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Because I said so: we need to fire up gun control

photo courtesy of Flickr user Lisa B
photo courtesy of Flickr user Lisa B

Mass shootings occur so frequently in the U.S. that there never seems to be an appropriate time to discuss why and how they’re happening. The “why” is not so easy to answer due to various unrelated motives, but it is disturbingly easy to understand the “how.” Guns are easily accessible, too easily accessible; that’s how.

Plenty of Americans consider the Second Amendment sacred, but frankly, it’s outdated. It was conceived during a time when Americans truly needed the right to bear arms for protection and hunting purposes. The Second Amendment used to be about survival, but now it seems to be about letting people have and use as many deadly weapons as they want.

Just to clarify, when I say “guns” and “deadly weapons,” I don’t mean hunting rifles. Whenever people argue against the Second Amendment, gun-carriers are quick to mention hunting as a reason for carrying a gun; it’s reasonable. However, we need gun control because we need to do something about assault rifles and the like. “Gun” is really an umbrella term that encompasses everything from an old-fashioned hunting rifle to an Uzi. I doubt any hunter would try arguing the merits of using an AK-47 to hunt game.

There’s no reason for Americans to carry military grade weaponry outside of a warzone (if then) and no reason to allow every American to have this right. People with histories of violence should not have the right to carry guns. Why? Because when someone is more likely to kill, we shouldn’t just hand him all that he needs to do it.

Well what about background checks? Don’t we have those?

Yes, we do, but only when guns are purchased in stores. Guns are oftentimes bought from internal sources including family and friends. And when background checks are conducted, less than 1 percent of people are denied. Furthermore, it’s ridiculous that background checks aren’t conducted at gun shows because of the sheer magnitude.

When I watched the news on Tuesday, Jan. 5, I initially hoped to see change when President Obama proposed his executive action plan to help limit gun violence. If you saw the press conference, you’d know how emotional our president was when discussing his plan, and why such a plan is necessary. Something about seeing the President cry displays how desperate we are to end gun violence. The action addresses the “gun show loophole” and calls for more extensive background checks. There is no doubt that we need stricter background checks, but I couldn’t help thinking, “Why do we even need guns at all?”

This executive order is a step in the right direction, but it’s not going to be enough. My stomach drops when I realize that as long as guns are accessible, there will be gun violence. We say that we need guns for protection, but we really need protection from guns.