Op-Ed: Should There Be Stricter Regulations On Guns?

Elijah Ford, Staff Writer

Gun control has been the major subject of controversy over the years, especially after the recent tragedies that have occurred. Take a look at the massacre on the Las Vegas Strip, and more recently, the church shooting in Texas. Both perpetrators were American-born citizens; 64-year-old Stephen Paddock and 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley legally purchased their firearms prior to the shootings, which consisted of semi-automatic AR-15 type assault rifles, modified to the shooters’ liking. With firearms such as these not being difficult to obtain,  it brings up one question that people are asking: Should gun regulations be more strict and cautious? The answer is simple:  Yes, there should be stricter gun regulations because though guns do not possess a conscious mind of their own, they are still lethal weapons when in the wrong hands. And having stricter regulation on guns could prevent future tragedies such as the two aforementioned incidents.

As mentioned before, Texas gunman Kelley purchased his rifle and other firearms legally prior to commencing the massacre in the church. The problem is Kelley should not have originally been able to purchase a weapon based on his violent background. He was “court-martialed for assault on his wife and their child while serving in the Air Force, while also serving a bad conduct discharge some time after.” It has been stated that though the Air Force “acknowledged” Kelley’s domestic violence offense, the charge “was not entered into the National Criminal Information Center database.” According to an article in the New York Times, this major error in the background check system could be the main reason Kelley had access to firearms, regardless of his past offences. This also explains why some in the public demand stricter gun regulations and methods to prevent firearms from getting into the hands of troubled individuals like Kelley and Paddock.

While many, including myself, are arguing that reinforcing stricter gun laws would prevent mass shootings and other violent tragedies, some are completely against this claim. The reason for this is due to the fact that guns don’t possess the will to kill, but more so the people themselves. Not to mention the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. With the recent shooting in Texas, many of the state residents disagree with banning weapons and that it wouldn’t change any future events. According to CNN, for example, Texas citizen 62-year-old Kevin Langdon, says that “there’s no solution to mass shootings, because mental illness is mental illness.” This statement of his makes solid points, considering the fact that Texas shooter Devin Kelley suffered from a series of mental issues prior to the shooting.

So basically, guns are dangerous weapons that can cause severe damage just like nuclear bombs. But like guns and weapons in general, they obviously don’t possess a conscious mind and therefore cannot kill on their own. The main thing is that people do the damage, people are the ones that kill, so it would only make sense to keep guns out of the hands of certain individuals. So in my opinion, reinforcing a stricter regulation on guns would prevent them from getting into the hands of criminals and other troubled individuals. In fact, this action can hopefully prevent future gun-related catastrophes.