Give Real Control A Shot


On Oct. 1, thousands of people gathered in the Las Vegas Bay Area Concert venue to attend a large music festival. In the middle of Jason Aldean’s set, a barrage of bullets suddenly started showering the crowd, and the sound of a semiautomatic rifle rang louder than the music being played. Screams filled the air. Some people ran, jumping over each other to escape the horrific scene. Others stayed, trying to help those who had been shot or injured by the hail of ammunition.

59 people were killed by Stephen Paddock that night. 489 more were injured. Authorities say that 23 firearms were found in Paddock’s hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel, where he stood and fired shots out the window into the concert crowd below. Yet now with 59 people dead and 489 injured, no gun control laws have been changed.

On Nov.5, in the small rural town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, with a population of 600 people, another mass shooting occurred. Devin Kelley opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon killing 26 people and injuring 20 others. The victim’s ages ranged between 17 months and 77 years. This shooting was the largest shooting in Texas’ history. Kelley had previously been excused from the Air Force after he received a bad conduct discharge. He had previously been charged with domestic violence against his wife and child.

With the federal gun control laws that are in place today, Kelley should not have been able to purchase a firearm. The federal law states that if the person trying to buy a gun has any criminal violent background, or doesn’t pass a standard background check, then they are not permitted to buy a gun. The military didn’t release the information of Kelley’s charge, so when he went to buy his semiautomatic weapon, there was nothing on his background check showing the crimes that had been committed. Paddock, on the other hand didn’t have anything stopping him from purchasing as many guns as he wanted. Paddock had no criminal record at all, and therefore had nothing stopping him from purchasing the mass amount of weapons he bought.

The gun control system in this country is a broken one. When asked about how gun control laws would change, now that there have been two mass shootings just a month apart from each other, Trump responded with “It’s not a guns situation, we could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it…it’s a mental health situation.”

In the past month, 85 people have been killed in two mass shootings. Saying that the U.S. doesn’t have something needing to be changed is the reason these shooting keep occurring. People should not go to a concert with fear that they might not come home because somebody in the crowd has the advanced technological weapon to do mass destruction. People should not go to church in fear that their service will be interrupted by a semiautomatic rifle, and that they will watch their loved ones be shot sitting next to them.

The phrase “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is one commonly used when discussing gun control. This is not a legitimate argument, because it takes a person to fire a gun at someone. It is the person wanting to kill a person that starts it, but the gun is doing the actual killing. Guns don’t randomly go off at a specific target, or at a crowd of people. If guns weren’t sold to people who had the intention of murder there wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

In the case of the Texas shooting, the gunman was shot by a neighbor (Stephen Willeford) of the church, making Kelley unable to continue shooting. Trump used this as his argument as to why citizens should be allowed to own guns. He spoke about how, had the neighbor not had his gun, more people would have been killed.

“Fortunately, someone had another gun shooting in the opposite direction,” Trump said.

While it is fortunate the gunman was stopped, that is not what needs to be discussed. Willeford, who shot the gunman, was not using a semiautomatic rifle; Kelley was. Semi-automatic weapons were made for war, and to kill mass amounts of people in an extremely short amount of time. There is no reason that an everyday citizen living in the United States needs to own a semiautomatic weapon. If Kelley hadn’t been able to buy a semiautomatic rifle, the 26 people shot and killed may still be alive, and Willeford would never have had to use his own gun to shoot Kelley. It’s all a vicious circle that keeps going around, and nobody is using their power to stop it.

The executive order power of the president is there to make changes that need to be put into action as soon as possible. It is there so that the president can make a law without it having to sit in Congress for long periods of time waiting to be voted on. There have been two mass shootings within a month of each other, and nothing is being changed. Anyone trying to make a change is being shut down, so it is up to Trump to make this change happen, and it is most necessary that something is done.