Barber: How Soon Is Too Soon to Talk About Gun Control?

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Gun violence has been an unfortunate theme in recent events. University of Utah student ChenWei Guo was murdered in a senseless and random act of violence. In Texas, a recent shooting at a church left 26 people dead and 20 more injured. Just over a month ago was the deadliest mass shooting yet in the United States with 59 people killed and at least 500 injured in Las Vegas.

Whenever something like this happens, cries for gun control surface within minutes. People argue that stricter gun control laws would have prevented the disaster. These claims are inevitably countered by people who say that the gun control argument is inappropriate so soon after a calamity; there needs to be time for mourning before these discussions can occur. They chasten people for turning a tragedy into a political matter.

So, how soon is too soon to talk about gun control? I say we talk about it immediately.

The U.S. has a practical monopoly on gun violence. We experience gun homicide rates of 25.2 times higher than other high-income countries. What’s the difference? Gun control. Australia experienced a mass shooting in 1996 when a man killed 35 people with a semi-automatic rifle. They immediately implemented strict gun control laws and began the disarmament of citizens. Gun violence dropped dramatically.

The U.K. adopted a similar policy in 1996 when a man killed 17 people, 16 of whom were children. Gun control tightened dramatically, and the government collected and disposed of most citizen weaponry. Since 1996, there has only been one mass shooting in the U.K.

When gun control is a proven solution to an extreme problem in the U.S. that constantly endangers our citizens, it is never too soon to start talking about it. We need to pressure our lawmakers about these events and encourage them to implement laws that would help protect people. Call and write your senators and representatives. With so many in favor of loosening gun regulation, it is especially crucial to voice your concerns.

In 2017 alone, we’ve had 307 mass shootings. How can we postpone talking about gun control when mass shootings are happening multiple times per week? If we must wait for some ambiguous period of time after every tragedy before talking about solutions, we will never be able to work towards a remedy.

Gun control is the answer. People wanting to purchase guns should go through strict precautionary hurdles in order to prevent mass shootings. Gun restrictions are so loose right now that they permit people who intend to commit heinous crimes to easily obtain weapons. 

When mass shootings happen, it is the most important time to talk about gun control. Without this discussion it is impossible to prevent future tragedies.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

Shaelyn is a fourth year at the University of Utah studying Political Science and Journalism in the hopes that someday she can be a travel writer. She is especially passionate about social justice, LGBTQ+ rights, women's rights, and mental health awareness. In her (very rare) free time she loves to hike, paint, and read.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Time does not matter when you are bypassing gun control/gun laws by having and carrying a Jo staff as a weapon to replace a gun you are not allowed to have, by people who think they know better then you.

  2. Crime rates in Australia and the UK didn’t decline as rapidly as they did in other parts of the world, particularly the U.S. And differences between murder rates across the world? They’re measured in thousandths of one percent. But the primary point is Leftists see what conservatives see. We all know how incompetent the government is in controlling illegal immigration. We all know the incompetence of government in preventing illegal drugs from flooding into the U.S. We now know colossal mistakes are being made by the government in operating the NICS background checking system. We know what a train wreck we face with government medical care, national debt, entitlement abuse, Social Security, Environmental Protection and on and on. Who on God’s green earth really, deep down, believes it’s smart to entrust the safety and security of our families to the incompetent bureaucrats who would administer new gun control laws?

    When thinking about the latest mass shooting, remember this. Governments that carry out mass murders fear armed citizens and it’s precisely why disarmament of the governed always precedes the killings. Taken together, all the mass shooting deaths by nuts, felons, terrorists and illegal aliens throughout history for the entire planet is infinitesimal compared to the total of mass killings of civilian citizens by governments. It’s the reason for our 2nd Amendment and throughout human history, it has been a very bad idea to allow any government to disarm its people.

    This latest atrocity should serve as a wakeup call for all the states as well as Texas. Governments will do whatever it takes to confiscate privately owned firearms. Leftists were beaten badly during Obama’s reign. So they’re starting over with little things like magazine size, bump-stocks, ammunition taxes, license fees, sound suppressors, bullet shapes and on and on. Eventually, they’ll get around to universal registration again. Clearly, they need universal registration because it fundamentally transforms all owners of firearms into dependents. Once they know who the owners are, they’ll proceed to choose which of them are allowed to be licensed. It’s the grandest of all entitlements. They need the hundred million owners to be dependent on the government in order to convince them to vote for more leftists.

    Conservatives have declared they’ve talked enough already. Leftists have hammered this issue for so long and so hard, it’s totally worn out. We already have 20,000 laws and they’re the best our legislators can write. They haven’t delivered disarmament as leftists want. The agenda is clear and there’s nothing left to talk about. If they want to “force” states to launch colossal projects to input all their felons to the NICS database, conservatives will support it heartily. If they want to punish everyone who falsifies the required BATFE (ATF) Form 4473, fine. If they want to fully punish criminals who violate firearms laws in conjunction with their other crimes, fine. But the usual stuff we’ve already been over a hundred times? Not a chance. No more talk.

  3. We could have had a meaningful discussion fifty years ago, but the gun control set refuses to consider laws that have a history of success aat cutting crime and making people safer.

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