Violence Warrants a Desire for Changes


Emily Hung

A #VegasStrong banner now covers the area where shooter Stephen Paddock broke the window to his 32nd-floor suite on Oct. 1, killing 59 people attending an open music festival on the Vegas Strip. 

Reading the news in 2017 is like watching a horror movie, seeing so many people die right in front of your eyes.

With what seems to be a shooting every day, it begs the question: How many people are going to die before America realizes that gun control is necessary?

Gun violence, which claims hundreds of lives every year, needs to be eradicated.

The United States Constitution was designed to accept an ever-changing society, thus the concept of amendments exists in the first place.

After more than 200 years, so much has changed after the Second Amendment—“the right to keep and bear arms”—was added in 1791.

In 2015, according to the Congressional Research Service, there were 300 million guns in circulation in America.

The Second Amendment was not written to accommodate this vast sea of firearms in our country.

​If Americans can use the Second Amendment to explain the needless deaths of children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 or the deaths of 59 concertgoers in Las Vegas in 2017, then we really are hopeless.

The day it became possible for a civilian to go into a school and shoot kindergarteners for no reason or shoot almost sixty people in front of Mandalay Bay during a concert proves that America has failed as the “home of the brave and the land of the free.”

Legislators should have been brave enough to make gun restriction laws decades ago.

Those children and concertgoers should have been free to live their lives to the fullest for as long as possible.

With a choice of taking away someone’s gun or someone’s life, the answer should be straightforward.

I’m not saying we want to take away all guns.

But, an idea comes to my 16-year-old, tired-of-mourning-people-I’ve-never-met mind.

Mandatory psychological evaluations, six-month waiting periods, and character testimony from peers, employers, spouses or even children are all options to ensure that guns are purchased by trustworthy people.

Buying and owning a gun should be a difficult process that allows many opportunities for the discovery of any reason as to why someone should not be able to own a gun.

Anyone convicted of a violent crime should also be kept on a list similar to that of the sex offender registry enacted by Megan’s Law.

Any employee of places like Wal-Mart or Bass Pro Shops, any online gun sellers or traders, should be able to type a name into a database and immediately determine if the person trying to buy a gun can be trusted with a lethal material object.

The point of gun control is quite simple.

In fact, it is right there in the words: Gun. Control.

Complete gun abolition or prohibition? No.

Reduction and regulation? Yes.