Kelly Butterfield – Staff Writer
Gun control is a hot topic in America right now. Tragic events began with the 1970 Kent State University shooting, known as the “May 4 massacre.” College students were peacefully protesting the American invasion of Cambodia outside of Kent State University when they were hit with open fire by the Ohio National Guard used M1 Garand rifles and .45 caliber handguns. School shootings were unheard of until this event. The shooters in this case were sworn in National Guard members; therefore, strict gun control law changes could not make a difference. There are rogue police officers and military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The deadliest mass murder committed on an American high school campus brought up gun control laws on April 20, 1999, the Columbine massacre. Blatant clues were posted on the American Online website by Eric Harris. Speaking of his desire to cause mischief, instructions on how to make explosives, he intended to kill those who annoyed him, and evidence that he had made pipe bombs. Many reports were made to the Sheriff’s Office about Harris and his comments which were lightly investigated then pushed aside. All of it is simply proof that this tragedy could have been avoided. Had this case been fully investigated with emphasis, gun control laws would not have been brought up and challenged.
The most recent shooting in Newton, Connecticut, Sandy Hook elementary school. 20-year old Adam Lanza broke in and murdered fifteen victims including children between the ages of 5-10 years old. He was found with a Glock handgun, a Sig Sauer, and .223 Bushmaster rifle. High powered, automatic weapons should not be sold to the public to prevent events like this.
Gun control laws should be altered to remove automatic weapons, hollow point bullets, and large caliber weapons. Yes, big guns are fun to shoot, but if the person is out to hunt truly, those items are unnecessary. In the case of hunting game an automatic weapon would destroy the animal and dinner would not be brought home that night, just slaughtered. Hollow point bullets are made to expand once they hit something which would annihilate any animal once it is hit.
With the removal of large caliber, automatic weapons and hollow point bullets there would only be handguns. Any seller, buyer, or member of the National Rifle Association should receive a psychological exam before they obtain a weapon and every six months following just similar to any job that requires a gun to be carried. This would ensure the mental health of gun owners and reduce the chance of massacres. If the owner passes the psychological evaluations but has an incident such as a battery, domestic battery or an assault where they are the charged suspect the guns should be confiscated from the owner. Their weapons permit whether it be standard or concealed shall be removed as well. This would prevent at home shootings such as domestic homicides and potentially public shootings as well.
Responsible hunters and gun owners should not have their weapons taken away because of irresponsible, unstable, reckless individuals.
All trained marksmen know to treat a gun as if it were loaded and only aim it at a target they intend to destroy. Having this knowledge prevents accidental discharges and deaths.
Guns should not be completely removed from our markets and society because it is not reasonable. What criminal follows the rules anyways? An easy medium would be to truly have gun control and regulate what is sold. As mentioned earlier, removal of automatic weapons, high caliber weapons and hollow point bullets would solve many problems. If a middle were to be met this would be the best case scenario to keep manufacturers, sellers, buyers and users happy. As the Pennsylvania Representative Tim Murphy said, “It’s not just what is in a person’s hand that makes the act violent, it is what’s in his mind.”