What Is The Answer?
Shortly after 22:00 hours in Las Vegas, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on an open air concert from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The number of fatalities is still unconfirmed however at least 59 people are thought to have been killed.
The norm for this sort of incident means that the debate about gun control in the USA is going to come up. Both sides are passionate about their argument and there are times when it becomes ugly. It once again raises the question as to whether the USA needs stricter gun control.
The 2nd amendment states:
“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Many Americans take the 2nd Amendment very seriously and have stated that they would refuse to give up their guns and that’s their right. Everyone has the right to defend themselves, so long as they do it within the law.
While there is gun control in the US, a lot of people believe it’s not enough. Every time there is a mass shooting, the same argument comes up.
On 13th March 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into Dunblane Primary School in Scotland with four handguns that were legally purchased and owned. He shot and killed 16 children and one teacher.
The massacre led to the formation of a group called the Gun Control Network. Their work led to the government introducing the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 banning all cartridge ammunition handguns. A further Amendment would be added which banned .22 cartridge handguns. The ban is a frequent argument used in the gun control debate.
It is understandable that people want to see better gun control. Guns can do a lot of damage from a distance, especially automatic weapons. In several mass shootings, the shooter has been found to have mental problems is another can of worms. Are better background checks the answer? Should there be psychological evaluations before someone is allowed to own a gun? There are so many questions and possibilities that it becomes impossible to reach a suitable conclusion.
The National Rifle Association of America prides itself on fighting for gun rights for its members. They provide firearm training and their programs include Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program which teaches children in pre kindergarten through third grade on what they should do if they find a gun. Advocating responsible, safe firearm handling and safety, the NRA ensure that their members have all the tools required.
Whether or not the gun control issue will be dealt with, the debates will continue and both factions divided. I have a lot of friends who are responsible gun owners and while they try to explain their side to people, there are a lot of those people set on guns being banned and no amount of explanations will convince them otherwise.
Perhaps the ideal solution is tougher sentences for those who break gun laws? While that may deter some, there are individuals who are so determined to take the lives of others, nothing deter them. The media will be raising the gun control question over the coming weeks and there will be a lot of facts and figures from both camps.
Had guns been banned in the US. Would Stephen Paddock have been able to kill as many people? Would he have obtained a gun anyway to complete his plan? These are questions that are very tricky to answer. Terrorists have begun using cars and vehicles to kill people. Does this mean cars should be banned? We live in a world where there are a lot of dangerous people who will stop at nothing to kill others.
Should the focus be shifted to those firing the weapons rather than the actual weapon itself?