2016 Summit: Surrounded by Violence Opinions

People, not Guns, root of America’s recent mass shooting

By Alex Kirshner ‘18
THE ROUNDUP

Gun control has been an issue in The United States for many years and, in light of recent events, has been pushed to the forefront by activists looking to put further restrictions on purchasing a firearm.

Some of these activists want to ban all gun owners from keeping their firearms, which is absurd. American citizens should not have to go through immense precautions just to own a gun.

Admittedly, mass shootings have increased dramatically as a result of the loose gun restrictions, which has led to activists demanding tighter gun laws.

Some believe that putting extreme restrictions on guns, while they stop “good” guys from owning guns, will also put an end to mass shootings.

Unfortunately, it does not always work like that.

The most common gun rights argument is that a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.

Looking at the most recent shooting in San Bernardino, where 14 people were killed, it can be argued that that number could have been greatly reduced if just one of those people had owned a gun.

This is not to say that citizens should be able to walk into any store and purchase a firearm without restriction, but people should not have their second amendment right denied.

Guns should not be banned in America, but I also don’t believe that there should be no restrictions when it comes to purchasing a firearm, specifically what type of gun should be allowed to be purchased.

There is no need for people to buy a fully automatic rifle just to protect themselves, but something like a small pistol would be more reasonable for gun owners to purchase.

It would be irrational to deny people their second amendment right, but I think the focus should be on the shooters themselves rather than the guns.

When looking at the shooters in these mass shootings, many of them have been found to have suffered from mental illness to some degree.

This poses a problem for background checks, as, by law, citizens do not have to reveal any mental illness or disease.

Therefore, people with mental illnesses would still be allowed to purchase firearms legally, making the background checks pointless.

While these background checks may eliminate a few mass shootings, the cost of these background checks would be unreasonable and not have a big enough impact.

Speaking of mental illness, perhaps our government should focus more on helping our citizens with mental illness, rather than denying access to firearms.

The fact is, gun control is a big problem in America, but it will not be solved by banning guns.

The real issue lies in the treatment of our mentally ill people, which will not go away no matter what we decide to do about gun control.