Opinion: Increase regulations on gun ownership

by Lauren Sanders

Opinion Editor

When Tiffany Goldwire left her children for just minutes to go to the bathroom, she did not anticipate that her 2-year-old son would accidentally shoot and kill her 11-year-old daughter using her .357 caliber handgun kept in her bedroom. Neither did the parents of a boy from Milwaukee who found a gun in the glovebox of his car and accidentally shot himself in the head; nor those of the five-year-old boy who shot his three-year-old sister with a handgun left unattended. In all three of these deaths, there was one common factor: a gun.

weapon-424772_640My dear gun owners, I can practically see the smoke coming out of your ears already – just like the smoke that comes out of your child-killing apparatus. “But I would never so carelessly leave my lethal weapon around my house like that, I lock it away safely,” you angrily mumble as you read this article. Do you think the aforementioned parents planned on leaving their guns easily accessible? Do you think they wanted their children to die? You know, it’s great that you are so self-assured and view yourself as incapable of making mistakes, but it’s really a matter of human error. I hate to break it to you, but as a species, we are not perfect. We are flawed; we make mistakes. It just happens that some mistakes have utterly devastating consequences, and it would be safer and more effective to eradicate the possibility of these mistakes from occurring.

But I’ll humor you for a second. You have a gun for protection, right? You want to exercise your Constitutional right to possess a firearm in order to defend yourself from intruders, murderers, burglars, and the like. I respect that. However, there’s a slight issue with this plan. In response to my earlier assertion, you all made the point that your guns are locked away in a place where children and others cannot access them. That’s great! I’m proud of you. But that defeats your protection idea. When whomever you feel the need to protect yourself from actually enters your household or poses a threat, you must inform the large man with the switchblade that you need to go unlock your safe and retrieve your gun. My point is, your gun doesn’t do much to prevent imminent danger unless you keep it accessible at all times, which, as we discussed, leads to the deaths of your siblings, your children, your cousins – need I go on?

One pro-gun argument I often hear is that it would be immoral and cruel to deprive people of their Constitutional rights. You know what else is immoral and cruel? Letting your lethal habit end the lives of small children. Additionally, may I remind you that the Constitution was written 228 years ago? The times have changed since our musket-bearing forefathers roamed the lower 48. When you are summoned to fight in a militia against the British, let me know and I’ll reconsider. But until then, stop using an old document to justify your devastating and unnecessary weapons.

At this point, most gun owners have thrown down El Gato in disgust, are rolling their eyes at this article, and are desperately trying to convince themselves that they are not the problem. So, it may be useless to attempt to reconcile with the multitude of people I have offended, but I would just like to state that I recognize that banning guns will not stop the use of guns entirely, nor will it prevent criminals from accessing guns. However, it will definitely make a dent in the number of accidental deaths that occur each year, as well as stopping the people with no access to the black market gun trade, such as high schoolers like Luke Woodham. Woodham was a 16-year-old high schooler who murdered his mother at home before killing his ex-girlfriend and another student and wounding seven others at Pearl High School with a gun. Tragically, there are hundreds of cases just like this one that could have been avoided if guns were banned for civilians.

It’s impossible to  prevent death by firearms completely. It’s also impossible to stop the creation of explosives, the use of switchblades, and mentally unstable individuals who go on awful killing rampages. I’m saying we take it one step at a time; banning guns is the first step in stopping these devastating occurrences. You say that outlawing guns would stop an infinitesimal, irrelevant amount of deaths- tell that to the parents of the deceased children.
My question for you– how many more innocent people must be hurt before you relinquish your treasured firearms? How many more children need to die?

Categories: Culture, National, Opinion

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