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Opinion

Gun Control

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, many politicians are sending their “thoughts and prayers” to the families of the victims. While this may have been enough the first times the United States has experienced mass shootings, like Virginia Tech; or may have been enough in the Newtown shooting, where 27 people, including 20 elementary school children, were killed; or may have been enough after Charleston, where nine people were killed in their church; or may have been enough after Orlando, where 49 young people were killed in a nightclub; but it is not enough after 58 were killed at a music festival. We need actions behind your “thoughts and prayers.”

Clearly, this nation has a problem with guns. But many politicians deny that gun control could solve this problem, even though it has worked in many other nations around the world, such as Australia, where they haven’t had a single mass shooting in the 20 years since they banned semi-automatic weapons and made the process to acquire a gun much more strict. I am not suggesting we ban all firearms like many Republican politicians believe. I believe, similarly to 55% of the country according to Gallup Polls, that the gun laws in this country need to be stricter, starting with the ban on semi-automatic weapons.

Gun supporters commonly quote the second amendment as “the right to own a firearm,” which is blatantly incorrect. The second amendment really says, “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.” But the constitution was meant to be interpreted, I get that, but that doesn’t mean it needs to extend to every weapon of war. I understand wanting a gun, it’s a sense of security to many people. When I move out and have my own home, I plan on purchasing a gun. But can you have a rocket launcher in this country? Can you have grenades? No. The second amendment can’t be interpreted as the right to have any weapon you want because that would lead to anarchy. Then why should the constitution extend to semi-automatic? There is absolutely no reason any citizen would need this kind of weapon. It is overly powerful to protect yourself in your home, and hunting with it would be a disaster unless you wanted all your meat to be riddled with bullets.

The next step in making this country a safer place is tightening up on who can buy a gun. In many states, at gun shows, you can buy a gun without even a background check. That means anybody can have a gun. Or that people on the ‘no fly list’, the people suspected to be terrorist, can also purchase guns in many states, legally. That is insane. And to the argument that they will find a gun illegally anyway, do we have drug laws in this country? Can people still find drugs illegally? Does that mean we shouldn’t have drug laws at all? Cause what is the point if you can’t get rid of all of it, right?

The time now isn’t for your “thoughts and prayers,” it isn’t even for action. That was 50 years ago. In this time 948 people have died, with 145 of them being children. 271 guns were used by 134 shooters in 40 of the 50 states. Something needs to change in this country if we want to stop seeing these mass shootings.

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