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Common Sense Gun Laws Are Enough

March 7, 2018

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Common Sense Gun Laws Are Enough

Photo by: Bobby Brown

Photo by: Bobby Brown

Photo by: Bobby Brown

Students nationwide plan on walking out of their respective schools on March 14 in response to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida that took the lives of 17 students and faculty.

Given the rate at which mass shootings occur in the U.S. compared to other countries, the conversation on gun control and possession of arms seem to go on an endless cycle that plays into the typical talking points of the culture war.

We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while also aiming to prevent the slaughter of innocent lives through common sense gun control.

While the Quinnipiac Poll shows that 97 percent are in favor of universal background checks, pro-gun advocates find the opportunity to play on the fears of those involved in gun culture.

The gun lobby and the NRA claim that gun control activists are using the term, “common sense gun control” as a front for an eventual blanket confiscation from responsible gun owners.

Groups like the NRA know that their most prominent base tends to live within the heartland of the country and are typically living in states that heavily favor Republican representatives.

But despite the ever-growing political polarization in the country, common sense gun control and expanded background checks can certainly benefit all Americans, whether they intend on owning a gun or not.

For starters, the majority of U.S. citizens, regardless of party affiliation, is in favor of universal background checks. These checks are meant to ensure that those purchasing firearms are mentally stable.

Also, much of those who are in favor of stronger gun control understand that there are millions of responsible Americans who are fearful of having their guns taken away.

In reality, even some of the strongest gun control advocates want to respect the Second Amendment rights of those who are genuinely responsible with their firearms.

Besides, even within that 97 percent polled in favor of universal background checks, the majority are also in favor of keeping firearms in the hands of truly responsible gun owners.

The U.S. is a pluralistic society, and to say that the majority of responsible gun owners must voluntarily give up their guns and ultimately have them confiscated would be infringing on their individual liberties.

The disgraceful actions of irresponsible gun users should not be a means to punish those who are truly responsible.

But then we look back at Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook and more. Nearly all of these tragedies used military-level assault rifles that can take multiple lives within seconds.

In regards to the sales of assault weapons such as the AR-15, numerous retailers have made increased restrictions in order to help prevent further tragedies and to keep these weapons out of the wrong hands.

Also, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) recently introduced the Age 21 Act, a bipartisan bill that proposes to raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from 18 to 21.

Above all, the incremental approach through common sense gun control is the most realistic and fair method to decrease gun violence while also preventing more mass shootings and making sure the only people who possess guns are fully checked, verified and responsible.

Contrary to what the fringes say, it is possible to increase gun control regulations, promote safer communities and respect the responsible gun owners and the Second Amendment all at the same time.

With more regulations such as these proposed, more lives can be saved and the responsible right to bear arms can remain intact.

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