The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Editorial – Gun control is needed now more than ever

Illustration by Aftin Gavin/The Collegian

Unfortunately, the need for gun control continues to be obvious.

Another mass shooting occurred recently at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas. This was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history with 59 deaths and around 500 injured.

On an average day in 2017, 36 Americans are killed, which leaves citizens with questions such as: “How many innocent people have to be murdered for the U.S. to finally practice gun control?” and “When will it be me or someone I know?”

Americans also own 48 percent of the world’s guns, making the U.S. the leading country for gun ownership. The U.S. is also responsible for 31 percent of mass shootings worldwide.

But restrictive gun laws in countries such as the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia have made a difference in curbing mass murders.

For example, Australia had four mass shootings between 1987 and 1996. Public opinion then turned against gun ownership, and the country’s parliament passed restrictive gun laws. Australia has not had a mass shooting since the law was passed.

If other countries are capable of decreasing mass murder rates by restricting gun laws, why can’t the U.S.?

People use the “guns are my self-defense weapon” excuse to support open carry. But are guns the only self-defense weapon? No. For that reason alone, open carry should be delegalized in all states.

Americans should absolutely have the right to bear arms in their own home. As for open carry, on-duty law enforcement officers should be the only exception.

Many believe the answer to gun safety is to deny gun access only to criminals or people diagnosed with mental illnesses. For many, this is common sense and an effective way it should be done.

However, the Las Vegas shooting proves this ideal is flawed. The mass shooter had no documented mental illness and only a traffic violation on his criminal record.

Therefore, there is no method to solving the algorithm of who might carry out a mass shooting.

Mass murderers generally are not “crazed lunatics” who suddenly become completely unhinged and kill indiscriminately, according to the Journal of Homicide Studies. They plan their rampage for an extended period of time and are determined to kill.

So the fact is the deranged will do deranged things, and the only thing the U.S. can do is make mass murders difficult to pull off. The resolution for this is, you guessed it – gun control.

Whether it is delegalizing open carry, developing more thorough background checks or banning non-military and non-law enforcement from purchasing military/law enforcement weaponry, there needs to be more regulations.

But thanks to the $30 million “supporting funds” sent to President Trump by the National Rifle Association, the likelihood for stricter gun policies is little to none under this administration.

So, what is it going to take? Another mass shooting to top this one? Gun violence is one of the U.S.’ leading issues. And it is time to take the initiative to end it.

Many say it is too early to have these sensitive discussions, but for the 59 victims of the Las Vegas shooting, it is too late.

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