Why Sensible Gun Control is a No Brainer

From Majority Stoneman Douglas High School, to Sandy Hook Elementary, from Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. Mass shootings and domestic terrorism are major issues in today’s society. Some may still be in shock, in disbelief, and others asking why this has become an almost weekly topic on the nightly news. Why do we have to wake up to hear another innocent person has been killed by an act of senseless violence in this country that was founded on the principles of freedom and liberty. As of August 5th, 2019 there have been seventeen mass shootings in the United States (Keneally). This is seventeen shootings too many. We must look for solutions for this epidemic in our society. Some solutions include more intensive background checks, red flag alerts, banning large magazines, and an assault weapons ban. In the world we live in today there is no reason that these things cannot happen. 

What is a mass shooting? What is categorized as domestic terrorism? While there is no exact definition of a mass shooting “…the FBI defines a "mass murder" as "four or more murdered during an event with no "cooling-off period" between the murders (Mass Shooting). Domestic terrorism is defined as any person in their country of origin committing a crime that is designed to strike fear into the public (How the USA). 

To reduce and hopefully eliminate mass shootings certain measures such as background checks need to be required to purchase firearms. In the state of South Carolina licensed gun dealers are only required to “… initiate [a] background check required by federal law by contacting the FBI directly” (Gifford’s Law Center). In South Carolina there is no need for individual sellers to perform a background check. Therefore, if you purchase a gun from a dealer, they will be required to do a background check before the purchase is made. However, if the gun is purchased through a private seller, no background check is required in the state of South Carolina. As you can see this causes many loopholes in the system. The federal background check may not be able to pick up crimes committed at the state level. If the purchaser of the firearm has been convicted of a crime on the state level, there is a possibility that it would not show up on a federal background check. This is why the state of South 

Carolina should require background checks at the state level in addition to the federal level. Another loophole would be to purchase a gun through a private seller. In this situation, no background check would be required. In this case I believe the seller should be required to report the sale to the state and need to gain approval through the state to be able to sell the firearm to that individual. 

Another way to help the problem of gun violence in America would be “red flag” laws. These laws “…give courts more authority to confiscate weapons from people who are considered a threat to themselves and others” (NBC News). Red flag laws would allow the court system to temporary remove firearms for people who are deemed unsafe to handle or possess them. This could possibly save lives because dangerous people would not have access to firearms. It may not prevent mass shootings; however, it may help those who could be involved in isolated incidents with firearms and homicides. 

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 banned the use of ammunition magazines that could hold ten or more rounds. However, this band has expired and there is currently no ban of magazine size or how much ammunition they can hold. According to USA Today, the Dayton, Ohio shooter used a “ …100-round drum magazine and was carrying 250 rounds with him” (USA Today). In the state of Ohio, it is legal to sell and possess high-capacity magazines such as the one used in the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. It is completely unnecessary to need such high-capacity magazines such as these. They have no purpose other than to kill and cause harm. 

Additional action that the United States government should take is an Assault Weapons ban. Many are against this type of legislation; however, President Bill Clinton signed the U.S. Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. This legislation passed by congress banned the sale of semi-automatic weapons and certain magazines defined as too large (Federal Assault Weapons Ban). However, the ban did have a time restraint, the ban expired September 13th, 2004. Many would argue that this type of ban is unconstitutional according to the 2nd Amendment that allows U.S. citizens the right to bare arms. The ban was challenged in the courts, but none were successful in overturning the ban. If an Assault Weapons Ban was enacted similar to the one in 1994, the accessibility of semi-automatic weapons would be greatly reduced to the American public, reducing the threat of dangerous people purchasing them. 

Others may argue gun control is unconstitutional under the 2nd amendment. The second amendment grants United States citizens the right to bare arms. One of the major arguments against gun control is it “…[infringes] upon the right to self-defense and deny people a sense of safety” (Pro&Con). While this may be true, the 2nd amendment in its creation was designed to grant citizen the ability to form militias to protect the nation, at the time and currently the right to bare arms is also extended to private citizens (The 2nd Amendment). However, when our founding fathers wrote this amendment it was not even comprehendible the weapons of today that have more power that a Revolutionary War musket ever had or will have. 

In conclusion, gun violence is a major problem in the United States of America. We must take action and join together to stop these senseless acts of violence. Violence and domestic terrorism have not place in this land of freedom and prosperity. What would our founding fathers think if they saw this country today constantly being torn apart be violence and political lines. We must now come together, not has Republicans, and Democrats, but as one. One America that can stand up to the hate and create change in our lives to protect our wellbeing and the wellbeing of the future of America.

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