Gun Control

By Aambar Agarwal

58 people shot dead. More than 500 left wounded. The deadliest mass shooting in American history happened in Las Vegas, on Sunday, October 1. The shooter was found dead in his room. His girlfriend claimed that she had no idea that her boyfriend had been planning this. Gun control has become a serious issue in the US, especially after a massacre like this.

The shooter, Stephen Paddock, shot at the thousands of people enjoying an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas. He owned a total of 47 guns; some were found in his hotel suite, and the rest were found at his home. The shooter used a modification known as a bump stock, which allows for a semi automatic rifle to shoot as fast as an automatic. The modification is legal right now in the US, but if the US had stricter gun laws, this slaughter, and many others, could have been prevented. For example, Nevada has lenient gun laws, which may have aided the shooter in executing the attack. In Nevada, they do not limit the number of firearms a person can possess, and a person does not need a license to acquire a firearm or to register their gun. Before the shooting, republican lawmaker Jeff Duncan wanted to pass the “Hearing Protection Act”, which makes getting silencers a lot easier. Instead, the US should be working on putting more restrictions on gun ownership and usage.

Paddock passed all background checks when obtaining his guns. This just proves how inefficient the current system is. There should be more thorough background checks on the individuals when they are purchasing the firearms, as well as a limit on the number of guns one can own. All modifications for guns that could be potentially harmful should be outlawed, and people who want to purchase a gun must go through extensive training on how to use a gun responsibly and safely. Firearms should not be allowed in large tourist attractions except by law enforcement. Semi-automatics should only be used by law enforcement. There was a bipartisan legislation introduced after the shooting to ban bump stocks, however, this will definitely not be enough. In February, Trump revoked a bill that required gun checks for people with mental illnesses. This was a step in the wrong direction as it was put in place by former President Obama to ensure that guns would be used responsibly and safely.

Republicans and Democrats need to agree on an effective plan to control firearms. The safety of the American people depends on it. “We’ll talk about it later,” said Trump. No. We need to take action now. Otherwise, who knows what might happen?