by Noah Berg

Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine, and now Umpqua Community College. How many innocent human beings have to die before America finally wakes up and realizes that it is time to make a change? Guns. The primary thing governments are supposed to do is keep us safe. So, why do so many politicians fight to protect something that does the opposite?

On October 2nd 2015, Chris Harper Mercer walked into a classroom and began firing mercilessly. Then he asked all Christians to stand up and said, “You’re going to see God in just about one second.” You can guess what happened next. Ten people were murdered and another seven were injured while the gunman committed suicide. The scariest part of this attack is that almost the exact same thing has happened countless times. On April 16, 2007, a Virginia Tech senior murdered 32 people and injured 17 others. On April 20th, 1999, two high school students opened fire in Columbine High School. Why is a massacre of this magnitude allowed to happen more than once, let alone dozens of times? Politicians who protect gun rights care more about protecting individual rights than they do about protecting individuals.

One argument opposers of gun control use is “We need guns for protection.” That’s just pumping more guns in the world and expecting it to make people stop shooting. Now, I don’t actually expect us to completely illegalize guns immediately, I do expect however that we at least have background checks be mandatory in all 50 states. Right now only 17 states have background checks of any kind, while only 11 have background checks on all firearm purchases (Nebraska, Iowa , Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina require background checks for handguns). But, background checks alone are clearly not enough. A federal study of felons with gun offenses in 13 state prisons found that only 13.4% of them bought them at a licensed store. The fact is that background checks have done an excellent job of keeping guns out of the hands of people we don’t want to have them. But, until we can completely illegalize guns, there will always be another way to obtain them.

Another argument guns rights activists love is that illegalizing guns violates the Second Amendment, which is “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the free state, the right of  people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Gun rights activists have always interpreted this law to mean that they can have as many unregulated guns as they want. The Founders meant militia, like the minutemen for example. A militia that trains for this country and protects this country, not random people who love to shoot things.

Honestly, I don’t believe it’s constitutional to continue to let guns be something you can simply pick up on your way home. The primary purpose of a government is to protect the people’s safety and make life more manageable.

According to the Center of Disease Control, in 2013 there were 11,208 homicides involving guns. That is a disgrace. That doesn’t even make sense to me. How can anyone, ANYONE, support the protection of an object that has directly attributed to that many murders? How can people be so selfish that they would rather more innocent students, children, and people be murdered, rather than simply giving up their firearms?