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Gun Control: An Archaic Amendment

In the last ten years, there have been over sixty shootings at schools, as well as other mass killings. This trend of violence has only gotten more pronounced, and yet gun control laws are as loose as ever.

Let’s take, for example, the incident that occurred in Tucson, Arizona. Jared Loughner, 22, had been pulled out of community college by campus police for “[frightening] other students,” and posted a YouTube video denouncing Pima Community College as a “genocide school.” He purchased a Glock 19 pistol, which he used to shoot 19 people at a supermarket. This is a good chance for us to ask ourselves as a country why someone as obviously troubled as Jared Loughner was able to purchase any kind of weapon.

Some people will defend his purchase of the pistol under the second amendment. To them, I say this: the Constitution was written more than 200 years ago, when the right to bear “arms” was the right to carry a rifle or large gun, one not easily concealed by a jacket, or even a t-shirt.

Not only has the size of weapons changed, but also the technology has as well. According to gun regulations in all 50 states, it is legal to purchase, sell, and fire armor piercing-rounds. This is an ideal example of poorly crafted modern gun control laws. The real factor that allowed Jared Loughner to do so much damage was the size of his clip. The ability of his weapon to hold and fire 30 rounds goes well beyond any reasonable necessity for benevolent use.

In the 18th century, people had rifles so they could go to war, defend our country, or defend their families. But those were very different times. Today, with the Internet, advanced weapons technology, and everything else that has changed since the colonial age, it is a safe to assume that life is different from the Revolutionary War era.

As our country has grown and adapted to technology and changing times, so have our laws—except for what people claim to be our constitutional rights. It would be rude of me to say that our founding fathers had little foresight, but seems that even they could not anticipate what would happen over the next two centuries.

Gun control is a necessity. America is 26th on an international list of countries based on murders per capita. Countries in Europe, a place with gun control laws strict enough to closely monitor the location and ownership of each gun in the country, have earned their place on that list with a much lower number of murders per capita, because there is a direct correlation with the strictness of gun control laws and the number of murders every year.

We need to start monitoring and controlling whom we allow to purchase weapons. America needs perspective in order to save the lives of people like Gabrielle Giffords and the others that died that fateful morning.

2 Comments on Gun Control: An Archaic Amendment

  1. Joe Burwell '82 // February 3, 2011 at 7:52 am // Reply

    Unfortunately, the author dislikes what fellow citizens “claim” as constitutional rights. If the author wants to somehow deny those rights, then the author should at least respect the constitutional framework and seek an amendment to the Constitution rather than, presumably, seeking the enactment of gun control laws/statutes.

  2. The author has no clue on several fronts. Pistols as well as long guns were alive and well in colonial times. And please explain what gun is bigger than a rifle. Also, I’m tired of hearing about how things have changed. If you want to go there, let’s take a look at the First Amendment and deny freedom of the press to all but printed newspapers. Things have changed alright. We have raised a generation of liberals that believe the nanny state is the answer to everything because the individual can’t be trusted. So much for freedom.

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