Gun Control: Is it the Solution?

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Gun Control: Is it the Solution?

Brennan Lee, Ranger Review Reporter

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Gun Control is a very controversial topic for many Americans. Some say it’s the guns that are to blame for shootings while others say it’s the user and their mental state. No matter the political view, many Americans agree that something must be done to reduce violence and shootings; however, the solution to all of this may not be so clear. Some gun owners themselves are willing to have some gun laws passed to help prevent violence involving guns.With liberals calling for tighter and stricter gun control laws and conservatives wanting to retain their freedoms, it all revolves around one thing: gun control.

What is gun control? Gun control is a set of laws that put restrictions on what kinds of firearms that can be purchased, sold, manufactured, modification, types of ammunition, and who can possess firearms. In its current state, it prohibits those with criminal records, mental illness, dishonorable military discharge, and immigrants without a status of citizenship.

Currently anyone who is 18 can purchase an AR style rifle, shotgun, hunting rifle, etc. While a person has to be 21 to be able to purchase a handgun.                                                                                                                                                       

Many Americans, mostly students, are clamoring for gun law reforms in the wake of the Parkland Florida shooting. People say that gun control can do good but it is debated. Most argue that with gun control, there will be less gun violence and fewer crimes in general. They claim high capacity magazines should be banned because of the amount of ammunition they can hold, or at least that’s what the left is saying. Others also say that the bump stock used in the Las Vegas shooting is partly to blame and should be banned.

Ricky Limas (10) believes that gun control currently doesn’t work stating, “We definitely need to do more concerning  gun control to get the dangerous assault weapons out of public places.” He also shared his ideas for how gun control can be fixed by saying, “As of right now, we need to raise awareness for other people to understand that gun control is a really big issue right now, and to start encouraging gun bans.”

On the other side of the spectrum are anti-gun control activists. Some of their arguments are that guns are used for their self-defense or hunting. They even say that gun control would limit guns from law-abiding citizens and leave them defenseless against criminals who don’t follow the law and will obtain guns illegally anyways. Many argue that even with gun control, people are going to find new and different ways to hurt crowds of people. For example, the New York truck attack where Sayfullo Saipov ran a rented pickup truck into a group of bicyclists.

TJ Soldani (10) believes that mass shootings are a result of mental issues. He said, “The mental issue definitely, harm towards a person or abuse in general, would make them angrier, and that makes them want to kill because it doesn’t matter to them.” As of right now, TJ said  “ Say someone buys a gun, the seller can have a label on the person who bought it.”

After multiple shootings occur across the nation, dozens are questioning the idea that gun control works and others saying that other factors are involved. Undoubtedly, shooters with questionable pasts and records have been able to get their hands on firearms such as the Parkland school shooter, Nikolas Cruz. He had a past of threatening fellow students, and teachers at the school when he attended a year prior. Online, Nikolas worshiped guns and commented on school shooting videos stating that “I’m going to be a professional school shooter”. Yet even with twenty separate police calls and two tips about him to the FBI, which they failed to follow through with, he still was able to obtain firearms.

Some people go as far to say that the mentality of the shooters is what needs to be looked at and not the gun itself. Whether it’s a question of mentality or the upbringing of the shooters, people blame the person in control of the gun. They say that if a person is mentally ill or unstable that they should not be allowed to buy a gun. However, only 3% of all gun violence is committed by a mentally ill person. On the other hand, many shooters aren’t mentally ill and have just been raised improperly, as others say.

Going off of that, being the subject of poor upbringing, the relation is clear between Cruz and this situation. The Parkland High School shooter Nikolas Cruz had reportedly been orphaned and was the subject of bullying at his schools. He had severe depression after his mother died and eventually got expelled because he had impulse control problems and made threats to students. Many of his former peers said they joked that he, if anybody, would be the one to shoot up the Florida school.

The Florida Parkland shooting was big, with all of the controversy around it, it is hard to deal with everything. From the police waiting outside to put body cameras on while kids were being shot, to how the shooter got a hold of the weapons, the whole situation is a convoluted mess. After a couple of weeks more information has popped up about the event and new opinions and solutions have arised. The only thing left to decide; how to deal with and prevent things like this to happen again.