Guns should be put in check

Dallas Murray

Thirteen people were killed in Thousand Oaks, Calif., when a gunman shot up the Borderline Bar and Grill before taking his own life on Nov. 7. According to Business Insider, Thousand Oaks was the 307th mass shooting in the United States.

The shooting happened on the 312th day of this year. That means we’ve had a mass shooting nearly every day in this country with a total of 337 deaths up to and including Thousand Oaks.

According to the Washington Post as of 2017, there were 393 million civilian-owned guns in the U.S. which equals 120.5 guns for every 100 civilians. But, only an estimated 2.5 million of those guns are used for self-defense, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The United States should enact strict gun laws to stop mass shootings.

As an example, Australia has seen a reduction in mass shootings since enacting more strict gun laws since 1996.  Gun owners in Australia are required to have a firearm license, must have a ‘genuine reason’ to own a gun which cannot be for self-defense, and guns must be registered by the government using a serial number.

While these laws may be too strict for some people, they certainly work. In 1996, prior to the new gun laws, 98 people died in Australia due to gun violence, none of which was from a mass shooting. In 2017, the number dropped to 35.

I believe that America will need strict gun laws like Australia’s to stop mass shootings.

Our government should limit the number of guns people can own to three. The Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, owned more than 40 guns and had 23 guns on his person when he killed 58 people. He had purchased 33 guns in the 12 months prior to shooting from his Mandalay Bay hotel room.

No one, in any case, should own over 40 guns. No one should own even five guns. If we can limit the amount of guns one person can own, then we can certainly lower the amount of mass shootings that are carried out because there would be less guns to carry out mass shootings.

The government should also ban certain types of guns. The majority of weapons used in mass shootings are automatic, the most popular being the AR-15.

If we ban bigger and deadlier weapons like AR-15s, then respectable people can still own their guns while making mass shootings much more difficult to carry out.

A third possibility is to raise the age requirement to own a gun. According to federal law,  the minimum age to purchase a handgun from a licensed dealer is 21; however, the minimum age to purchase a handgun from an unlicensed seller is 18.
I believe the age requirement to purchase a gun should be raised to 25. According to the Center on Media and Child Health, by age 25 “young adults become more adept at complex thinking and can better integrate their emotions when making decisions.”  

Also, FBI statistics show that half of all gun homicides are committed by people between the ages of 18 and 24.  

Limiting the number of guns someone can own, restricting the types of guns someone can own, and raising the age requirement to own a gun won’t stop mass shootings, but it would definitely be a step in the right direction.

The United States is long overdue for better gun control. I believe it is possible to find ways to lower the number gun deaths while allowing “good guys with guns” to keep their firearms.