space of being against gun control. So when the largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurs, only 16 months after the previous largest mass shooting in U.S. history, political affiliation is prioritized over making actual change.

Republican Congressmen are more concerned about pushing the 20-week abortion bill — which does not even affect them — because it helps their political party, while pushing for gun control would go against their political alliances.

In theory, if you are anti-abortion, you believe that it is not right for the unborn child to be aborted because they do not have a say in this happening. They are not choosing to die.

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If we are playing with this logic, why is it that the GOP is willing to take this stance on abortion, in support of unborn fetuses, yet are unwilling to stand up and protect human beings walking the streets among us? Why aren’t they willing to stand up for you and I?

The 59 people that died in the Las Vegas shooting did not choose to die. They had absolutely no say. This would have been preventable, had there been proper gun-control laws in place.

The GOP has this idea that gun-control laws will not stop mass shootings, but they do believe that anti-abortion laws will end abortions.

They are wrong about both.

Anti-abortion laws will not end abortions. They will end safe abortions.

As for gun-control laws, they would reduce mass shootings. To prove this point, I want to reference Australia’s action after the Port Arthur Massacre.

In 1996, Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement after a mass shooting in Tasmania that occurred in the April of that year. In that incident, a 28-year-old man, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, shot and killed 35 people.

Under the 1996 law, Australia banned certain semi-automatic, self-loading rifles and shotguns. It also imposed stricter licensing and registration requirements and instituted a mandatory buy-back program for firearms banned by the 1996 law.

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During the buyback program, Australians sold 640,000 prohibited firearms to the government and voluntarily surrendered about 60,000 non-prohibited firearms. In all, more than 700,000 weapons were surrendered.

Since 1996, the number and rate of homicides — defined as murder and manslaughter — has fallen. The current homicide incidence rate is the lowest on record in the past 25 years, according to the most recent government report on crime trends in Australia.

Clearly, gun-control laws can make a huge difference. After this incident, actions were quickly implemented in Australia to prevent these horrific tragedies from happening.

Everyone is affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas. The lives of the victims were taken against their will. There will forever be a huge hole in the lives of family and friends of the victims. There is now an undeniable fear that looms over the American public as we walk the streets. If people are just shooting off of buildings now, are we ever truly safe?

On the flip side, abortions do not affect all of us. An abortion affects the mother that chooses to get an abortion, and the unborn baby.

The American public does not have to carry that child — they do not have to take the time to raise that child or find the means to care for that child. Congress does not have to carry that child — they do not have to take the time to raise that child or have the means to care for that child.

The fact that the focus of Congress two days after this huge tragedy is anti-abortion legislation, is appalling. Party politics need to be put aside in the wake of tragedy to find a real solution to our current, horrendous reality.

Claudia Meyer-Samargia ([email protected]) is a junior double majoring in communication arts and journalism.