Op-Ed: To Ban, or Not to Ban?

Kayla Timmerman, Staff Writer

The debate that has been going on for far too long now. Should guns be banned, or should we continue to be free to keep and bear arms. While each side has a handful of evidence to defend what they believe, I think both sides can say this debate has been exhausting to argue. But overall, do we care more about our freedom, or the safety and lives of people? I think we can push our freedom aside to focus on the innocent people who have lost their lives (or could in the future) to people who hold far too much power with a gun.

Everyone knows about these devastations, being all over the news for weeks on end, and they’re never truly forgotten. Whether it’s Sandy Hook, the Nightclub in Orlando, Las Vegas or New York City, all have a common factor: guns being able to be owned by just any person. These devastating events affect everyone in some way. Holding a gun, or even just owning one, is such a huge amount of power to have. We are basically giving this large amount of power to anyone. It’s not safe, and it doesn’t make people feel safe either, unless they are the one holding the weapon. Just the sight of a gun alone can make people feel uneasy, unsafe, or anxious. However, they don’t make people feel as safe as they would expect. I believe guns should only be given to people who need them to do their job, like police officers, and only given when they are on the job. Guns can end up in the hands of the wrong people. According to the New York Times, “A vast majority of these killers avoid the mental health care system. They are intent on murdering people, not on seeking help, and generally don’t see themselves as psychiatrically ill.” Are we still willing to take this chance, when it has already happened in the past? These violent attacks happen way too often, so why aren’t we doing anything about it?

There are, however, many people who believe there should not be additional restrictions on guns. Tammy Bruce, from The Washington Post, has said, “Chicago experiences massacres every weekend despite (and some would argue, because of) having some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country.” In other words, according to some, gun control or strict gun laws won’t end all shootings. This is true, but banning guns will decrease the shooting rates, and even decrease the ability of people performing such a horrible act of violence. Senator Chuck Schumer, according to CNN News, said, “We can’t banish evil or madness from the earth, but we sure can do what we can in our power to make our country a safer place. We need common sense reforms and these reforms have broad public support in the face of tens of thousands of gun deaths every year.” Yes, most people who do own a gun have no intention to abuse its power. They do give a feeling of safety to protect yourself or your family. But you don’t need a gun to have a feeling of safety. There are other ways to protect yourself and the people you love. Along with owning a gun, comes a great amount of power, and that power should not be given to just anyone.Somegun advocates say, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” The act is in the hands of the shooter, who for whatever reason, has committed this horrible act. This act is so much easier to do with a gun, almost too easy to do. Something like this should not be so easy to do. There is this abuse of power way too often, and we need to do something about it.

As Hillary Clinton has said, “How many people have to die before we actually act?” This is the sad truth that we are faced with, and will continue to be faced with until someone does something. Innocent people are dying and have died at the hands of people who hold a gun and abuse its power. If we truly care about the safety and the lives of the people in our town, state, and country, we need to do something. Giving people too much power hasn’t lead to much good. When will we notice that this is a serious issue?

* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license