Stoneman Douglas, Sandy Hook, Pulse Nightclub. Just three of the numerous mass shootings we have heard about in recent years. All of them deadly and violent and all of them rekindling the debate on gun control.
Gun control is the regulation of the manufacturing, sales, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms by civilians. We already have different federal and state laws to control firearms in the United States but people are asking for more. Currently, you must be 18 years of age to purchase a shotgun or rifle and all other firearms must be purchased by someone 21 or older.
There are also restrictions on who can purchase firearms and even those that do not fall under those restrictions must pass a background check. We also have states that require permits or open carry states.
That being said, activists are pushing for stricter gun laws in America. One popular suggestion is a ban on all assault rifles. The argument there is that civilians do not need to arm themselves with weapons commonly used on the battlefield as they serve no other purpose than that they are fun to shoot. Another suggestion is raising the minimum purchase age to 21.
Most people agree that this makes sense in that you shouldn't be allowed to buy a rifle at 18 and not a handgun. Politicians are hoping that some of these changes to gun laws will prevent gun violence.
One large topic in almost all gun control debates is mental health and its role in gun violence. Whenever a shooter is named they always dig into his or her background and find what some would consider a traumatic past. Words such as bullying and abuse are mentioned when describing why these people did what they did. The question is not whether or not mental health disorders played a role in the shooter's actions, it's how much blame society should place on the mental health issue versus other factors.
Mass shootings are beginning to happen more and more recently and some are becoming increasingly violent. The goal of the American people should be to enforce the current gun control laws and bring about more strict laws in order to prevent these heinous acts. It won't happen instantly, but with all the activism happening in America it will happen gradually.