An issue that’s caused a stir over the last couple of months—the Second Amendment—is under the public eye again after another recent mass shooting occurred in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL in February.
This crime was a disgusting act made by a disgusting human being, who doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in this article. With this recent case, everyone’s looking for a new solution to what’s been a nationwide debate over not just the last couple of months, but for years. Here are some arguments that I have for the gun rights of citizens of the United States:
Current background checks in place are just not persistent enough
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), 77 percent of criminals in state prisons for firearm crimes get firearms through theft, on the black market, from a drug dealer or “on the street” sales, “criminal acts,” and relatives, whereas only six percent had acquired firearms from dealers or non-dealers at gun shows and flea markets.
This is not to say that background checks should not be fixed. When a person registers for a driver’s license, they don’t point at the first car they see in the lot that they want and drive home with it. You have to go through a process of getting that license. This means attending driver’s ed courses, passing a written test, taking behind the wheel courses. Then you have to pass a test with an instructor in order to complete the process of receiving a driver’s license.
For a gun purchase, you don’t need experience whatsoever; in fact, you don’t even need a gun license of any kind to purchase a weapon. All you need is to pass a simple background check and have an ID. There’s no indication of if the person is having mental health issues, being bullied in school, being in toxic relationships with family and friends. All it states is that you have never committed a crime, so you’re allowed to have a gun. No further questions. This is a problem for background checks and it needs to be updated to today’s times.
History’s shown banishment laws fail
Let’s take a look at past instances when things were banned from the hands of US citizens. In 1920, the purchase and consumption of alcohol was banned nationwide. This law was put into place after problems with family violence and alcoholism almost a hundred years ago. Once alcohol was banned, consumption rates dropped in half, but crime rose at a rapid pace, as well as organized criminal gangs coming into the picture, taking control of alcohol sales in many cities.
The law was heavily disregarded during this time. It sparked the creation of speakeasies, which were underground liquor establishments that people went to for the purchase and consumption of alcohol. As we all know by now, we learned prohibition didn’t last long. Ending in 1933, after public scrutiny, alcohol sales were made legal again, after the country had lost supporters every year and lost tax revenue that the government needed when the Great Depression began in 1929.
The point I’m making with this is that if you ban guns in a country that’s historically always had guns, it would not be easy to put into place. With the black market and countless gangs still in existence, we as a nation would run into more problems than solutions with banning the sales of guns.
While I’m heavily in favor of having some sort of gun reform, I think we need to put more emphasis on the mental health side of this issue, rather than the guns side of the issue. In almost all of the mass shooting cases over the last couple of years, almost all of the criminals had an unknown case of mental health issue. If we do this, we make a great first-step into stopping mass shootings from happening ever again.
Digging deep into the mental health crisis and licensure for guns will not prevent the event of mass shootings from ever happening again, but at least it shows that we’re making an effort as a nation to prevent putting guns into the hands of the wrong people. If we, as a nation, come together, sit down and think of a knowledgeable answer to this issue, we can resurrect our country as a whole. Baby steps still have to be made in order to lay a blueprint fixing what’s right now a nation under public fire.
Photo: Demonstrators gather during the March for Our Lives protest for gun legislation and school safety outside city hall, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Cincinnati. Students and activists in several dozen Ohio communities planned events Saturday in conjunction with a Washington march spearheaded by teens from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed in February. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)