Are Guns the Only Option

October 16, 2017

by Jisoo Ku Jserra Catholic High School10th grade

The ease at which people can acquire firearms in America is unparalleled compared to most developed countries around the world. For teenagers in America, it’s often easier to get their hands on guns than it is to acquire alcohol, as the minimum age requirement is 18 for firearms and 21 for liquor. Only recently, Americans woke up to the horrible news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which over 50 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Stephan Paddock was the man behind the tragedy, and for an everyday man like him to get access to so much guns raises questions about the government’s issuance of gun licenses.

In Paddock’s hotel room, police and law enforcement discovered 23 firearms. These weapons weren’t merely handguns but also included heavy arms like machine guns. When a person gets a gun license, he/she needs to provide various means of identification. Sure, the government performs background checks into the prospective gun owner’s mental health, family history, criminal charges, and medical prescriptions. But Paddock had neither mental health problems nor a criminal past. He had a history of taking Valium for his anxiety and his father was a robber, but these factors cannot deprive him of his second amendment.

After reading updates on the news for quite some time, I began to question why the government bothers to issue gun licenses when even the sliver of a mistake can give guns to the hands of a mass killer. Now is the time for the government to question the framer’s intent for writing the Second Amendment and ask whether gun ownership is worth the pain and suffering thousands of people have gone through in this past week alone. As a resident of America, I value the basic liberties that the government protects from each and every individual within the borders of this country. However, “self-defense” is a far too overrated excuse for keeping guns and firearms in our back pockets. There is a dire need to redefine our understanding of gun ownership, and the time is now.

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