Got Gun Control?

On November 1, 2013, Paul Anthony Ciancia entered Terminal 3 of Los Angeles International Airport. While waiting in line at a TSA checkpoint, he pulled out a semi-automatic Smith & Wesson M&P 15 and shot nearby TSA worker Gerardo Hernandez. He then went on a rampage, injuring seven other people, stopping only after a shootout with the police.

Buyers shop for guns at the Houston Convention Center. By M Glasgow.

On November 4, 2013, Richard Scoop entered the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, New Jersey at 9:30 P.M., just before closing time. He came into the mall wearing black clothes and a motorcycle helmet. Scoop carried, in plain sight, a fully loaded rifle, and subsequently proceeded to go around the mall shooting at people randomly and chaotically. Thankfully, no one but the shooter was injured or killed.

These two incidents, which are just a few examples of many rogue mass shootings that have occurred in the United States during the past year, have once again sparked a debate on gun control in Washington D.C. and in state capitals across the country. While some people believe that gun control is a bad idea that encroaches on freedom, I welcome the revival of this much needed debate. Although it would be nearly impossible to completely ban all firearms in the United States due to the sheer number of guns in our country, state governments might be able to ban all semi-automatic weapons. If that is not possible, then we should at minimum push for universal background checks.

Many skeptics of universal background checks have claimed that these measures will not stop someone who is determined to commit mass shootings from buying firearms illegally. While this may be true in some cases, the fact is that the use of background checks and other identification requirements has been successful in other industries, namely alcohol, tobacco, and employment.  There is no reason to believe that the firearms industry is any different.

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3 Comments

  1. “Although it would be nearly impossible to completely ban all firearms in the United States due to the sheer number of guns in our country, state governments might be able to ban all semi-automatic weapons.

    There are over 80,000,000 firearms owners in the country in possession of over 300,000,000 weapons. The media would have you believe that all gun owners are mouth breathing right wing NRA extremists. But the truth is, and what confounds and frustrates them, is that these owners actually span the spectrum of political affiliation.

    When people, like the author here express thoughts that betray the dissonance they feel through notions of “State governments” banning all semi-auto weapons, you know that you’re dealing with someone that has the same illusions as the media. They blame the NRA, using it as a bogeyman instead of understanding that the lawmakers are in fact beholden to the people that actually vote.

    • Are you saying that the federal govt can realistically ban assault weapons with a republican house?

    • Tolentino Buzo says:

      I don’t blame the NRA for anything do I agree with their views, no, but I blame them for nothing.It is just not feasible to completely ban all weapons in the United States, there are too many.

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