It is no secret the United States of America has a long and messy history of gun violence filled with tragedies that could cause one to become numb toward the issue.
During its height in 2018, it felt as if a mass shooting occurred every day, and that’s because it almost did. There were 340 mass shootings in 2018 and at least one occurred every month. Four of the deadliest and most notable shootings occurred in 2018, those being the Santa Fe High School shooting, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the Thousand Oaks shooting, and the Parkland shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
President Joe Biden took the initial steps towards fulfilling one of his campaign promises to the American people regarding gun reform on Feb. 14, the third anniversary of the Parkland shooting.
Biden is calling on Congress to enact common sense gun law reforms such as background checks on all gun sales, a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers.
These measures would be welcomed changes to a situation that has desperately needed it for years.
The debate over gun reform in the U.S. is one that demands a great deal of nuance and understanding. There is a way to limit the risk of further gun violence in this country without banning them completely.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with firearms, as they can often be a source of entertainment in a firing range. That is the key right there – recreational use in a safe and controlled environment.
Several of Biden’s proposed reforms address this issue by requiring background checks to ensure that guns are in the possession of stable individuals and banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
The use of the Second Amendment as an argument to keep people protected is no longer valid. The amendment states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The rights of the people to take up arms against a tyrannical government may have been plausible in the day and age when muskets and cannons were still in use and troops would stand still in neat columns across the battlefield.
However, the events of both World Wars were the first to show the devastating power that technological advancements in military weaponry have brought to modern conflict. It is doubtful that a civilian force would be able to take on the entity who takes up a large majority of the federal budget each year.
It is time for America to finally stop hitting snooze on the wake-up call it so desperately needs to hear. The path to creating safe gun laws may be a long process. It may seem like an impossible task, but it does not mean that we should give up and do nothing about it.