On June 22, the Democratic party conducted a sit-in at the House of Representatives to prompt a vote on gun control laws that would prevent those on the FBI’s no-fly list or suspected terrorist from purchasing guns.
The renewed emphasis on passing this bill was prompted by the Orlando shooting that was committed by an individual who was placed on the terror watch list in 2014.
While we believe we have the right to bear arms as stated in the Second Amendment, we believe that there should be more efficient background checks and regulations to help reduce the number of instances of gun violence in America.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert argued with California Rep. Brad Sherman during their sit-in as he said the victims’ deaths were caused by “radical Islam.”
While that statement may be true for the Orlando shooting, what about the other mass shootings that have happened where the shooter did not practice radical Islam?
Shootings like the one in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine people were shot at a church, according to CNN. Or the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, where 26 people died. The movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people were killed and 70 were injured.
We do not want the right to bear arms to be taken away from us, but if we do not have a reliable and strong gun control system, how do we expect to reduce the mass shootings and gun violence in this country?
In the U.S., more than 10,000 Americans will likely be killed in gun-related murders this year, according to The Guardian.
President Barack Obama said on Twitter that a moment of silence given to victims of gun violence is not enough anymore, but that action needs to be taken for gun control.
During the sit-in alone, 88 people were shot across America, according to Vox.
“Too many of our children, too many of our sisters and brothers, our mothers and fathers, our friends, our cousins are dying by guns,” Georgia Rep. John Lewis said, according to Vox. “And we have to do something about it.”
Should we continue to allow the loss of so many lives because we do not want change?
Making changes in gun control will not take away your rights, but it will reduce the possibility of losing your brothers or sisters, parents or close friends by the hands of someone who would have been denied access to a gun in the first place if a thorough background check had been conducted.
Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell spoke during the sit-in and shared her experience of having a gun pointed at her by someone who should not have had access to a gun.
“I lived in a house with a man that should not have had access to a gun,” Dingell said, according to the Daily Mail. “I know what it’s like to see a gun pointed at you and wonder if you are going to live. And I know what it’s like to hide in a closet and pray to God, Do not let anything happen to me. And we don’t talk about it, we don’t want to say that it happens in all kind of households, and we still live in a society that we will let a convicted felon who was stalking somebody, a domestic abuser, still own a gun.”
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, said this bill would take away the rights given in the Fourth Amendment.
“We are not going to take away a citizen’s due process rights; we are not going to take away a citizen’s constitutional right without due process,” Ryan said, according to CNN.
Many also argue that this would not only be a violation of the Fourth Amendment, but also a violation of the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Do we feel safe and secure knowing that anyone can easily obtain a gun without having a proper background check?
A CNN poll conducted last week found that from the 1,000 people that participated in the poll, 90 percent supported changes such as a tighter background check for the purchasing of guns.
With the approval of a more secure and reliable gun control laws, the Second Amendment can be fulfilled as we use guns for the safety of the nation rather than for violence and deaths.