Resolving the Revolver: the Problem With America's Violent New Habit

It’s always difficult when someone tries to resolve an issue whose solution seems to be absolute and concrete. Though it’s also terribly vexing when 20 young children are murdered in the confines of their elementary school in Newtown, C.T., or when people brutally gunned down in the most conventional places (say for instance, a movie theater). The murderous and insubordinate action of killing by firearm has now become nothing less than habitual in America these days.

The latest addition to the country’s growing record of mass shootings occurred on Thursday, Oct. 1 at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, OR. Sadly, this news only makes up a small fraction of the incidents involving firearms that have occurred in the last five years. What with all the civil unrest America has seen this decade, it’s hard to imagine actually being stunned by news stories like this anymore.

It is routine at this point; wake up in the morning, go to school, hear about some tragedy from Buzzfeed, and go on about our day. I know this sounds trite and useless at this point, but it doesn’t have to be this way. No one should have to cower in fear and keep themselves from doing the most commonplace things like going to school or seeing a movie. There can be a society where firearms are as nonexistent as racial prejudice, but we just haven’t found that yet. And why is that? Well, for one thing, it’s hard to eradicate a problem when its influence is so widespread.
To put guns in perspective, let’s take a looks at something more domestic like a car. Its function is to get someone from point “A” to point “B” in the most time-efficient and comfortable way possible, but purchasing a car is anything but comfortable and time-efficient. There are multiple steps needed to purchase a car, for example: you must first find a dealership, see what you can afford, negotiate the terms, visit the mechanic when buying a used one, put a down-payment on the car you desire, pay the monthly fees, and make sure you have auto insurance.

Then there remains the tedious task of getting a license, which more often than not requires countless trips to the Department of Public Services and the necessary driving instructions. So many troubling and repetitive ways just to get a car. Now look at the process of purchasing a gun: go to a local and licensed retailer, provide background information, fill out form 4473 so that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System can run a background check on the buyer, and then provide payment. For purchasing a handgun in some areas, those are all the regulatory steps one has to take. That’s not even considering the incredibly outrageous leniences that some states (like Texas, which has absolutely no laws in regards to buying a long-barreled when one is 18 or older) have that allow an easier process, or the fact that buying a rifle or a car and a gun, both man-made devices that can be deadly in the wrong hands, and yet only one of the two requires mandatory lessons to operate it.

It’s no wonder, then, why guns have been used so frequently and so outrageously in the past few years, because the wrong people have the ability to walk into a store and simply buy a machine that can instantly murder someone. Coupled with the fact that some politicians like Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, or Ben Carson scream bloody murder whenever the topic comes up, guns have become the perfect storm for diplomatic immunity. What troubles me the most, is the fact that such a troubling occurrence can even happen on live television, where as much as 40,000 people saw reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Andy Ward get shot on air in Virginia by an armed assailant. To quote Commodus: “It vexes me, I’m terribly vexed.”

The problem with guns lies in two main factors: its accessibility and its potential. Guns, like cars , have the potential to do incredibly awful things in the wrong hands, and that is one of the more obvious for a resolution to the problem. There lies a provoking comparison between cars and guns; they both have safety features, but on only one of these can the safety features be turned off.

Guns and cars both require some level of background knowledge in order to operate it, but for only one of these is an informational class required. Gun like cars, are easily accessible, and that is another obvious reason for resolution. Why do so many people claim that infringing on the second amendment would be the worst course of action? Hasn’t our fourth amendment already been violated for the sake of safety by the NSA?

Adaption can be a good thing, and for the most part America has shown promise for this by resolving the issue of gay marriage or flying confederate flags. Why then, should the judicial system stop there? Because some fear that gun control would be a step too far. Well, perhaps if the child cannot play nice with their toys, the toys should be taken away until the child learns to play by the rules.

Story by John McGowan
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