Advanced gun control must be implemented

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By Casey Spencer, Sports Editor

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A crowd gathers to remember the students who lost their lives at the Parkland shooting, the sign saying what is already shown on the faces of those in attendance. (Photo from sacratomatovillepost.com

In the aftermath of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 17 students were murdered, it is time for change.

There have been many opposed to passing gun restrictions including myself. According to CNN, there have been 12 shootings on school campuses in 2018. Combined with other mass shootings, such as Las Vegas that happened in 2017, leaving 58 dead and 527 injured, and the horrific shooting in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary that left 28 in total killed. We can’t continue to ignore the issue; increased restrictions need to be implemented.

Gun control has been a hot topic and has only grown worse with these terrible mass shootings. The current restrictions implemented in the Brady Bill requires everyone who wants to purchase a gun to go through a waiting period and be subject to a background check. In the past there was the Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that prohibited the manufacture, possession and transfer of semi-automatic assault weapons. However, this law had a sunset clause that ended in 2004, and no legislative action was taken to extend it. Since then access to assault rifles and fully automatic weapons have been offered to the public, unless banned by state or local law. Such weapons offer no practical use to the general population. Its only purpose is to kill. Handguns and bolt-action rifles have their uses for the community. Small pistols can be carried for protection and rifles can be used for hunting, but even this is not essential.

An argument against these restrictions is that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

While this is true, that argument ignores the fact that the only purpose for firearms is to make killing much easier. Our constitutional right to bear arms has to be called into question because of the time period. When that was written, muskets were still in use and according to learnnc.org, the standard rate of fire for a trained soldier using a musket was only three per minute. Advancements in technology put the fire rate of an assault rifle at 90 shots per minute on average, varying depending on the gun or how many bullets the magazine holds. Regardless, this is a significant increase on how fast bullets can be discharged.

Now is not the time to debate. Communities are suffering, children are dying. Ali Kemp, a teacher in Colorado, shared her lockdown experience from March 7 on Twitter, “Today I cowered in a closet with my fifth-grade students.” Kemp tweeted, “For 30 seconds I wondered if today would be the day, to decide whether to leave my own children motherless in order to save students.” Thankfully, it was a false alarm, but the fact that she had those thoughts go through her mind shows where our society needs to evolve.

Change needs to come, and the more time that passes with nothing done, the more injury and death will occur. We must put aside our differences and ban these killing machines.