Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Imagine going to the mall with your friends and everyone is there having a great time, enjoying themselves getting all of their necessary shopping done when all of a sudden you hear gunshots. People are screaming, running all over the place, bullets are flying everywhere and you’re left terrified wondering how this could have happened. That feeling is exactly what those involved in the fatal shooting at the Columbia Mall in Howard County, Maryland felt, they felt those exact same thoughts you just read. Now you need to ask yourself, How could that have been prevented, How could every other shooting just like that have been prevented? The simple answer is, gun control.
Gun control has been one of the hottest topics for a while now and it’s a really big topic at next year’s upcoming election. So before we really get into the paper, what is gun control? Gun control is an argument that has been around since the end of the civil war in 1981 and is something that has been constantly been in the news for years ever since one of the most known shootings ever, Columbine. This issue is also relevant because events that concern gun control happen almost every day, whether if its a school shooting or a shooting thats similar to what happened at the Columbia Mall to the shooting that occurred in a Colorado movie theatre, each one of these scenarios could have been prevented if stricter gun control laws were put in place.
One thing that can be done to make gun control a more serious issue is to make it harder for people to access weapons in the first place. According to a report done by Business Insider buying a gun actually isn’t that hard at all., in some states as long as your 18 you qualify to be able to legally buy a gun. In some states like Florida, at least before 2 of the biggest shootings in history, you can walk out with a gun in minutes, where in others you need an extensive check. In Florida, the site of 2 major shootings in the past 10 years, it’s very easy to get a gun; so easy that according to Business Insider, “ don’t need to give your fingerprints, have a special permit, or even wait a period of time before you get the gun”(Taylor). This is something that needs to be made harder and should end up like other states. One state with stricter process of obtaining a gun is Virginia where the store will “ run two background checks one Federal and one State check”(Taylor) to ensure that the person is able to buy the gun beyond whether they say they can or can’t. States, like Florida should update their models of buying guns to be similar to what Virginia uses today. Colorado is one state that is taking steps to further the difficulty to buy guns especially after the Denver movie theatre shooting, “several Colorado lawmakers who pushed for expanded background checks and limits on ammunition magazines”(Matthew). This is something that is huge and even though it was something that actually got shutdown by Denver voters, it could be brought back up today following various shootings around the country.
Another thing that needs to be done to prevent or make it harder to buy guns are stricter background checks. According to Giffords Law Center from the federal side of the background checks, there is one major loophole and that is; “unless state law requires a background check for these sales, convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other ineligible people can legally buy guns”(Giffords). Basically saying that if I was selling a gun of any type unless a state law said I had to give a background check, I can sell you a gun with no questions asked or anything like that. This is something that seriously needs to be changed because it helps prove that literally anyone can go on a website like craigslist and buy a gun with no type of restriction.
Others out in the world however believe that gun control is perfectly fine where it is or should be lowered. Doing this would be potentially harmful to a lot of people because if you made it easier for people to gain access to a gun, a lot more shootings could potentially happen. One argument that is used a lot by people that think gun control should be kept where its at or lowered is “ Justice Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion in Muscarello v. United States, in which she equated ‘bear arms’ to ‘carries arms,’ meaning ready for use.”(Jesse). You could say that to keep gun control where its at or lowered is just that the second amendment says that you can just carry your weapon around wherever you want. This is false because if anyone can do it, any person regardless of their mental state can run around with a gun and just mess things up.
In conclusion, gun control is something that needs to be taken a lot more seriously in this country. Personally, I think it’s something that if the federal or even state governments used, this country could be made a lot safer. So what do you think, Should the US make its laws on gun control stricter? Or just keep them where they are at?