Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013 12:20:14 AM
There are no words to describe what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. The Newtown shooting is an occurrence that surpasses my comprehensibility by far. Tragic, yes, but a different, more widespread argument has been stoked by the Newtown shooting; an argument that also surfaced following other school shootings such as Columbine and other highly publicized shootings like the shootout that occurred at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin which resulted in the death of six people. There is a larger, broader argument which has been rejuvenated by the recent shooting. The argument is gun control.
Some claim that weapons are too dangerous, and society cannot handle the right to bear arms, particularly assault weapons and automatic weapons such as the Bushmaster assault rifle that was found at the scene of the Newtown shooting. Others strongly reinforce their belief in the 2nd amendment, which gives us the right to keep and bear arms. Although there is no denying that large amounts of crime, particularly homicide and suicide are committed mostly with firearms, I do not think that the right to bear arms should either be refined nor removed. Americans should have the right to possess a firearm in order to protect themselves. I would rather have gun owners on record than make guns illegal and have no record of who owns a gun and who does not. That being said, I think we should tighten the requirements that people must meet to own a gun. Mentally unstable and people with a history of violent crime should be blocked from owning a firearm. Also, gun shows that do not perform extensive background checks on its' customers should be made illegal. Anyone who wants to own a gun right now in America can do so if they wish. A lot of the tragic, pointless loss of life that is caused by crime is a result of a mentally ill person having access to a firearm, which was the case in the Newtown, CT shootings. Adam Lanza, age 20, entered the Sandy Hook Elementary school at around 9:35AM, right after the school had locked its doors. The shooting lasted about 12 minutes. He fired several hundred rounds, killing twenty children ages 6-7 and six teachers. Adam Lanza had autism and a personality disorder. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School should never, ever happen again.
Something needs to be done about the unlimited access that people like Adam Lanza have to firearms. This is a result of irresponsibility by the government, for letting gun shows that don't perform background checks happen. Although it is hard to argue with a ban on assault weapons because of the pain we are experiencing, we must focus on the real problem, outreach for the mentally ill and stricter requirements for firearm purchase. Where do we go from here? Well, we grieve. Then we make adjustments on our system. Then we remember.