Opinion

Gun control: Why it will work

I have faith in humanity. Yet, the morning I woke up on Oct. 1, 2017, I momentarily lost that faith.

Dozens dead and hundreds hurt, all from a man 32 stories up a hotel cascading bullets into an innocent crowd. These same feelings were exacerbated by the events that happened just a few days ago in Texas. People’s lives were taken while worshipping God.

It didn’t take all but a few hours for several politicians to try and capitalize on the worst shooting in modern American history−hawking in on the tragedy and trying to push the “liberal agenda.” This left a sour taste in my mouth, even for me, one of those “snowflake, liberal millennials” you hear so much about.

Tragedy should never be used for personal gain, and pushing for gun control merely hours after such a horrific event definitely traverses that line.

Honestly though, if we can’t talk about gun control when someone uses a firearm to kill dozens of people, then when can we?

The conversation constantly gets pushed off like a final research paper. When the conversation does happen, the argument turns into a frenzy, and no actual action happens. Both sides exaggerating the others’ immediately halt conversations. The brief and ineffective discussion does little more than to entrench each side’s beliefs, instead of meeting where the change can take place−the middle.

I know you’re not going to read this article and suddenly change the side of this debate in which you stand — I get it. I just want you to understand that we are, as a nation, doing actively nothing to stop these brutal tragedies. We are sitting on our hands and wondering why we cannot do anything to stop us from getting slapped again.

Something needs to happen. Desperately. This sort of action is becoming increasingly more frequent and increasingly volatile. Something needs to happen as the U.S. is truly the only place on earth where this frequently happens, so the exasperated phrase that “someone who wants to do this, is going to do this regardless” starts to begin wearing off in charm.

This is where the conversation begins to meander its way over to screaming territory. No one wants to ban guns. I don’t, and most of the “hippie-dippie” liberals don’t want to either. We, as I’m sure everyone, want people to stop dying at concerts, movies, schools and most recently, churches. Every day we avoid thoughtful discussion about proper gun control brings us one day closer to another horrifying mass shooting.

Our founding fathers explicitly stated in the constitution that we have a right to bear arms — that right isn’t going anywhere, as it shouldn’t because people should have a right to protect themselves.

A phrase also included in the Second Amendment, which doesn’t get enough light shed on it and is in the exact same sentence is the phrase “well regulated.” Regulation and control are synonymous, yet the words gun control and gun regulation are essentially explicit words in much of this country.

When gun control and gun regulation are brought up, normally following shortly after the ever fun “Oh, so you want to ban guns?” argument is the “Well, why don’t we ever talk about car control?” argument.

Because as we all know, cars kill more people than guns. Yet, it’s as if they are ignoring some explicit facts. The first, and perhaps the most egregious and obvious, is that cars do so much. Cars get us to work, school and soccer practice. It’s the number one way of transportation. Most people use a car and multiple times a day. Guns, well guns, were invented to kill things, and that is still the primary objective of a gun. Cars kill and drive us places. Guns kill. Yes, I understand that guns cannot kill without being used by someone, but still this is a tool that’s primary objective is to kill. I understand my redundancy, but it cannot be stressed enough.

The second argument to the car control debate is that cars are being controlled and regulated. You need a license you use a car, you get that license through months of training, when you obtain a car you have to register it every single year with the government, and the government constantly forces regulations to make cars safer. Do you see it?

That shifts me into the next point. Why is it that you don’t need a license to buy and use a gun? Why don’t you have to go through strict safety training when purchasing a firearm? When you buy a gun, why don’t you need register it? This is a death machine, and our country tries to make it as easy as possible to purchase one.

I get the point of the Second Amendment; the founding fathers were leery of the government becoming tyrannical. They wanted the people to have the ability to own firearms to not only protect themselves from each other but to protect themselves from the government. For this reason, I believe people should be allowed to own firearms. Having said that, assault rifles should not be in the hands of civilians without strict training, background checks and without registering said rifle.

Yet, these tragedies, which are quickly becoming as synonymous with America as baseball, football and apple pie, continue to happen. We as people are doing nothing. Let’s do something. Let’s try something. We can no longer sit idly by and wait for one of these tragedies to strike our own hometowns. The want for these events to stop is something that stretches across party sides like an umbrella that lets the rain in, and America doesn’t want to be wet anymore.

People can continue to say that gun control won’t stop criminals for committing horrific tragedies, and maybe they’re right. I can tell you though that sitting around doing nothing, gives us no help and no chance to stop this. Gun licensing, stricter background checks and gun registration at least gives us some hope.

 

Editor’s note: For a counterpoint on “Gun control: Why it won’t work,” click here. 

About the author

Reid Maus

Senior Broadcasting and Journalism major, play-by-play broadcaster for Bluffton athletics.

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