On Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2018, 17 high school students were brutally shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 15 more students suffered injuries and were taken to the hospital. The shooter was 19 year–old Nicolas Cruz who armed with a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi automatic weapon, multiple magazines, and smoke grenades raged fire upon school students and staff. On October 1st, 2017, 64–old Stephen Paddock killed 59 people, including himself, and injured 851 people at a Las Vegas music festival. Police found 24 firearms, 14 of which were AR–15–type semi–automatic rifles fitted with bump fire stocks — allowing him to fire 90 rounds in 10 seconds — and 7 that were AR–10–type rifles. On November 5th, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas, 27 people were killed and 20 injured with a semi–automatic rifle at a church. A church. On June 12th, 2016 at an Orlando nightclub 50 people were killed and 58 people were wounded due to semi–automatic weapon fire. At San Bernardino 16 people were killed, Umpqua Community College, 10, Washington Navy Yard, 13, and at Sandy Hook, 20 children were murdered along with 6 adult staff members rushing to protect their students from deadly fire. 6 out of 8 of these mass murders were committed using semi–automatic weapons. All were perpetrated using guns.

Yes, people kill people, but allowing civilians easy access to deadly weaponry has not and will not prevent the onslaught of hundreds of innocent people. Thus I ask anyone who has this argument, if people are the problem, why give them access to guns considering the harm they can cause with them? The fact that 6 out of the 8 perpetrators of some of the most deadly mass shootings in America were able to acquire semi–automatic weaponry is beyond comprehension. How many deaths will it take for people to realize, Congress to realize, our President to realize that this is not normal?

One argument for the repeal of gun control is based on the 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms. However, it is worth noting that the time for which this amendment was constructed — 1789 — featured weak law enforcement and a relatively small and spread out population. Thus, to protect their land and valuables, it seemed reasonable that weaponry was necessary. Yet, today we have police officers, local, state, and federal governments carry out law enforcement. Now, we have better medical care to diagnose mental instability or disability and programs to treat these issues. In short, we are no longer in 1789 where technology, medical care, and law enforcement was lacking. That being said, why does a person need semi–automatic weaponry to “protect” themselves? Why are people so quick to denounce thorough and strict background checks to make sure that the person receiving a gun is can properly using it? The purpose of gun control is not to eradicate any and all use of guns. The purpose is to make sure that trained and capable people are the ones that have theses weapons and that assault weaponry, capable of taking many lives at a time as mentioned above, are not commercially sold.