More guns, more violence


March on Washington for gun control. (Jim Havard/Flickr)

Caitlin Samuels, Style Editor

Feb. 14, 2018 is a day that will go down in history forever. It was a day that shocked the world with the horrific act a former high school student played on innocent people. On Valentine’s Day of 2018, Nicholos Cruz walked into his former highschool, which he was expelled from, with a plan to kill. A plan that would change the lives of a whole community. As he brisked through the hallways of his old school, he came across a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student in the stairwell. In their short exchange, Cruz told the highschool student, “get out of here” as he loaded his semi automatic weapon that would claim the lives of innocent people. Later, Nicholos Cruz would go on to kill 17 people. Not once did Cruz have to stop and reload his AR-15, which would have helped prevent the amount of deaths. 

The Second Amendment of the United States is what gives civilians the right to bear arms. This act was set in 1791. This amendment was written hundreds of years ago when the use of guns were for different purposes. They were used in wars and for hunting. But times have changed and the types of guns used in these situations have changed. Back then, they used muskets, which after every shot you would have to reload another bullet making it much harder to kill multiple people in a row. Semi-automatic guns, which are commonly used now and was the gun used in the Parkland attack, lets you shoot out 45 rounds per minute, harming multiple people at a time without having to take a break to reload. 

Statistics show that in 2017, deaths caused by guns have reached their highest with 36,000 deaths per year due to gun violence. Part of those from school shootings. Before Columbine in 1999, there were 16 school shootings reported, since then, we have had 233. It seems that gun related violence has only gone up with nothing in place to stop it. Since Parkland, many people are calling for serious steps to be taken to prevent shootings like this from happening again. The Gun Control Act of 1968 states that people obtaining rifles like semi automatic rifles, shotguns and ammunition must be over the age of 18. If you want to own handguns, you need to be over 21. Most states require a permit to carry a handgun but only three states require you to have a permit for purchasing a shotgun. 

In my opinion, the uses of guns in the 18th century versus the 21st century are very different. That was their technology, that was how they got their food and fought in wars for independence. But that is not how we live now. Although I think it is safe for police enforcement to use semi automatic guns and military force I don’t see the reason for a citizen to be able to obtain a semi automatic weapon. I’m not saying that people should not be able to bear arms, but I think some regulations and steps need to be taken to keep people safe. First, I think they should be at least 21 years old, secondly I think the person purchasing the weapon needs to take a class on how to use the gun. Third, I think there should be mental health tests to make sure the person buying the weapon is sane. Antique rifles like muskets are very different from semi automatic weapons.