The right to bear arms needs limitations
By Kim Sorenson, News Editor
The United States of America was founded on the idea of ten unalienable rights designed to protect the people from a corrupt government. One of these rights is the right to bear arms, and it is one of the most contentious topics in the news. Despite an epidemic of deaths by gunshot, there are many who will ruthlessly defend their guns. However, our country would be much safer with stricter background checks and licensing to buy guns.
The amount of gun violence in the United States continues to escalate. According to the New York Times, there was on average one mass shooting a day during 2015. There were few days without any, but some days had multiple to average out the statistic. The fact that this is happening in what is supposed to be one of the safest countries in the world is ludicrous. All of these shootings are possible because it is too easy for people who shouldn’t have guns to get a hold of one. In some cases, the shooters were clearly mentally unstable and had a history of violence. That, however, didn’t matter to the gun shop owners who sold them the guns and the ammunition. Or their parents didn’t hide and lock up their guns well enough. However, this would have been less of an issue if the proper regulations and control were enforced along with more strenuous background checks on purchasers of guns.
Had the shooters been forced to wait a few days to get their guns after a background and mental health check was completed, many of these horrific mass shootings could have been avoided and the shooters could have gotten the help they needed. Instead of going out and killing innocent people, these people could have gone to therapy or a mental health institution and avoided ruining not only their lives but the lives of all those involved in the shooting.
Not only are mass shootings a major concern, guns accidentally firing kills and hurts thousands of people each year. According to GunViolenceArchive.org, there have been 1,283 deaths from gun fire in the United States since the beginning of 2016. In less than two months, there have been over 1,200 deaths from lazy gun laws and ease of accessibility to guns. This is an incredibly high number and it needs to be addressed. There is no reason why so many people need personal guns.
Hunting guns are fine so long as the hunters have been properly vetted and their guns are locked away out of reach. Concealed weapons are acceptable so long as the carriers have had extensive background checking, training classes and mental health checks to ensure that the guns will only be used for personal protection. However, there is no reason for anyone who isn’t actively fighting in a war to have military grade weapons.
There is a downward spiral of people feeling that they need a gun. Since it seems that everyone else has one, people feel as though they need one as well to protect themselves. In reality, though, there are very few people who actually need one. Those who live in rough areas where gun crimes are common may feel much safer with their own, but those who live in the suburbs where there is a negligible amount of gun crimes do not. This country’s gun laws need to be more comprehensive and strict. These laws will work to keep all Americans safe.