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America has a gun addiction


Photo/illustration by Josh Pachio/Arts & Entertainment/Life & Culture Editor

By Allison Turner
Opinion Editor

There has been a lot of social media outcry lately pitting the right to own an assault rifle against the freedom to be safe at a public institution. But let’s examine what the right to own a firearm really entails.

The Second 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.”

This nation seems to have forgotten that we have no use for militias anymore. The people do not need to defend themselves now that we have a system in place to do just that, therefore they have no need for high powered firearms. And in the case of colonial living, guns were far less advanced and required less regulation.

The Second Amendment is clearly outdated and shouldn’t be used to argue for gun rights until it is adjusted to align with today’s society.

I’m not saying do away with our right to own a gun, I’m saying that we have evolved and our legislation should mirror that.

In response to the number of teen driver accidents, California lawmakers recently proposed raising the age of a provisional license to 21. How is this any different than controlling the sell of weapons to those under 21.

The recent catastrophic shooting in Florida has prompted the president to offer a short sighted solution: solve the school shooting crisis by putting more guns in school.

Like fighting fire with fire, introducing more guns into the system seems like a good idea, until it is not. Putting more guns in schools is another hazard, and the costs alone to arm and train the projected 700,000 teachers is a cool $1 billion, according to the “Washington Post.”

And where is this money going to come from? Teachers aren’t paid enough to teach let alone take on the responsibility of law enforcement. They frequently have to pay out of pocket for tissues and art supplies, will they have to pay for bullets too?

So let’s say a teacher puts her issued gun in her purse. Now a disgruntled student has access to a weapon and thus has the potential to start a school shooting. On the other hand, let’s say the gun is stored in a safe. Now students don’t have access, but the teacher will not have ample time to retrieve the firearm before an active shooter gets into the classroom.

In either situation, having a firearm in the classroom does not put students at less risk.

This solution masks the real problem: how was a mentally unstable 19 year old able to legally obtain an assault rifle?

In his case, the AR-15 in question was legally purchased from a gun shop. Florida law requires a minimal background check and the buyer must be at least 18 years old. These inadequate requirements make it easy for both official and private sellers to push semiautomatic weapons.

Our country has created, in essence, a loophole for acquiring firearms. Gun shows across the country take advantage of dismal requirements and offer easy access and cash exchanges for numerous types of guns. Most shows are open to the public, and many are unregulated as is the case with Florida.

Gun shows are often comprised of private collectors or vendors. This means that anyone can buy a firearm from these booths without having to fill out the mandatory federal forms.

This country has a problem, a problem that has been left untreated for far too long. Gun violence is rampant, and the recent tragedy should be an eye opener. To me, the solution seems clear: the government needs to step up or step out. The people have spoken and it’s time the government adjusts the laws to meet our calls.