Gun laws face scrutiny again

Victoria Tran, Staff Writer

Following the shooting that occurred this past Sunday night at a Jason Aldean concert, the matter of gun control has, once again, resurfaced. Sunday night’s shooting resulted in the death of at least 59, and the injury of  515, resulting in the deadliest shooting in modern history.

“Police have recovered 47 firearms from Paddock’s hotel room and his homes in Mesquite and Reno. Authorities said he bought 33 of the weapons since October 2016. They were purchased at gun shops in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas, all legally,” The New York Magazine reported.

The NRA (National Rifle Association) has advocated for gun rights since 1871, although originally being an organization for recreational uses such as hunting. Opposing their viewpoint, many believe gun control should be stricter. In reinforcing this, it is believed that the number of shootings, and gun related deaths will decrease dramatically.

“Proponents of more gun control laws state that the Second Amendment was intended for militias; that gun violence would be reduced; that gun restrictions have always existed; and that a majority of Americans, including gun owners, support new gun restrictions,” says the Pro-con Organization.

Contrarily, stated in the New York Magazine, journalist Lisa Miller gives the testimony of two women whose lives have been significantly influenced by a gun, providing two contrasting arguments. While in college, Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda broke up with her boyfriend, who had gotten very angry. In that moment, Vasilinda felt that her safety was in jeopardy, and used the handheld gun her dad had given her in order to prevent a rape. While Lauren Green was held at gunpoint, forced into a car, and put into a life-threatening situation at the age of 13.

Many will argue that their possession of guns are needed in order to protect themselves against perpetrators such as Paddock. However others may contradict this idea with John Locke’s theory of the social contract which supports the idea of the acquirement of protection from the government, in exchange for the surrendering of the particular rights, such as those regarding gun laws.

CNN has reported regarding gun laws in Nevada, “You don’t need a permit to buy a gun, nor are you required to get a license or register a firearm. There’s no limit on the number of guns a person can buy at one time.”

Moreso CNN has stated, “You can bring a gun to a polling place, to a casino and to a bar”. The Nevada Carry Organization states, “There are no purchase permits, gun registration, or gun-owner licensing. Blue cards are no longer required. There is no waiting period mandated for firearm purchases and private gun sales are okay”.

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza shot and killed 28 people, including 20 kids at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut. Following this shooting, many victims became enraged by gun control laws, and a surge of protest erupted. However this passion quickly died down, along with the brief passion that erupted and declines after every mass shooting. “Every mass shooting in the U.S. is inevitably followed by a call for gun control, by it never happens. The story behind why the legislation always fails, and the NRA always wins” says Michael Barbaro, in The Daily’s Wednesday, October 4th podcast.

However following the Sandy Hook shooting, Connecticut passed one of the nation’s strictest gun laws. The Huffington Post has reported “The Connecticut legislation bans the sale of gun magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds and requires background checks for private gun sales, including those at gun shows. It also expands the state’s current assault weapons ban to include more than 100 gun models”.

If many individuals believe these factors have contributed to Sunday’s mass shooting, what are officials doing about this, and what measures are being taken to prevent the next one?

The Guardian has reported, “Last November, Nevada voters narrowly approved a new gun control law that would have required private sellers to conduct the same criminal background check on buyers that licensed gun dealers already use.”

However this law, that could have potentially prevented Sunday’s shooting, was never enforced.