IN THE WAKE OF ANOTHER TRAGEDY, WHEN WILL WE TAKE ON GUN CONTROL?
I wrote this article in October, 2017, for FANGLE Magazine: a publication at Ohio University.
On Oct. 1, 2017, what has been said to be the deadliest mass shooting in America occurred at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shooting left 58 people dead and over 500 others injured. Fifty-eight people died at an event they attended with family and friends to have a good night. This is not the first time something like this has happened in America, and if changes aren’t made, it will not be the last.
This horrific event is not the first mass shooting of the year and it has, yet again, brought up the discussion of gun control in America.
The man, who will remain unnamed so as to not glorify him, behind this horrifying event had an arsenal of weapons in the hotel room he used as a perch to shoot the concert-goers. Not only did he have many weapons, but it is believed that he had been staying in a hotel room in Chicago that looked over the Lollapalooza music festival just weeks before he opened fire at Route 91.
This man had clearly been strategically planning on wreaking havoc on a festival. So what is the ethical argument that would defend his right to be able to buy not one, not two, but 47 guns?
The second amendment reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Regardless of how one person or another interprets the highly discussed amendment, there is no doubt that it mentions the security of a free state. No matter which side of the argument you may be on, what people who defend gun rights argue is the protection that owning a gun can bring.
“I don’t understand why this is still a debate,” Alix Beatty, a Junior at Ohio University said. “No one is trying to take gun rights away altogether; we just want the people who are going to use them to hurt others to not have the ability to get their hands on them.”
This man who killed 58 people and injured hundreds more was not protecting anything. He created chaos, pain, and suffering that innocent people trying to enjoy their night had to live through and will hold with them the rest of their lives.
Why, in America, have we had so many gun-related tragedies, and so little change?
All we need is for there to be laws set in place so that the people who plan on shooting up movie theaters, concerts, college campuses, elementary schools or night clubs aren’t handed the tools they need to carry out these acts of terror.
Conversely, it is understandable the arguments that people have against gun control and the fear they have if we lose guns. A common thought is that if we start limiting who gets guns, then eventually nothing will stop the government from limiting who gets them, including the average citizen.
“Criminals don’t care about gun laws the only thing gun control does is takes guns out of the hands of law abiding people,” A sophomore at Ohio University studying Visual Communications said. “When someone has evil in their heart they’ll find a way to do horrible things, we’ve seen that time and again overseas where bad people have used banned guns, bombs, or even trucks to hurt hundreds of people. It’s not about the gun, it’s about the individual.”
But maybe it’s time to at least try, if nothing else, to prevent the people who harbor evil in their heart from acting upon it. The U.S is the only first world country where so many mass shootings occur, most likely aligning with the fact that we have the loosest gun control policies.
It has gotten to a point where, by allowing whomever to buy a gun with so little worry of what they may do with it, the American people as a whole are becoming the culprits. Until we do something, anything, to end these mass shootings and murders, we are to blame.