It was the morning of December 14, 2012. Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 27 people, including himself. No one knows why he did it. Why did this happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again in the future? And why has a solution not been found or implemented yet?
The gun violence issue is complex, and there are many sides to be heard. For example, the right to possess a gun holds great significance to many people. I have seen it happening. I remember a friend of mine excitedly showing me his new handgun.
It was an object of pride for him, an assertion of freedom, a fulfillment of a Constitutional freedom, not to mention a symbol of power which must have been exhilarating to him.
You might argue that the pride, freedom, and power of having a gun is more important than the death and destruction that guns wreak. You might think, “Well, certain people are dangerous with semi-automatics, or hand-guns, but I’m not crazy, and I know my gun safety.” And this is true in many cases. But we all get angry sometimes, and there is always potential for mental illness.
Gun violence occurs too frequently in America to argue that the pride, freedom, and power attached to guns are more important than strict gun laws.
The Second Amendment is no rebuttal to this claim, considering the extreme degree to which the spirit of the Constitution is not being followed in the Amendment; every child must have the right to live without being killed in a school shooting. The right to live must be more important than the misunderstanding of the Second Amendment’s intent.
Often, people argue for the slogan that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” This is an oversimplification. It takes both a gun and a person to kill people. Guns and people have the potential to become a horrific combination.
A gun and a person killed 27 people at the elementary school in Connecticut. Instances of gun violence like this one, the Virginia Tech shootings, the Colorado shootings, and the daily shootings around the United States should no longer be tolerated.
The simple fact is that in our culture and throughout our society, the combination of guns and people causes gun violence. The people in this equation cannot be removed, obviously, while dangerous semi-automatics and handguns can easily be banned.
These guns should not be accessible at all, particularly in light of the potential role of mental illness in gun violence.
I urge you to find out for yourself how you can help remove guns from the equation.
-Seth Stauffer, Staff Writer