On Oct. 2, 10 people were killed in a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.
That makes 45 school shootings this year, according to MSNBC. This is unacceptable, and changes to gun laws must be made to prevent this pattern from continuing.
A common pro-gun argument claims that if more people had guns, then mass shootings would decrease.
Average citizens should not have to arm themselves to remain safe. Instead, we should be trying to keep weapons out of the hands of people who should not have them.
The more weapons we have, the more likely they are to be used, sometimes fatally.
Another pro-gun argument is that criminals don’t follow laws, so logic follows that they wouldn’t follow gun laws either.
The problem with this is that nearly 80 percent of weapons used in mass shootings are obtained through legal routes, according to research by Mother Jones.
Multiple mass shooters in the last several years have obtained weapons legally even with red flags in their records, according to The New York Times.
Background checks and mental health evaluations should be more extensive and carried out with the safety of others in mind, as opposed to the convenience of the buyer. On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong killed 13 people using two guns, according to The New York Times.
He had been arrested, cited or had minor contact with police five times prior, but he received his second gun under a federal rule that allows gun purchase if a background check doesn’t come back within three days.
The most common type of gun used in mass-shootings are semi-automatic handguns, according to Mother Jones research.
Applying stricter laws to these guns would be a good first step, but we must be open to even bigger changes if we want to keep each other safe.
Gun safety education would also be of great help. Two recent shooters got their weapons from their family arsenal, according to Daily Mail.
The Oregon shooter and the Sandy Hook Elementary shooter both lived mostly isolated lives with mothers who had a personal interest in guns and shared this interest with their sons.
Had these mothers been more responsible gun owners, lives might have been saved.
On Oct. 5, Ben Carson, a Republican presidential candidate, wrote on Facebook, “There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking – but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”
How many bullet-riddled bodies would Carson have to see to be as devastated as he was about the possibility of more gun-control laws?
Carson’s message rang true with some, but it stung many more. Mathew Downing, a survivor of the Oregon shooting, told CNN via Facebook that he was fairly upset by Carson’s comments.
“Nobody could truly understand what actions they would take like that in a situation unless they lived it,” Downing said.
The idea that more people should own guns simply to remain safe is ridiculous. We should not have to be armed to be safe. This would be the same as having school children wear bulletproof vests every day.
The catalyst of these shootings is what needs to be addressed: loose gun laws and a poorly educated public.
Demanding that we keep more routes open to buy guns through only further enables shooters. It might inconvenience people who present no danger, but that inconvenience is worth protecting the lives of others.
Not everyone wants to carry a gun, and not everyone should have one.