Is It Time for Gun Control Yet?

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In the wake of Monday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, we all stand in solidarity with those affected by this senseless massacre. In my lifetime, I have witnessed three mass shootings that have been named “the deadliest in modern American history.” How high does the death toll have to go before we begin our conversation about gun control?

Under federal law, ownership of an assault weapon is legal if the gun was manufactured before 1986. There are heavy regulations on the purchase and ownership of fully automatic guns, but civilians can certainly obtain these weapons if they comply with federal regulations, including in the state of Nevada.

Everyone is fully aware that owning a gun is a constitutional right, and it would be nearly impossible to amend the Constitution at this point in time to criminalize gun ownership in the United States, nor is that practical. However, we all need to ask ourselves, whether we are pro-gun control or not, if civilian ownership of a machine gun is truly necessary.

No matter what side of the issue you stand on, we can all agree that the violence which occurred in Las Vegas was senseless and terrifying. Many have taken to Twitter to voice their opinion, calling for either more gun control or speaking out against restrictions.

It is hard to say for sure that fighting fire with fire wouldn’t cancel out the violence, but my guess would be many more would have been injured by people randomly firing their weapons out of fear.

I believe it is time to stop making excuses for the right to own automatic and semi-automatic weapons in the United States. These are weapons of mass destruction used mainly by trained soldiers in battle.

We all have a right to protection, a right to hunt for sport, and a right to carry our guns in this country. But it is difficult, after recent events, to make a case that automatic and semi-automatic weapons are appropriate for recreational hunting, let alone personal protection.

One gun in the hands of one wrong person can cause the deadliest attack in American history, as we have seen time and time again. It is agonizing to think that anyone capable of this kind of destruction had the opportunity to obtain this kind of weapon.

It is important to note that even if America implemented stricter gun laws, it would not eliminate mass shootings entirely. With the number of guns already circulating in the United States, even outlawing civilian gun ownership would not ensure a tragedy like this will never occur again. However, taking more preventative measures has the potential to radically reduce the number of mass casualties due to gun violence.

Gun control should not be a political issue, but rather a humanitarian one. In this country, we tend to divide tough issues into right and left and stay in our own circles.

It is imperative that we begin to depoliticize the issues which affect every single American regardless of their demographics, and talk about how we can prevent these heartbreaking tragedies without taking away our constitutional right to bear arms. Let’s begin to move forward together, and let a better world for our children blossom from the tragedies of today.

It is not un-American to advocate for gun control. It is not un-American to require more background checks for purchasing a gun. It is not un-American to ban all automatic and semi-automatic weapons. It is, however, un-American to witness this tragedy and refuse to change anything. Wake up America, it’s time for reform. If not now, when?