Opinion

A look at gun control

After the tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, gun control came back to the forefront of political dialogue. Sandy Hook is not the only senseless tragedy that launched this dialogue.

Instead, it is simply the latest in a long line of mass shootings going back to the shooting at Columbine High School 14 years ago. Similar violent outbreaks now seem to occur on a yearly basis. Solutions proposed range from giving teachers guns to banning guns altogether.

We at the Threefold believe that the best solution is a more balanced one. Obviously, guns should not be banned outright. That would be unconstitutional. Plus, it does not keep guns away from criminals anyway. For example, Chicago holds the strictest gun control laws in the nation, and yet is in the midst of a bloody gang war.

On the other hand, giving guns to teachers creates a twofold problem. It puts guns in the same room as students, and it potentially creates under-trained gun owners, especially in areas where private gun ownership is uncommon.

Just because the extremes are not the answer does not mean there is no answer. Closing existing loopholes is a start.

Currently, guns can be bought at gun shows without a waiting period. As a result, countless gun shops organize outdoor ‘gun shows’ year round. By getting rid of this loophole, the government can make sure law-abiding citizens are the ones buying guns without adding any unnecessary regulations.

Another part of the solution is something that has recently been part of the problem: the media. When the media reports every detail of a gruesome killing, they encourage copycats and enter school shootings into the cultural consciousness. The media has a responsibility to report the facts, but it also has a responsibility to do so in a way that does not make it easier for future shooters to cause damage.

Enforcing existing rules effectively instead of adding more regulation is the best way to solve the nation’s mass shooting epidemic. Responsible, moderate action is the way to create a safer society, and the tragedy in Connecticut should not be the linchpin for needlessly taking away rights.