Gun control in America: enough is enough

Will Salaverry, Online

We know that disclaimers are unattractive but hear us out. We want to acknowledge all viewpoints surrounding the issue of gun control but also look at this topic through the lens of humanity. The gun debate is too often about history and culture, but we want this argument to be about people.

This topic is part of the public consciousness, and honestly, part of this paper, because of the Las Vegas massacre that occurred on Oct.1. One man killed 58 people and wounded 489 more.

While those statistics will now, sadly, be chronicled in the next U.S. History textbook it is important to understand the meaning behind those figures.

Fifty-eight people died but countless children will never get to have their parents tuck them in again. Countless siblings will lose their best friends they’ve known their whole lives. Four hundred and eighty nine people were wounded but, at the human level, that means that too many people will never be able to live their lives the same.

The Las Vegas massacre is clearly indicative of a larger trend rather than a string of coincidences. According to the New York Times there have been more mass shootings in the year 2017 than days in the year.

We know that we have a problem and it is our duty as Americans, and quite frankly people, to work to solve it. One option that nearly 96 percent of Americans can get behind is tighter restrictions on high power, military grade weapons.

Unfortunately, the NRA and gun rights activists are vehemently against any sort of restrictive legislation. Instead of arguing ideology with pro-gun citizens, we want to argue practicality.

One of the most frequent arguments is that restrictions or not, “bad guys” can get their hands on guns. This is true. The question is why would we make it easier? People are able to get cocaine, but we still criminalize its possession.

Another argument is that the Second Amendment is sacred. While the Bill of Rights is fundamental to American laws and society, the meaning of the actual amendment is still highly debated even after the Supreme Court ruling that granted every citizen a right to own a gun.

In many other documents mentioning arms from the time the Second Amendment was written, it is clear that lawmakers only meant for “well regulated militias” to be able to carry weapons. It is actually amazing that an incredibly heavily debated clause like the Second Amendment is a successful rallying cry for the pro-gun movement.

A third common argument is that Americans need guns to protect against tyrannical government. This argument may have been valid 240 years ago, but let’s face facts. If the president or any other significant government official used the military to seize control, there wouldn’t be much citizens could do, even if they are armed.

Maybe, and that’s a huge maybe, someone could protect themselves against soldiers. But in the age of unmanned drones no gun on the market could protect someone against the U.S. government.

We understand that people want freedom. They want to be able to live their lives without the government breathing down their necks. But when the price of that freedom is Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, Maryland, Orlando, and many others we are no longer willing to pay it.

If giving up our right to own a high caliber weapon means that less parents mourn their children and less husbands and wives lose their soulmates, we will take that deal.