Opinion: Are Guns Too Welcome in America?

CC Junius Brutus Stearns [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jeremy Zimmerman, Staff-writer.

First and foremost, I present my condolences and prayers to the families of the 58 persons who were killed in Las Vegas last week, as well as to those who are currently recovering from injuries due to the shooting. The horrendous attack at Mandalay Bay is something that hasn’t yet been seen in the United States on this scale, and it deeply saddens me as an American to see such a travesty occur at a concert — a generally accepted secure place. It is essential to discuss ways to ensure that this can never happen again, because the security of the nation depends on it.

As someone who has grown-up in rural Pennsylvania, I understand the importance of guns and the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms is undeniable. However, the right to bear arms is not absolute and implies a responsibility, much like freedom of speech. You cannot go around shouting “fire” in a public building, for the same reason you shouldn’t be able to carry around assault weapons. It is the thin line between a right and a duty. The laws currently in place are quite honestly the cause of such events. You do not see these same types of events occurring in Western Europe or Canada. It is time for America to come to serious terms with its gun-obsession problem.

There is nothing essential about an assault weapon, a defensive handgun will surely suffice.

As someone from Pennsylvania I am also far too familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” But instead it should be stated that in reality some liberties must be given up for the security of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth another common ‘Pennsylvanian ideal’. It is surely logical to conclude that the right to have open-carry laws and the practically unrestricted selling of arms is not an ‘essential right’. There is nothing essential about an assault weapon, a defensive handgun will surely suffice. There is no need for an offensive weapon to be in the hands of untrained, ordinary citizens. The right to such dangerous weapons as guns should be left exclusively to trained individuals such as the police, military, or even individuals who have gone through a thorough safety course.

The obsession with guns in dangerous. Guns are a symbol of violence and nothing else. Except for the exclusive use for hunting, nothing good has come from the barrel of a gun. Some will argue that if the ‘bad guys’ have guns, then people need equally powerful weapons to defend themselves; and while this is true to an extent, it misses the core of the problem. If instead, there were fewer options for people to obtain assault rifles, fewer assault rifles would make it to the black market or into the hands of bad-intentioned people, thus decreasing the overall need for guns and securing society. A lot less damage can be done by a criminal with a knife than one with a gun.

Guns are a symbol of violence and nothing else. Except for the exclusive use for hunting, nothing good has come from the barrel of a gun.

And for those who still hold on to the idea that the right to bear arms exists to protect your right to revolt against the government, this argument is completely ludicrous. Do you actually think assault rifles could resist the military arsenal of the US government, in the event of a civil uprising? Besides, the most wonderful thing about our great nation is that our democratic tradition is too strong to be uprooted in the foreseeable future. The delicate and complex powers between the local, state, and federal government make it literally impossible. A tyrannical government can not survive in the United States for the people shall always prevail.

But let it be clearly stated: this is not my attempt to politicize a tragedy — this is me trying to address a serious event, by pointing out the flaws within American gun ideology, and calling for strict gun reform throughout the United States. This is not about Democrats and Republicans. This is about the well-being and safety of Americans. So let common sense prevail; reform gun laws, and implement mandatory safety classes. Not for the politics, but for those who have died and for all those that will continue to be harmed by the inadequate system in place. May god bless the families who have been effected and the entirety of the United States of America.

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