Fewer guns, less violence

The prevalence of firearms aids gun violence and murder.

The front page news of young college students being shot and murdered on campuses across the nation has become sickeningly familiar. The latest mass murder at Northern Illinois University took five students, plus the shooter, most of whom were under the age of 21. We all agree that the senseless slaughter of young people at school needs to stop. On the other hand, the question of how to stop it and why it happens in the first place has seen less collectivity. Nevertheless, it’s clear this nation needs to make changes in firearm regulation to try and curb these events that, for the most part, are particular to the United States.

California recently passed legislation that requires all guns manufactured after 2010 to contain a code or imprint that would trace bullets fired back to the gun, the owner and the dealer. This smart gun legislation could gain bipartisan support if taken to the federal level. Although this sort of legislation is what we need in order to hold gun owners and dealers accountable, states and the federal government need to continue critically examining American’s right to carry concealed weapons.

Gun lobbyists have used these sorts of tragedies before to push for a loosening of concealed weapons regulation. They assert that an armed citizen is a protected citizen. These events take place in a matter of seconds, and it would be extremely unlikely that an ordinary citizen not sufficiently trained to handle these situations would be able to effectively take down an enraged attacker.

The prevalence of guns in our society has generated a “fight fire with fire” mentality. The need to carry a concealed weapon is because others too can carry a weapon, if another person might have a gun, you’d better be prepared to protect yourself with yours.

In order to reduce firearm circulation, our country needs to reexamine the protection of concealed weapons, like D.C has done, and hopefully find that personal handguns only exacerbate the problem of gun violence.

Tragedies like the one at Northern Illinois University can serve to shake up and put pressure on lawmakers to make changes in the system. Smart firearm legislation, founded in fact not on old traditions, is needed to curb gun violence and death that is all too common.