Restrict guns to prevent mass murder
By Stephanie Lingenfelter
50,517 incidents, 25,967 injuries, 12,615 deaths, all in 2017 so far. The United States offers the right to bear arms in the second amendment, which isn’t a bad thing and most would say is a necessary right, but when it’s a right involving machines that can endanger others, it should have restrictions.
It needs to be amended in order to control the tens of thousands of people injured and killed yearly due to gun related violence. There needs to be more permits to own and use firearms.
Owning a gun is a right, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have restristrictions, like the freedom of speech. According to legislative attorney Kathleen Ann Ruane, fighting words or true threats aren’t protected, so if it threatens the safety of others, it’s not allowed. Shouldn’t the same apply to the second amendment?
According to USA Today, Americans own 265 million guns and three percent of the population is responsible for the ownership of 133 million of those guns, averaging at 17 a piece.
Why would anyone need 17 guns? Stephen Paddock killed 59 and injured 546 at a Las Vegas concert on Oct. 1 with one of his 42 guns, most of them being semi-automatic assault style rifles with an added bump stock.There isn’t much of a reason besides mass murder for owning that many guns unless someone is a collector. In that case, they should need to have more permits.
According to CNN, bump stocks make semi automatics automatic, so the bullets fire in rapid succession. Automatic guns are illegal, but add-ons, such as the bump stock, make semi automatics perform like automatics, so they should be illegal too. Twenty-six United States’ Democratic senators are pushing to make the production and possession of accessories that make semi automatics perform like automatics illegal.
Even if someone were to require more than 17 guns, they should need a permit for carrying that many. There should be a general permit covering the ownership of two to three guns, including required safety classes, and then permits going up from there. If someone owned five guns, they would need a different permit, if they owned 20 they would have to have that permit and as the number of guns increased, requirements would. As well as the special permits, people should need to get the reasoning behind owning guns approved. These tighter restrictions would stop unnecessary death. Someone’s safety shouldn’t be put in danger due to another’s gun obsession.
The second amendment is outdated. During that time, everyone owned guns to get food. Now, most just go to the grocery store. Those that hunt can still get guns to do so, they should just have more restrictions to ensure public safety. The guns of 1791 when the Bill of Rights was enacted were less powerful, so mass shooting would be almost impossible for any one person to do.
According to CNN, the shooting caused by Devin Kelley on Nov. 4, killing 26 people attending the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, could’ve easily been prevented had the military completed the right paperwork. The gunman shouldn’t have been able to purchase any guns because of a domestic violence charge in 2014 while he was serving in the Air Force, causing him to be imprisoned for a year and discharged from the military. The Air Force failed to follow Pentagon procedures that would have disabled from being allowed to purchase firearms. Kelley was able to pass a background check for purchasing two guns because of the military’s failure to follow the proper procedure that would alert the FBI and prohibit Kelley from purchasing any guns. This shows how gun related violence isn’t taken as seriously as it should be.
Some argue gun control takes away people’s freedom and rights, but not having it takes away innocents’ safety. According to the Gun Violence Archive, 1,640 unintentional deaths and injuries have happened due to guns this year. Some people own guns for their own safety, which is okay, they’re just needs to be more requirements to own them. Besides, if there are more restrictions on guns, people with violent intent would be less likely to get ahold of them. Therefore, there would be less of a need for guns for defense. According to Washington Post Australia and semi automatics and automatics illegal after a 1996 massacre, killing 35. Australia hasn’t had a massacre since.
With over 50,000 incidents, it shouldn’t be hard to realize the necessity of gun control. It’s an ongoing issue that needs to be fixed. According to the Gun Violence Archive, 587 of the deaths and injuries in 2017 were children aged 0-11 and 2639 were teenagers aged 12-17. 1640 were unintentional. WCHS has even been impacted by gun related violence with the death of then freshman Zachary Edwards in January of this year. Gun violence is increasing daily and out of control. How many more innocents have to die?
Right to bear arms staple to United States freedom
By Ethan Owen
Put yourself in this scenario. You pull an early night, and forget to lock the back door. You wake to the sound of footsteps on the hardwood floor of your kitchen. You get up, and go to check who it is, when you remember that you’re supposed to be alone tonight. In this scenario, would it not be profitable to have access to a firearm? If the intruder is dangerous, or armed himself, you could be in real peril. This is why the Second Amendment exists: to give Americans the power to defend themselves, whatever the threat may be.
If guns were outlawed, the average civilian would obviously be unarmed at all times. Criminals could use this to their advantage, as criminals will often rethink a crime if they think the would-be victim possesses a firearm. According to justfacts.com, 40 percent of male felons have decided not to commit a crime because they “know or believed that the victim was carrying a gun.” If laws concerning the control and legality of firearms were to change, there would be no threat of a victim being armed, resulting in more cases of violent criminal activity (and more cases in which the victim is wounded or murdered).
Committing crimes is in the criminals’ job descriptions. Making guns illegal only stops civilians from protecting themselves, but criminals will obviously disregard the law when it comes to the acquiescence of firearms for their crime. These laws may even drive criminals to try and get their hands on higher profile weapons to try and protect themselves against getting caught. This can lead to more casualties than before, and hypothetically can cause more problems to replace the ones it solves. Law-abiding citizens would be defenseless while armed criminals are free to run the streets, only police officers having the power to stop them.
If we were to introduce more gun control laws, it would go against the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment states that, “The right of the people to keep and bare arms, shall not be infringed.” Infringing upon our right as the people of the United States of America to keep and bear arms is an infringement upon the Second Amendment, which is a travesty beyond proportions. While the constitution isn’t infallible (hence amendments being added in the first place), it is the foundation upon which our nation resides.
The main argument for gun control is that more guns equals more gun related violence. While this can be true, without citizens having guns, there would be no way to end an incident in which a criminal is armed until the police arrive. This can result in more fatalities than necessary. Recently, an incident occurring in Sutherland Springs, Texas in which an armed individual opened fire inside of a church, one of the residents fired back at the assailant and wounded him, causing him to flee the scene and be found dead later. According to nytimes.com, Texas Senator John Cornyn discussed what could have happened if this massacre had not been stopped by a bystander. When questioned about whether civilians should be able to own and carry weapons, Cornyn said “Well, thank goodnees Stephan Willeford had an AR-15, and he prevented other people from being killed that day.” This would have been much worse if one brave churchgoer was unarmed, helpless, and unable to stop the gunman.
Our right as citizens of the United States of America to own and carry firearms to a staple of our nation. It can dissuade attackers both inside and outside of the United States. If there was a threat of invasion from another nation, they would likely be deterred by the fact that American citizens can defend ourselves. Without firearms, our military would be on their own in the event of an inland invasion. This is where the idea of militia comes into play, where citizens can do their part in the most dire of situations. Citizens aiding the military in this way has been the norm since the early days of America, with the minutemen being prime examples.
Laws governing the ownership of guns have their limits. According to TheFederalistcom, all automatic weapons made after 1986 are banned from private ownership: “Federal law highly regulates the manufacture, sale, and ownership of fully automatic weapons in the United States.” For those unfamiliar with firearms nomenclature, a fully automatic weapon is one that is capable of firing multiple rounds with only one pull of the trigger.
Gun control laws are a sensitive subject, due to the many incidents that have occurred in recent years, where the primary aggressor is a gunman. The Second Amendment still stands strong and intact, and these are the types of problems it looks to solve. As the Constitution stands for our nation, so do the proud citizens of the United States of America.