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Are guns more important?

February 22, 2018

 

BRYN YOUNG
News Editor | bjy001@latech.edu

 

YOUNG

 

Last week, we saw another school shooting take the lives of 17 people in Parkland, Florida. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 38 mass shootings in America in 2018. They define a mass shooting as four or more people shot by one gunman.

 

Usually after a shooting of this kind, we hear pundits push around their thoughts on gun control but we never see real change. But this one feels different. It may be that we have videos of the actual carnage taking place, or that the survivors have taken the opportunity to be vocal about the changes we need; but either way, I feel this shooting is making America take a good look at what needs to be done.

 

As with all shootings, we are seeing renewed calls for “gun control” and other measures to stop such senseless violence. But what sort of control are politicians pushing for?

 

First, no one is asking to take away all guns. That is a talking point that is often used to generalize all actions to restrict some access to guns as tyrannical and overreaching. Gun control often refers to legislation that would increase background checks, ban certain types of “assault-style” weapons and closing loopholes that make obtaining guns easier.

 

One might ask why that should be done; won’t criminals still get guns if they want to? While yes, some might obtain guns illegally, most weapons used in these mass shootings have been procured legally. The AR-15 used in Florida was bought legally by someone who showed clear signs of being capable of doing exactly what he did, which leads me to my point: Congress should pass comprehensive gun control measures that ban these military-style weapons and establish a national gun registry.

 

A registry would make it easier to find people who, like in this instance, show a history of violence that have purchased a gun. Many argue that this would make it easier for a tyrannical leader to take our guns, but those same people forget the Second Amendment is still a thing.

 

A ban would effectively rid the public of these weapons that have no place in the hands of civilians. The main argument against this is these weapons are used for hunting, target practice and standing up to the government if they get totalitarian. First, if you need an assault rifle to hunt, you suck at hunting. If it comes down to a choice between having fun at the range and the lives of school children, I’m choosing the lives. Also, as a friendly reminder, the U.S. has the largest military in the world and some semi-automatic weapons will do nothing to stop drones and tanks.

 

Now is the time for thoughtful discussion about how guns are viewed in this country. No, we shouldn’t ban all guns, but we should be willing to pass legislation that regulates them further in exchange for saving lives.

 

Bryn Young is a sophomore communication major from Mountain View, Arkansas who serves as a news editor for The Tech Talk.

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