By: Matt Palmeri, JS Student
Over the past couple of years, there have been several occurrences of mass shootings. The two most recent accounts would be the shootings that took place at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin and a movie theater in Colorado. Both of these tragic events then triggered a ticking time bomb, with the mass media greasing the fuse, over the controversial issues pertaining to “gun control” policy. It is only natural that after horrific events such as these, people wish to seek out possible answers to why these crimes happened and to hopefully prevent them from happening again in the future. The media did their best to try and help rationalize these scenarios by analyzing the killer’s profile and making claims about them tat are not supported by real evidence. The media will also come up with compelling arguments for why we should blame our schools for not having up to date security or our pop culture for constantly showing violent images of people killing one another. Some of their claims are worth taking a closer look at. For instance, Wisconsin’s shooter was a former member of our military. There has been plenty of evidence that shows how traumatized war veterans are not receiving the proper psychological help necessary in order to ensure that they are not a threat to our society.
Unfortunately, there will most likely never be a way to adequately prevent crime that stems from senseless acts of violent behavior. Lets take a look at the five mass shootings that have taken place in Wisconsin since 2004; each of these shooters had a different profile. In the most recent shooting before the Sikh temple incident, a man responsible for taking the lives of six in 2007 was none other than a sheriff’s deputy. He was apparently enraged over a situation involving an ex-girlfriend; nothing could have been done to prevent this from happening. Although criminal profiles can be useful to a degree, the reality of the matter is that far too many people who fit the description of a criminal pose no threat to society.
When it comes to gun control, there are two distinct positions. Those who are strong supporters for the Second Amendment believe that we, as a society, need more guns to prevent senseless violent crimes. In my opinion, just because more people own guns does not necessary mean that senseless death will cease to occur. Although this method may deter some people from viciously kill innocent people in public places, we must take into account the countless number of innocents that will get caught in the crossfire between two, untrained parties. We find ourselves especially vulnerable because we live in an open society. This sad truth makes it easy for anyone who is determined enough to kill unsuspecting victims.
On the other hand, those who are against the Second Amendment need to face the fact that more gun laws will not prevent mass shootings. The Aurora killings are a good example. This killing spree occurred in a gun-free zone. Also, in April 1999, the two boys involved in the Columbine shooting were in direct violation with numerous gun laws. These are just two examples of how gun laws do not prevent mass killings from occurring. If anything, knowing that the mass public is legally unarmed only incites these killers.
Unfortunately, like drug laws, gun laws cannot be efficiently enforced without jeopardizing so of our civil liberties. The reality of the matter is that we cannot prevent criminals from obtaining guns any better than we can prevent drug users from obtaining illegal drugs through harsh mandates and punishments. I purpose that we continue to enable everyone the right to own a firearm, only within the safety of his or her own home. The only exception that should permit someone to carry a concealed firearm is if they participated in gun and situational training. By doing this, we would not only keep up with our status quo with the Second Amendment but we would also make the streets safer with trained civilians carrying firearms.