In the wake of the most recently reported mass shooting in Florida, the gun control debate is yet again center stage. Any time a life is taken is tragic, however, many would agree, the mass killing of children is particularly heinous. There is, however, a blatant misrepresentation of the knee-jerk reaction by gun control enthusiasts, legislators, and activists.
The Typical Response: Stricter Gun Control Laws
As the airwaves and social media filled with reports of the tragedy along with random acts of heroism, many ask the same familiar questions: how, why, who, and what. All to make sense of the mindless act of cruelty. Yet while the family of those killed or wounded during the rampage, receive the startling news, the outcry of stricter gun control laws begin to surface. Even though the suspected gunman, Nikolas Cruz legally purchased the weapon he used, many yet believed tighter gun control would have stopped the heinous massacre. However, like every other mass shooting, no one can prove that statement.
Particularly in this case, since Feb. 2016 several people reported instances in which Cruz either made threats, used social media to post pictures of himself with guns or threatened to carry out a school shooting, according to The Miami Herald. There were eight total reports, including a case in which his adoptive parents decided not to press charges after Cruz had calmed down. Though he had put a gun to others’ heads in the past and threatened to come back with a gun during an argument. Ironically, Deputy Scot Peterson, an armed school resource officer who received the first report about Cruz’s threat to shoot up the school, didn’t enter the building where Cruz made good on his threat. Peterson has since resigned. Peterson is not the only Broward County officer that did not enter the building, according to CNN politics. In fact, three other BC officers at the scene had drawn their weapons and instead of storming the school to find Cruz, hid behind their patrol cars.
Is Common Sense Gun Control Even Possible?
First of all, if something is common sense, then it ought to be understood and quickly agreed upon. It doesn’t require an explanation, and it makes sense. Defined as, good sense and sound judgment in practical manners, by Merriam-Webster, the assumption is there is no reason for close inspection or debate. Although Democrats believe in the common sense approach to gun control, it will take more than a more extensive background check to stop gun violence. Critics of the National Rifle Association, (NRA) are quick to point out the organization’s influence over politicians, yet none will admit that gun control in the US is not feasible. This may be the time to question why the current laws are not enough and appear to not be working.
Regardless of which side of the debate one finds themselves if someone is determined to spread carnage and take life, history yet again proves that a law will not stop them. The idea that stricter gun laws would increase the safety of our students and general way of life, leads to a false security. Such as deciding to move to the suburbs only to be disappointed when a crime takes place just a few doors down.
Three Percent of the US Population Own Half of the Guns in America
In 2013, according to a report by Quartz, there were 316 million Americans in the US and an estimated 270 to 310 million guns. Therefore, the US has the highest number of guns per capita or about 89 to 100 guns for every 100 Americans. However, only a quarter of Americans own all of the legally registered guns in the country. Yet, the private sale of, and inherited firearms are not reported and tracked, so these numbers do not tell the whole story. Especially, when we consider the guns that are not legally registered.
By definition, a criminal does not follow the law. So if more gun control will only directly impact law-abiding gun owners, then how does it make sense to pass stricter laws, that will only apply to the small percentage of legal gun owners in the US?
Opinion by Jireh Gibson
Quartz: Three percent of the population own half of the civilian guns in the US
The Miami Herald: All the times authorities were warned about Nikolas Cruz
CNN politics: Sources: Coral Springs police upset at some Broward deputies for not entering school
Merriam-Webster: common sense