Op-Ed: Stricter Regulations Needed

Sarah Robbins and Jaeda Wallick

There is at least one shooting a day in the U.S. Gun laws have always been a controversial issue because of these incidents. This is a very sensitive yet controversial topic for citizens of the United States; however, the fact is, gun laws should be strictly enforced when it comes to who is qualified to purchase a firearm.

The restrictions on who can purchase guns should be a lot tougher. Many of these shootings could be avoided with stricter regulations. For example, in one recent incident, as described on fox13now.com, “Guo was parked near the gate in Red Butte Canyon when the alleged suspect, 24-year-old Austin Boutain, fatally shot him while trying to steal his car.” This tragic event occurred near University of Utah,  putting the students who attended this school in a six hour lockdown. The question is, how was this 24-year-old capable of purchasing a firearm? The only true requirement is age. Background checks performed are not always complete and only the dealer is required a license. The lack of knowledge of the buyer is causing fatalities left and right. With every gun purchase a full background check should be completed along with a mental health exam. Just because someone has a clear background does not mean they are in a healthy state of mind. Also, someone can just decide to buy a gun. It is not a long process to receive access to a firearm. Someone could decide within three days to buy a gun and plan an attack. According to gun.laws.com, “Sometimes, these background checks might run for three days, but most often they take place over the duration of a single phone call. If the background check does not come back with a denial within those three days, then the gun purchase may be completed anyway.” Anyone over 21 can purchase a handgun in no more than three days; three days is more than enough time for someone to plan such a fatal attack. In addition, the required age for buying a rifle is only 18. People of the age of 18 are not even allowed to purchase alcohol, yet they are old enough and mature enough to purchase a gun.

Some people think their right to bear arms should not be compromised. They claim that it is not only is it a constitutional right, but it is also a form of protection. People in some areas may not feel as safe without a firearm and having the right to one makes them feel safer. However, just because some may feel as though it is needed, not everyone is taking advantage of their rights in a safe way. It is obvious that changes need to be made but, according to globalnews.ca,  “The push for any new gun control measures — even ones restricting access to firearms for known terror suspects, domestic abusers and the mentally ill — has repeatedly been stymied by a Republican-controlled Congress and the handful of independents and Democrats who are against any changes to the status quo.” It is difficult to make necessary changes because each time a law is proposed that tries to prevent abusers or people with mental illnesses from obtaining guns, the law does not pass.  

Considering all of the recent violent tragedies, the reasons for more restrictions outweighs the desire for freedom. Too many families have been broken apart because of the lack of time put into fixing this. Laws on guns need to be changed and the only time to do so is now.