Call ed: out of (gun) control
With gun-violence dominating the headlines, TKC decided to take a stand on gun control. In this issue, 87 percent (54:8) of TKC staff voted they believe the United States’ gun laws need to be stricter.
November 8, 2015
Lafayette: 3 dead, 9 injured.
Charleston: 9 dead, 1 injured.
Umpqua Community College: 10 dead, 9 injured.
These are just a few places that made national headlines in the past six months. According to The Washington Post, the United States has had more mass shootings than number of days in 2015. According to Mass Shooting Tracker, we’ve had 297 days and 301 mass shootings, which they define as a situation where four or more people are killed or injured. That means gun-related violence is more common than the sunrise. Now it seems not even schools or churches are sacred; instead, they’ve become targets.
Look at KHS. We lock classroom doors after passing periods, post security guards at entrances and require ID key cards or cameras by the front office if anyone wants access to the building. An incident where a falling box of lightbulbs that sounded like gunshots caused a late start and rerouted buses to the local Dierbergs. It’s in the little things, like feeling the need to strengthen school security, where fear of gun violence affects our everyday lives, yet nothing has been done about guns.
To make matters worse, it seems like we’ve accepted it as the new norm. 62 percent (107/173) of students believe we have become desensitized to gun violence. On the day of the shooting at Umpuqua Community College in Oregon, the overall reaction seemed to be “Oh, another school shooting.”
Half the reason gun violence has increased so much is how easy it is to obtain a gun. In Missouri, if you want to purchase a gun, no background checks or permits are required. Furthermore, a permit is not required to carry a rifle or shotgun, but is to carry a handgun.
Many argue the problem isn’t guns, but mental health. This has some truth to it, but the issue still comes back to how said people obtain their guns.
It’s impossible to completely remove guns from American society. Guns are ingrained into our culture. The right to bear arms is in our Constitution. But it’s not impossible to make gun laws stricter, which shouldn’t affect law-abiding, gun owning citizens. For the many competent gun owners, stricter laws shouldn’t be an issue. According to Newsweek, 22 percent of Americans personally own firearms, and if gun laws were stricter they would only be seen as more responsible of owning their gun.
The notion our gun laws are fine as they are feels delusional. With a new gun-related crime in the headline each day, it seems likely that by the time this issue is released we’ll have faced another tragedy. For our country, we are at a crossroads. We don’t need to get rid of guns completely, but we need to control them. It comes down to one question: what do we want the next headline of our country to be?