“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable.” -John F. Kennedy. Gun violence is a national problem. Some ignore it, others radicalize liberal views of complete reform. On October 21st, a man kills 59 people with an arsenal of legally purchased weaponry. This massacre was followed by comments along the lines of, “now is not the time to talk about gun control, it is the time to mourn.” A question then presents itself, when is the time to talk about gun control? When is the time to answer this problem? If not now, when? Gun violence in America is a problem, and there are solutions.
So, what do we do? It is the opinion of many that tighter gun control is the only way to progress. The recent Las Vegas mass shooting was committed with legally purchased firearms. An article by the Washington Post states, “Law enforcement officials said Tuesday at least a dozen of the 23 firearms recovered in Las Vegas were semiautomatic rifles legally modified to fire like automatic weapons, using an alteration known as a bump fire stock.” Another article by the Telegraph says, “How did Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, who shot and killed 58 people from his 32nd story hotel window, amass an arsenal of firearms? In the United States, and particularly in states like Nevada, it's easy. And totally legal.” This is the root of the issue. It just makes logical sense, if there is no gun, there is no death. Obviously, there are ways to buy guns illegally, but it still has the potential to prevent gun violence.
Next, we are faced with the question, will this work? The answer is simple; it will. Europe has already done amazing things. Heavy gun control has lead to fewer deaths across the entire continent compared to our single nation. The Washing Post tells us, “French gun laws date back to April 18, 1939, though they have been amended a number of times since. They are certainly tough: There is no right to bear arms for the French, and to own a gun, you need a hunting or sporting license which needs to be repeatedly renewed and requires a psychological evaluation.” Compared to the U.S. addressing firearm ownership as a right, France has pretty tight gun control laws. The New York Times has found that on average, the U.S. has 31.2 gun related deaths per million compared to France’s 2 per million. Clearly, there is a direct correlation between gun laws and deaths caused by guns. While this might seem obvious to most, many still need convincing.
So, why hasn’t this happened yet? To answer this simple question, yet another problem presents itself. Surprisingly, the answer is democracy. Though it should not be argued that democracy is in any way a bad thing, this more specifically refers to the people controlling our modern democracy. The Las Angeles Times states, “Congress has been unable, or unwilling, to approve gun control legislation after recent mass shootings — including one targeting lawmakers playing baseball — and it is unlikely to consider new bills after the attack in Las Vegas. To the contrary, House Republicans are on track to advance legislation easing firearms rules, including a package of bills backed by the National Rifle Assn. that would make it easier to purchase silencers.” This is Congress’ response to a mass shooting in Vegas? Their response is to make guns quieter? What is Washington doing? Apparently, less than nothing.
Now, what are you going to do about this? It has been shown that gun control is consistently better at stopping massive gun violence. It cannot be denied that unnecessary death is a problem. In the future, it is your moral obligation as a U.S. citizen and as a human being to vote for gun control. This is the only step forward, take it.