With mass shootings occurring so often that they never seem to be out of the news cycle, people across the aisle are clamoring about what needs to be done.
The past year in America has seen more mass shootings than ever before in our country’s history. Beginning with one in Tallahassee, Florida, then reaching my hometown of Torrance, California, and most recently with the shooting in Texas that left seven injured, this issue is reaching a boiling point.
Before we have this conversation, I want to set the record straight:
Guns do not kill people.
Guns, otherwise labeled as inanimate objects, are not responsible for the deaths of those who are killed by bullets. The people behind the gun are responsible for their actions. Just as drivers, not cars, are at fault for car accidents, and terrorists, not planes, are held responsible.
With that out of the way, there are two important points I would like to make in regards to creating more gun control. First, less guns are not the solution to the problem we have, and it is the right of the population to bear arms. Second, there are across-aisle solutions that can be looked into, and if we cannot agree on that, then our nation is at a breaking point.
While most gun-related articles will go through the details of how many mass shootings there have been, their death tolls and why they cause a problem. I am going to spare everyone that argument. I agree. Something needs to change. We have a problem with guns.
That said, I do not believe the problem will be solved with less guns. According to Hayley peterson at Business Insider, last Tuesday, Walmart asked all customers to no longer open-carry in their stores, and announced that they will no longer be selling handguns or certain kinds of ammunition. This decision came after the mass shooting in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Texas is no stranger to mass shootings, and the recent shooting in Midland also helped spark this uprising against gun-sales that forced Walmart to this decision. Here is an interesting fact that no one talks about: the shooter “was barred under federal law from owning or buying firearms because a court had previously determined he was mentally unfit,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
In addition, according to Newsweek, he has a previous arrest record and was probably not “legally allowed to purchase a firearm.” I mention all of this to make one point: if all guns are banned, then only those are not law abiding citizens will have them. Evidently, no law will stop someone from committing such a heinous act. If owning guns became a crime, it would not really matter to someone who wants to murder a multitude.
Furthermore, these shootings were stopped by police officers: people with guns. The only way to stop someone with a gun is to have something equally powerful to fight back with. It’s like the old adage, you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.
Lastly, to this end point, the second amendment is about the right to bear arms. The people deserve and have the right to protect themselves. The second amendment reinforces that this concept is “necessary to the security of a free State.” Simply stated, the people will have something much larger to fear when the only ones who can protect themselves are non law abiding citizens and the government.
On a better note, there have been some ideas floating around that reach across the aisle, including red flag laws. Also known as extreme risk laws, these are meant to “empower those who recognize these warning signs to intervene in order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms,” according to Everytown Research. Essentially, they are a temporary “gun restraining order” that would require people close to the individual in question to go to court to prevent them from being in possession of a gun, renewable after a certain period of time.
President Donald Trump himself suggested these might be a good idea to start looking into and the state of New York already decided to implement them. The only hope, of conservatives at least, is that this does not cause all people with an enemy to prevent someone they merely don’t like from the right to protect themselves.
Here is the final issue. There are solutions on the table, but there are no compromises. The response to the last mass shooting the nation had was not to rally together, but to point fingers at the other side. This needs to stop. We are not one nation divided. Shootings are bad – period. Guns are necessary for protection and a right – period. People who are mentally ill or criminals should not have access to weaponry – period.
Until we can all stop caring about blame and realize that America was founded on the basic belief that everyone is capable of good, we will never reach a solution. We have begun to reject the thought that everyone wants the best for America, and instead of worrying about gun control, we are focusing on why one party is better than the other. We have a duty to uphold the founding principles and morals of this nation, and if it is the case that we have lost a similar moral ground and lost faith in one another, America’s future looks grim.
I’ve had enough of partisan politics, enough of the blame game, enough of it all. This is your red flag warning, America. If something is not done, we are in trouble. Common sense gun reform is in front of us. When will we wash the mud from our eyes and choose to see that?