Staff editorial: Gun control is necessary

If Americans want to reduce gun violence, gun control is the next step

JagWire Staff

President Obama made an executive order in support of stricter control on buying and selling guns in early January. This call to action makes sense after years of mass gun violence, and we believe that it will have a very positive effect on Americans and could impact the presidential election.

President Obama’s executive action involves improving and requiring background checks in each state, despite the current state law. The background checks for those wanting to buy a gun will include more thorough examinations of mental health history and criminal activity. Furthermore, anyone who sells a gun must have a license — regardless of what platform the sale takes place, including online and through gun shows.

This is an important step in decreasing the number of mass shootings, as well as overall gun violence, in the country. This type of regulation is not possible inside our current, much-divided Congress. Comprehensive gun legislation is necessary, especially after a year of excessive mass shootings by people who should not have owned guns in the first place.

This problem can be alleviated through the Obama administration’s $500 million investment to make mental health care more accessible, a policy that could have prevented gun-related injuries that have happened in the last 20 years. In some instances, gun violence has been linked to mental illness. If it is true that guns don’t kill people, people do, this new legislation will help those who could possibly perpetrate gun crimes in the future.

However, some say there are still reasons to be wary of such legislation. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, and gun advocates argue that government regulation infringes on that right. The United States has a long history of proud gun ownership, whether it be for self-defense or recreation.

President Obama’s new executive order does not affect lawful gun ownership. Those seeking to buy guns for lawful purposes should not be opposed to background checks. While it may seem inconvenient, this process will save lives.

No matter how you feel about gun control, the topic will play a major role in the upcoming presidential election. Now, more than ever, it is important to exercise your right to vote and choose a candidate that takes a position you believe in.

Gun violence is out of hand and action needs to be taken. Legislation that builds on Obama’s executive order is important to the safety of Americans. The lives lost from an unregulated gun industry serve as an example of the danger from doing nothing, so take this as as a point to move forward. If we want to reduce gun violence in this country, gun control is the next step.

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