Opinion: Gun Control Should Be Necessary and Proper

The staff reflects on the need for gun control after the Las Vegas shooting.

Used with permission from Wikimedia Commons

The staff reflects on the need for gun control after the Las Vegas shooting.

Staff

Las Vegas, Nevada, a resort city famed for its vibrant nightlife, came to a halt on Sunday night as the news of a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival bombarded the screens of sleeping citizens across the nation. The epicentre of entertainment succumbed to the recurring debate of gun control in an instant, showcasing the cycle of the American firearm issue.

Las Vegas rings in as the three-hundred and thirty-eighth mass shooting in 2017. With over fifty deaths and five hundred injuries, the events of October 1 surpass Pulse, Orlando, as the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The growing list of America’s deadliest mass shootings, contributes to the debate of whether guns should have more regulation and control, or if they’re protected by the Second Amendment.

Gun culture in America seems to be prevalent more and more in video games, music videos, and popular children’s toys. Children adapting to the regularity of guns in everyday use, spirals with them as they grow into adults, which they then view shootings and incidents involving firearms as a normal event. Viewing these firearm incidents as a normal event, makes people push aside the events and view them as less serious. Shootings and incidents with guns should not be taken in as a daily event that people push aside, gun culture is prevalent from a very young age and contributes to the problem of pushing aside these events.

On average there is more than one mass shooting per day in America, which contributes to the growing fear of everyday excursions. Ever since the shooting in 1999 at Columbine High School in Denver, schools have been preparing for outside harms, including putting up extra security reinforcements at the main entrance of high schools. There should have been no reason for schools across the nation to have to start holding drills in 2007, after the Virginia Tech massacre, when twenty-three-year-old Seung-Hui Cho, a college senior, shot fifty-seven people in Blacksburg. Schools should not be treated as practice fields, and the moment America decided they could stomach the deaths of twenty-eight elementary school children, was the moment the gun control debate was over.

The Second Amendment protects the gun rights of citizens but it was written in 1789, a mere two hundred and twenty-eight years ago. It was a time when semi-automatic firearms were non-existent and decades before the first public mass shooting, which took place at the University of Texas at Austin’s Tower. Guns do protect others, however the majority of firearms usually seem to be used outside of the original argument that guns are used to protect families in the home. The technology of firearms has advanced in the past century, which has left the original interpretation of the amendment dusty and outdated,  and shown the people of America that their government dismisses victims deaths in the name of the Second Amendment.

Despite America’s large size, restrictions put on guns can be successfully carried out across the nation, as demonstrated in other countries around the world.

April 1996, Port Arthur, Australia. A gunman openly fires into a cafe killing 35 people and injuring 23 more. The nation of Australia, in the past 21 years, has had that one and only mass shooting, compared to America who has had 338 this year alone. The large debate on how congress would even enforce a gun ban on a nation so large, can be modeled off of Australia or the United Kingdom. The Australian government subsequently introduced the National Firearms Agreement — legislation that outlawed automatic and semi-automatic rifles, as well as pump-action shotguns. A nationwide gun buyback scheme also saw more than 640,000 weapons turned in to authorities. While in the United Kingdom, one month before Port Arthur, a gunman fires in a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland, killing 16 five and six-year-old children and their teacher. After a highly successful campaign months after Dunblane, an anti-gun ownership petition was handed to the government with almost 750,000 signatures, which the Prime Minister at the time, John Major, set up public inquiry to find out ways to better the public protection.

Gun control, a very controversial topic, cannot be taken shooting by shooting, measures must be put in place to ensure that no longer will this great nation suffer anymore midnight tragedies.

We hear everyone sending their prayers to these victims every time a mass shooting happens, but thoughts and prayers won’t change anything, calling for political action begins the snowball of change for this great nation. How many more lives will suffer? America doesn’t have a gun problem. It has several of them.

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