Over a mere two week time span, America has been witness to two mass shootings. The first occurred at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater on July 20, during the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The second incident occurred this past Sunday at a Sikh gurdwara (a temple) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
The shooting in Aurora resulted in the deaths of 12 people and left an additional 58 people injured. The Oak Creek shooting resulted in the deaths of 6 people, with an additional 3 people injured.
In addition to these two incidents, which received wide media coverage, there were at least two lesser publicized cases of planned mass shootings that were stopped before they happened.
The United States already ranks highest amongst developed nations for firearm related injuries per year and has the highest rate of gun ownership. Each year, there are upwards of 10,000 deaths due to firearm related injuries.
Enough is enough.
Gun ownership and gun violence in this country has gotten out of control. Yes, the Constitution ensures the average citizen has the right to own a firearm. The Second Amendment, the document grating this right, was adopted in 1791 – almost 225 years ago. This right was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2008 in a ruling that determined the average citizen could own a firearm for person usage, and could keep a loaded weapon in their home for self-defense purposes.
This is all fine, but to say that guns have not changed in the almost 225 years since the passage of the Second Amendment would be a gross understatement. As such, the laws governing gun ownership need to keep up with the times.
Gun ownership needs better and more stringent regulation and accessibility. No one should be able to walk into their local Wal-Mart and pick up a shiny new gun or two.
Many states do not require state permits or licenses in order to purchase a firearm, nor do they require owners to register their firearms within the state. It’s fine to have such requirements at the federal level; however, at the very least, states should be enforcing similar requirements upon their citizens wishing to obtain guns for personal ownership.
It is high time for the federal and state governments to work on creating real regulation of gun ownership. There is no reason for incidents like those in Aurora and Oak Creek, and many others, to be happening. People should not have to live in fear of partaking in everyday activities because for years anyone has refused to really combat the rampant gun violence across America.