• Mattie Niles and Savannah Larsen

Guns: A right or a threat?

Imagine you are at home alone; it’s late at night and you see the reflection of a figure in your window. There’s no way out and you no longer are allowed a gun to protect yourself. The intruder has a gun illegally and... You’re done.

Self defense is a very important to me. I should be allowed to protect myself against an intruder, and if that means owning a gun, so be it. There was a commercial that the National Rifle Association (NRA) ran during the 2016 election called “Don’t Let Hillary leave you defenseless.” Now, I’m not trying to bash any candidates and don’t believe it should have anything to do with a candidate (for or against), but the overall message of the advertisement was extremely eye opening. According to the NRA, guns are used for self defense about 2.5 million times per year.

Completely eliminating the right to carry would not stop gun violence, just like the war on drugs didn’t stop people from obtaining drugs. “Of the 143 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally,” according to motherjones.com in a research study. This means roughly 36 of these guns were obtained illegally, and this is with the current laws the country has. If the right to carry is eliminated, this number could drastically increase, thus putting more people at risk.

The recent mass shooting in Vegas was a terrible incident that should never have happened. However, this does not mean we should eliminate the right to own guns because the gun used by the killer has been illegal since the 1980s. This further proves that making guns illegal would not eliminate the possibilities of these traumatic events reoccurring.

I do believe we should be more specific on who should have guns (background checks, no violent criminal record, etc.), but we should not eliminate the second amendment rights all together.

Columbine, 1999: 13 killed. Virginia tech, 2007: 32 killed. Sandy Hook elementary , 2012: 27 killed. Pulse nightclub, 2016: 48 killed. Las Vegas, 2017: 58 people killed. What do all of these horrible events have in common: The harm and damage was done by people with guns.

One of the biggest arguments made for guns is, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. Sure it’s not necessarily the guns themselves, but it has do with that fact that guns make people lethal. Guns give people the power and ability to impose great harm on other people. According to Vox, there is a correlation between the amount of guns in a country and the amount of gun deaths per year as shown by the 133 public mass shootings in the U.S. between the year 2000 and 2014 whereas comparatively to other European countries the highest was six.

One big problem with guns in the country is how easy it is for the public to obtain said guns. In other similar European countries, people have to go through various mandates in order to obtain a gun: like receiving a license, registration, giving a reason why to purchase a gun, safety training and other mandates. In the U.S., a person has the right to bear arms with in the Bill of Rights, therefore, after a background check, they can easily obtain one, according to Vox.

One way these shooting outbreaks could be controlled is by having a serious crackdown on who can purchase and obtain guns. In Japan (which has significantly lower rates of shootings and their country.) they use a very strict method and mandates people must follow in order to obtain a gun this includes various test, licensing, registration. These test must be repeated every year, according to BBC.

Finally, guns don’t need to be completely done and away with, but guns do need to have way more restrictions. By limiting people who can get their hands on a gun, the problem before is stopped before one can even start.

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