We Need to Improve Our Gun Laws

Adya Mohapatra, Copy Editor

The U.S. has to do something about its gun laws. Regular citizens should not be allowed to own guns no matter how qualified they say they are. Everyone will claim they are capable of wielding such a weapon and that they swear to use it responsibly. Considering the ongoing occurrences in America, I would say that does not cut it anymore.

People will argue and say that guns are needed for self-defense. However, in many of the cases where guns needed to be used as a means of defense, the attacker also had a gun. If access to such weaponry was not so readily available, there would be much less of a need to have a gun to protect yourself. Anyhow, other weapons such as baseball bats, knives, etc, can be used in times of an emergency, and those are more preferable options because they cannot go off accidentally or kill several people in the span of a few minutes.

Just because the right to bear arms is stated in the Bill of Rights as the Second Amendment does not validate its use now. Times have changed, and it is important that we change with it. A law that was passed to protect people who had soldiers invading their homes does not apply to us now. It does not make sense to expect rules of the past to adhere to the present. If everything we did in the past was maintained until now, then we would not progress as a society. And as a nation, we desperately need to progress from where we are right now.

Others comment saying many of the shooters were mentally ill, and it was not their fault that they killed so many innocent lives. I agree those who do have certain mental conditions should be accommodated to based on their needs and wants, but that includes not allowing them access to dangerous firearms. If you would not give a young child a gun, then why would you give someone who is in an unstable state of mind access to gun?

No other nation has had as high of a death rate as America when it comes to shootings. And there is a reason for that. Other nations made the decision to prohibit guns after they experienced several tragedies, and it directly correlated to the lower rate of deaths due to shootings. Meanwhile, according to ABC news, we have had 346 shootings in 2017, with 65 of them being on a school campus, and 294 mass shootings in 2018, not counting the latest one in California, and what have we changed? Nothing. And yet, we expect something to happen on its own. As if one day, everything will magically be solved, and shootings will stop happening on their own without any interference. But that cannot and will not happen. We have waited long enough and anyone can see nothing has remotely changed. This is why it is so important that we change something.

I do not want to live in a world where everyone has become desensitized to all the lives lost. One where everyone nods sadly at the news, gives their thoughts and prayers to those affected, and then ceases to think about the incident again. Hearing about such events should not be something that is sadly accepted. It should be shocking, a rare occasion. All in all, I believe guns would not be a bad thing for people to have if it were not for its many dire consequences. We can see throughout history, throughout the world, within our own country, that people cannot be trusted with so much power. Therefore, instead of hoping everyone develops a sense of control and responsibility, we should take action and eliminate the root of the problem.

I do not want to sit around wondering if the next incident will be one with me in it. Or my family. Or my friends. Everything I know and cherish should not have the potential to be so easily compromised because of one outdated law.