Opinion — 29 September 2017

 Taylor Lobb

@TAYLORLOBB

The controversy that exists surrounding gun control can be found in every crevice of the country. Such a heated topic is becoming something difficult to leave unaddressed, with tragedies sweeping the nation, affecting families of all races and ethnicities. In such a divided day and age, gun violence doesn’t exactly discriminate. Nobody is safe.

After such devastation as the shooting at Sandy Hook, the ultimate question remains: do we allow our people to handle and own firearms?

According to the second Amendment of the US Constitution, citizens do indeed have the right to bear arms. This Amendment is said to essentially be undeniable. So, then how do we prevent the destruction left in the wake of firearm possession?

Most will agree that some type of regulation is necessary to protect our people, however what most cannot agree on, is whether the current laws need revisions in order to protect a larger portion of our population. Considering that firearms are the number one cause of not only homicides, but also suicides in the United States (according to procon.org), I would say stricter regulations are desperately needed.

While the National Firearms Act does in fact place restrictions on the types of firearms possible for purchase, it does not protect the owner from the gun itself. In retrospect (Word choice?) of my reference to the tragedies caused from gun misuse, the largest issue is not the type of gun the purchaser is intending to buy, but rather the type of person able to buy the gun.

The #1 outlet for mishandling a firearm is people themselves.

There needs to be more regulation of ability to purchase, in particular regards to the mental stability of the purchaser.

Those diagnosed with any type of mental disorder should not own such weapons, due to their psychological inabilities.

Those with a mental illness that is contained should be able to bear arms, however should undergo more frequent mental health assessments than the average purchaser who is free of mental illness.

However, thorough, annual psychological tests should be conducted for all who want to own a firearm, regardless of their mental stability.

And lastly, gun possession needs its own task force, with a no-tolerance punishment for all in possession or intending to be.

Such regulations are miniscule and in every way possible, but sadly remain a matter of political content, rather than that of safety. More bluntly, the topic of regulation remains ever-changing depending on who’s in office, leaving no peace of mind in the sense of stable protection.

On a broader scale, eliminating gun usage altogether would be the simplest solution.

In places like the United Kingdom and Europe, government has instituted a standard ban of almost all firearms, known as the Firearm Directive. This particular precaution came about in light of the 2015 Paris attacks. The NRA broadly summarizes the restrictions of European Parliament as a “vague ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.” The United Kingdom is more straightforward, prohibiting all handguns, automatic and pump-action non-rim-fire rifles.

By comparison, when looking at statistics in said countries, there is an outstanding difference in death rates between such countries and ours. According to a ranking of most gun homicides per 10,000 people, procon.org lists the US as rank number 59, while UK is number 135 of the 145 countries taken into account.

A world with no guns tends to be fear of figment (?) for many Americans, however it is reality of grace (?) for most Europeans. While those living on that side of the world are somewhat safer by statistical standards, the danger of such a weapon is eminent.

As trivial as it may sound, the discussion surrounding gun control needs to focus less on gun itself, and more on the person utilizing such machinery. We need to end the fear of guns, because we are the weapons.

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