Stephen Paddock was found with 23 guns in his Mandalay Bay hotel room after he shot and killed 59 people in Las Vegas on Sunday. An additional 19 guns were found in his Mesquite, Nev. home. Omar Mateen, whose name was on two federal watch lists for being a known ISIS supporter, easily purchased two handguns within a week before murdering 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The guns that were legally obtained by these men took the lives of many.
Some argue that owning a gun is a constitutional right and they’re not wrong. It is completely legal to own a registered gun, as stated in the second amendment. However, using the second amendment to defend murderer’ – like Paddock – is just pathetic. Police confiscated a total of 42 guns from Paddock’s hotel room and home.
Even if it is legal to own a gun, no one should have the right to own enough guns to create the most deadly shooting in modern American history. If keeping the second amendment is so important, the government has to limit the amount of guns per household to try to prevent such frequent shootings.
We also need to create legislation for stricter screening processes. Omar Mateen, the Pulse nightclub shooter, was able to obtain two guns without a problem even though he was a known ISIS supporter. He passed every necessary test required by law with no loopholes or tricks. The problem here isn’t his ability to forgo legal tests. The problem is with inadequate screenings that need to be updated and strictly enforced.
Some may cite protection or even hunting as viable reasons to own a gun. In a PEW Research study conducted in February of 2013, 48 percent of gun owners said they own their guns for protection.
The Violence Policy Center, however, found that in 2012, only 0.1 percent of all gun owners have ever used their gun for protection. A Harvard University study found that for every person who uses a gun for self-defense, six others use them to commit a crime.
Today, the second amendment only exists for the 0.1 percent of people who have used their weapons in self defense because no one feels that we should make slight changes to a 228 year-old document. There’s no reason to keep an amendment in its current form – it was made when we had nothing else to protect ourselves with, like emergency services or the task forces we have today. I don’t claim that gun control will prevent shootings 100 percent, but I know something has to be done to try to prevent the devastation that we’re becoming scarily accustomed to.
Alyssa Schirm is a sophomore journalism amd visiual and sound media double major from Kearny, New Jersey. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.