By Bryan Smilek, Opinion Writer
In contemporary times, many tragic events have occurred due to mass shootings. An individual or a group of people murder innocent civilians due to a plethora of factors. As a result, many people have called for a prohibition on the right to bear arms. The recent occurrence in Florida has caused much debate over weapons and organizations such as the NRA.
Although killers may be using guns as a means to the end result of murder, guns cannot be blamed for such heinous crimes. The individuals who committed the crimes often suffer from psychological issues or come from terrible family situations. For example, the shooter involved in the Florida high school tragedy suffered a tremendous loss through the death of his adoptive mother. As a result, he had to worry about shelter at an age most children would never have to contemplate where to live. The sudden responsibility may have caused many mental issues. However, it is not acceptable to blame his actions on his mental incapacities nor do his actions justify this reasoning. Rather, he has to be charged with murder because he committed a horrible crime that deserves punishment.
The issues that the Florida shooter suffered from demonstrate the fact that guns are not responsible for civilian casualties. It was not the gun that decided to take the lives of many humans, rather, the killer had a motive to harm others and used a weapon to achieve his goal. Although guns should not be banned, mental health tests should be incorporated into the sale of a gun. By diagnosing mental issues before buying a gun, a person who could potentially harm society will not have the access to possess a firearm. Although this view may be viewed by some as radical and discriminatory, it will benefit society as a whole. It is a federal regulation that the mentally unfit cannot bear arms. However, in states like Florida, the mentally ill can appeal the federal legislation and partake in a 72 hour mental evaluation in a hospital. If cleared, that individual is free to purchase a firearm. The direct correlation can be seen in Florida, a state where much gun violence has occurred, and the state’s regulations on allowing mentally ill individuals to buy weapons. If all states were to void the option to appeal the federal legislation of blocking the unfit to bear arms, rates of violence would dramatically decrease.
Additionally, guns should not be outlawed because it is the right of a capable individual to bear arms. By preventing individuals from bearing arms, nothing would be accomplished. The majority of criminals who use weapons to harm others have obtained their weapons illegally. Illegal methods include the black market, theft, trading in drug deals, and registering the weapon under a false name. An act that would prohibit guns would not stop the criminals from obtaining access to guns because they already have illegal methods to get what they want.
Rather than protecting America, a prohibition on guns would harm the average citizen. They would not be able to protect themselves, police officers would be disadvantaged, and criminals would still continue to bear arms. The advantage would shift to the criminal with a weapon who would have the capacity of committing mass murders without fear of return fire.
Finally, gun control should not be enacted due to the economic impact it has on America. The purchase of guns is essential in imports, exports, and domestic sales. It keeps the cash flow of America’s economy at a steady rate and provides profit for many small businesses and larger corporations. If gun production were to cease, unemployment would skyrocket and the entire economy would be negatively affected.
Overall, guns should not be banned not only due to the negative economic impact it would bear, but also due to the unjust taking away of a right that it presents to the average American and due to the lack of effective purpose it would have on reducing deaths via gunfire.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 27th print edition.
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