Nearly 400 million civilian-owned firearms are in the United States, and the gun debate is more prevalent than ever.
The question we always hear is whether or not we should be further regulating our firearms. What is often left all too forgotten, is that it's the bullets that do the killing, not the guns.
Regulating the sales of guns themselves is, of course, very important. However, with so many guns already in the possession of Americans, regulating the sale of guns themselves can only do so much.
Bullets differ in weight and velocity, but many can shatter bones and leave gaping wounds. They are obviously extremely destructive, but they are as easy to purchase as a pack of gum in many states. In these states, large retailers are selling bullets, and bullets can also be bought online. No questions asked.
In 2013 it was reported that about 10 billion rounds are produced in the U.S. every year, however, there are far fewer producers of this ammunition than there are producers of firearms, making the ammunition industry easier to regulate.
The idea of regulating bullets is not only doable, but it is far more likely that it will gain support from Americans then would banning all guns. The Gun Control Act of 1968 required all retailers to log ammunition sales and prohibited all mail-order purchases, however, this was lifted by President Reagan.
Today, it would be very possible to implement similar regulations. Strict control of the production and sale of outwardly dangerous bullets would be simple with the use of technology and due to the fewer number of producers of bullets than of firearms.
In states like Massachusetts and New Jersey, it is required that you have a license or permit to purchase bullets. This is a common-sense law that should, and can, be enacted nationwide.
We have two extremes to this gun debate; banning all guns or keeping what people see as our Second Amendment right.
Debates, protests, and fighting over this topic has gotten us little to nowhere. Yet, what we keep forgetting is that we all can agree on something; we all just want to feel safe and protected.
Common sense control of bullets is a sort of middle ground that reminds us as Americans that what we need the most is safety in our country, while also feeling like our rights have not been infringed upon.
We won't take away all your guns. We'll just make sure the things that do the killing - the bullets - won't get into the hands of the wrong people.