Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune
Story by Cody Uhls / Contributing Writer
After every mass shooting, two things typically happen: Gun sales go up, and there’s discussion about gun control. “The Liberals are taking our guns!” is typically what is heard from pro-gun activists and National Rifle Association members. In a recent advertisement, the NRA expressed their dislike for liberals and the policies that they support. Liberals “smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding,” said spokeswoman Dana Loesch in the ad.
The NRA considers themselves the “foremost defender of Second Amendment rights.” But let’s remember the Second Amendment: “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.” This was written directly after the Revolutionary War, where the young country had to protect themselves against British infantry coming into their homes. The Second Amendment has been perverted into meaning something it wasn’t intended for. There’s no fear of foreign soldiers coming into our homes. So, the “necessity” for the Second Amendment isn’t there.
Do Americans have the right to carry and own guns? Absolutely. I wouldn’t want to take someone’s guns. But people that say Liberals are trying to steal their guns and take away their “Second Amendment right” to have guns don’t really understand what the Second Amendment’s purpose was. It was to keep Americans safe from the British.
Gun control isn’t about taking guns away from people. It is meant to stop people with criminal records or those gun retailers find dangerous from purchasing guns. There are “no sell” lists, and there are regulations and background checks and hoops to jump through when it comes to purchasing a gun. When politicians say we need “stricter gun control,” that doesn’t mean, “We are going to take away everyone’s guns.” It means making it more difficult to purchase guns.
Of course, there are some people in the country that believe no one should ever need guns, and we need to ban all guns from everyone. But, those people aren’t major forces in the political climate. The Obama administration was not trying to take guns away from everyday citizens but, simply, limit the guns one can buy, such as assault weapons.
Are those necessary for the average American to have? No.
Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, had at least 23 guns in his hotel room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. Paddock modified at least 12 of those guns to become automatic assault rifles. He modified them with “bump fire stocks,” which helps semi-automatic assault rifles fire faster.
He bought everything legally, according to authorities. The question is how? How did he buy something like that legally? Why would the average American need to make a semi-automatic weapon fire faster? That’s something I can’t answer.
Most gun-related crimes, however, are committed with guns purchased illegally. So, will stricter gun laws help? Who knows. Probably not. But, it’s worth the attempt. Bump Fire Stocks being banned is now being discussed in Congress.
They should be.
The average American doesn’t need that kind of firepower. So, it shouldn’t be a problem to ban them.
There isn’t a clear answer to these politics, but, at the end of the day, mass shootings aren’t about politics. They are evil. They are terrorism. There doesn’t need to be debate from the left or right. There needs to be solutions because mass shootings need to be stopped. And that should be on the agendas of both sides.
I saw a tweet after the shooting:
I have seen this headline three times in my life; Virginia Tech, Orlando, and now Las Vegas.
I am only 22 years-old. https://t.co/UU3GJJw8MD
— T. J. Clark (@theTeedge) October 2, 2017
And I’m only 19. This needs to stop.
This is an opinion, written from the perspective of the writer and does not reflect the views of Sidelines or MTSU.
To contact Editor-in-Chief Brinley Hineman, email email@example.com.