Opinion

Gun Control: More or Less?

How Gun Control and Gun Violence Should Be Handled

By: Steven Aiello

Handgun lying over a copy of the United States constitution and the American flag. (Credit: gunnewsdaily.com)

The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas is an event that needs no introduction.

The impact and subsequent aftermath is one of sorrow that will most certainly be felt for years on end.

In total, 58 people were killed and over 500 were injured, with this shooting attaining the distinction of being the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

Many questions have risen regarding what happened, with the most important being how to prevent another similar incident from happening again.

Chief among these questions is how the US should handle its gun control laws and how gun violence should be dealt with.

One thing that should be noted immediately is that gun violence, and for that matter any and all forms of violence, cannot be solved, at least completely.

There is an innumerable amount of arguments that can be made for said case, but one fact is near inescapable. The fact is that as long as guns, evidence of guns and hatred exist in society, people will find ways to commit horrible acts using these weapons.

Gun violence is undoubtedly horrible and the fact that it puts people’s lives in jeopardy, knowingly or unknowingly, only makes that knowledge even worse.

However, the problem lies not in preventing what can’t be stopped but how to manage it, which is gun control.

Obviously, the biggest issue here is whether the US should enact more laws for or against gun control and ownership.

Starting with the former case, many people point to the Second Amendment, which grants citizens the right “to keep and bear arms”, as a reason for gun ownership.

Although the amendment seems relatively straightforward in what it describes, the context of those words offers a much different story.

The amendment was enacted as a way of maintaining a “well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State”.

The amendment appears to have initially been created as a way for citizens to fight for the well-being of the United States and not necessarily a way for people to own any number of guns.

The amendment was modified in 1992, but even still, the origins and true meaning are rather questionable.

Almost any person being able to possess whatever legal firearm they please is arguably a poor solution to solving gun violence because it could increase the frequency of these weapons, leading to reckless and inadvertent damage.

On the other hand, more gun laws could be equally as dangerous.

Websites like Security Degree Hub provide evidence that most of the recent mass shootings in the US (up to 2013) were done using legally obtained firearms.

On paper, it seems reasonable to limit gun ownership and to make it illegal to own or purchase firearms but it doesn’t accurately account for criminal ways of obtaining weapons.

People looking to obtain weapons would most likely take any available option, especially if it’s relatively quick and efficient.

Making guns illegal only makes it slightly more difficult for criminals to obtain weapons, while preventing people who follow the law from obtaining weapons to potentially defend themselves.

This is further compounded by the number of guns in the US, which totals in at roughly 300 million, almost one for each citizen.

Ultimately, too many or too few laws for gun control are detrimental to people. If anything, stronger regulations towards gun ownership are needed.

Procedures such as a background check, which most states do not require, is a step in the right direction mainly because it gives the seller context on the buyer.

The inclusion of a test to determine mental health could also be of great benefit if used properly.

In addition to information on firearms sales, Security Degree Hub provides the information that almost all mass shootings are committed by people with mental health issues.

A test to determine the condition of one’s mental health or psychology could lessen said problem, though the tests should be tailor-made with the buyer in mind.

Structuring them that way would allow for more creative approaches to determine mental capacity and make the tests more difficult to cheat or abuse.

The end goal of these tests is to let people defend themselves, and potentially others, if they are deserving enough of said right.

Another solution would be to improve security measures, especially in populated or crowded areas.

The mass shooting in Vegas could have been even more severe if it hadn’t been for the rapid response from its SWAT team.

Having armed security at notable places, or an armed and well prepared police force on standby, could do more to prevent, or at the very least lessen, the damage that could potentially be caused.

As stated earlier, gun violence is a problem that can’t be solved, but a problem that should be managed immediately.

The Las Vegas shooting was a tragedy that claimed the lives of too many people, none of whom deserved such a fate.

The verdict is that gun violence, however unstoppable it may be, must be managed at all costs to protect the welfare and lives of the citizen it’s meant for.

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