Why We Desperately Need More Gun Control



Still image of an anti-gun rally.

Gavin Clingham, Staff Writer

On May 14, a man traveled to Buffalo, New York and shot 13 people, killing 10 of them. Then on May 24, a shooter went into an elementary school and shot 38 people, killing 19 children and two teachers. Now let’s think about this for one second: it’s been 10 days since there has been a tragic mass shooting. It’s only been 10 days since these tragic events have occurred. Doesn’t that make you angry? Doesn’t that make you sad with what’s become of the world we live in today? Well, what if I said that the two monsters (who will not be named as they absolutely deserve no attention) who caused these shootings had no problem getting the weapons to do it? They both just picked up their guns after they turned 18 without a problem. The Constitution states that we have “the right to bear arms,” but if tragedies like this keep happening, then something has to change.

We have to stop making it so easy for people to buy guns. One way is that the age restriction needs to be moved from 18. A large percentage of shootings that have occurred in the last 10 years have been caused by adolescents and 18-year-olds. It’s absolutely crystal clear that 18 should not be the age that people are allowed to buy guns at. It is a proven fact that our brains may not fully develop until we’re 25, so why would you give a gun to someone who has seven more years to develop his or her brain? It would even make a little bit of sense if the restriction was at 21, but the law has made it so that kids who are still in high school can own a gun. In order to stop tragedies from happening, we have to at least start by changing THESE laws. 

Another thing is the fact that we still don’t have a thorough background check for people who buy guns. Buying a semi-automatic rifle should in no way be as easy as buying milk in a grocery store. The Buffalo shooter had a history of being unwell and several indicators that he shouldn’t own a gun. So how in the world was he able to just buy a gun when he turned 18? I know that people don’t want to betray the Constitution by overriding the right to bear arms, but there is nothing it says about checking before it’s given to people. A modern gun is no longer comparable to the musket that was written about in the original Constitution. Guns have developed to be more deadly and more accurate than they were before. And these guns should not just be given out to people. If a person puts a semi-automatic rifle on a counter with 30 rounds of ammunition in a gun store, they should be checked thoroughly to make sure they wouldn’t use it to commit a mass shooting. But somehow we can’t take any of these measures. Me, a child who knows nearly nothing about buying a gun, just stated basic ideas that I thought were in place. But in reality, nothing like this is in place to prevent these tragedies. 

Still image of Marjorie Taylor Greene (newyorkmagazine.com)

Then there are the senators and the people in power who are preventing anything like this from passing. For the past 10 years, senators have been trying to pass stricter gun laws and it has been repeatedly blocked. And right now, it seems like they’re trying to get laws loosened to make it even easier to get a gun. I can’t even begin to describe how bad of an idea this is. Then you have people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz, and Lauren Boebert whose response to these horrible shootings is to publicly state that we do not need gun control at all. To these people, please shut up. Now is not the time to declare guns as a symbol of freedom. There have been more shootings than there have been in this year, so I don’t think that our response as a country should be to let everyone have all the guns they want. Essentially, we have to think about the greater good. That’s why we wear lanyards in school, why we wear seatbelts in cars, and why we have tight security to go on an airplane. While I’m a little disappointed that my toothpaste and moisturizer didn’t make it past security, it prevented another person from sneaking liquid explosives on that plane. Sometimes laws are annoying, but sometimes they have to be. Even if it annoys you, you have to comply with it because without it, certain people can take advantage of the law not existing. You can’t just say no to something because it would be mildly inconvenient to you. A mild inconvenience to you could prevent something awful from happening again and again. 

I’m normally a very unpolitical person. I’m usually unbiased in the field of politics but I felt like I couldn’t stay impartial with this. We live in a moment in time where something has to change but people refuse to change it. To the people reading this who still don’t want to change these laws that make it convenient for a shooter to buy a weapon, are you happy? Is this the America you want to live in? Do you want to keep promoting this culture that keeps the children of America fearing for their lives? Truthfully, I go to school in fear every day. When I walk into the building, I calm the concerned voice in the back of my mind by telling myself that we’re safe. But sometimes, I don’t believe it. Because our students have been raised in a culture that a shooting is possible (it is absolutely important to prepare for this event though) and even likely to happen since it can happen to any school. I should be terrified for how my grade in pre-calculus is doing, not this. We can’t just do nothing and let the children of America grow up in fear that the next tragedy could be at their school. Because this tragedy was at an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. We put our kids in a place to grow up and develop their brains and now we can’t even guarantee that they’ll be safe!? I’m sorry, but this just isn’t right. We said we would do something after Sandy Hook to stop gun violence in our country to guarantee that we’ll all be safe and there have still been more than 2,500 mass shootings since that tragic day. This will never stop until we decide that we have to finally control our guns.