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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

We Need Gun Control

We+Need+Gun+Control

In the United States, we have roughly one gun for every man, woman and child. That’s over 300 million guns. That’s more guns than some countries have citizens. According to an article published by the New York Times in 2015, there is on average one or more mass shootings every day. The Times defines a mass shooting as a shooting where four or more people are killed or injured. There is something wrong with these people who do such terrible things and they need mental help and attention. There are more preventative measures we could take to end gun violence.

As much as some people may want, we will never get rid of guns in America. Owning guns will always be protected by the second amendment, although some legislation may be passed to prohibit certain types of guns. With both sides of the political spectrum arguing about guns, we need to find a common middle ground and work from there.

The vast majority of gun owners are good people who don’t want to hurt anyone. Troubled people who commit mass shootings give all gun owners and Americans a bad name. People are scared of them, and rightfully so. It’s an unfortunate stigma that has been placed on our society. We need to make it harder for violent criminals and those suffering from a mental illness to obtain firearms.

A good starting point to control who is able to purchase certain types of guns would be to introduce a federal law that requires every aspiring firearm owner to pass an intense gun safety class. This would make owning a gun more like being allowed to operate a car. To be legally allowed to drive, you need a license that says you are safe and responsible, and that you know how to properly handle a car. While the constitution does not speak of cars, the second amendment doesn’t talk about assault rifles and all the different gun types we have now.

As technology has progressed, gun laws have stayed roughly the same. It’s time for us to come together as a society and determine how we can make it safer for all without compromising on our constitution. Stricter gun safety courses should be in addition to required background checks and a mandatory wait time. Some of us are familiar with the “gun show loophole” but for those who aren’t, it’s essentially where private-parties are allowed to sell guns to people without performing background checks or keep records of the gun sales. To combat this loophole, it would become illegal to sell to an individual who has obtained a license to purchase a firearm.

This would help cut down on a significant portion of gun deaths. Making it harder to get these guns would hopefully discourage people from making a life-changing mistake. Enforcing a more time-consuming process would give people more of a chance to think about what they are doing. Those who experience a desire to hurt others, wish to commit suicide, or another negative action can hopefully seek the medical attention that they need. Optimistically, this would help them see the consequences of their actions.

Would this stop all problems with guns? Absolutely not. With over 300 million guns, there’s no way to force all of these people to start going through this licensing process until they want to buy new guns. It is still a good starting point that can hopefully lead us to a safer nation, without sacrificing our constitutional right to bear arms.

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