Opinion: What about gun control?


Photo courtesy of Canva.

Theresa Anguiano, Assistant Opinion Editor

You would think our politicians would take a stricter stance on gun control with the constant mass shootings and subsequent mental health repercussions. This has not been the case.

A shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville in late March was, according to CNN, the 19th shooting at an educational institution wounding at least one person this year. Another mass shooting at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky took place in mid-April. The two shootings claimed 11 lives in total.

California was the first state in the country to ban assault weapons, including AR-15 rifles, and yet it continues to be one of the states with the most mass shootings. California’s residents are required to pass a written test by the Department of Justice to receive their firearm safety certificate. To obtain a concealed weapon permit, you must meet the requirements and obtain approval from your local police station or sheriff’s office.

With all these legal and safety implementations, why are mass shootings still occurring? Are they enough? What laws fail to prevent these shootings?

Lax gun laws are to blame. States not requiring permits to purchase guns are exacerbating this problem.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states the right to bear arms. Many people, predominantly far-right-wing conservatives, believe a ban on assault rifles will affect their right to carry.

In an effort to protect their right to carry, Tennessee House Republicans have gone as far as expelling two out of three Democratic state representatives who called for a gun-control regulation after leading a protest on the House floor shortly after the Nashville massacre.

Both Tennessee and Kentucky are permitless carry states – Tennessee since 2021 and Kentucky since 2019. Tennessee’s residents do not need background checks, permits or firearms registration to obtain a gun or weapon, while Kentucky does not require background checks for concealed carrying for its residents.

Most people are in favor of mental health screenings and a firearm safety certificate for potential gun owners. If these suggestions were to be passed through legislation, we might see a decrease in mass shootings, like in other developed countries.

The Australian government banned automatic and semi-automatic weapons, followed by the creation of a firearm registry after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. There has been no mass shootings of the same size in Australia since.

Banning certain guns and establishing strict gun laws do not necessarily infringe on a citizen’s rights. People with a mental health clearance should have access to bear arms, and those that don’t should wait until they do. This way, we can prevent senseless killings and allow peace to be brought back to schools and beyond.