Gun control in America – when is enough enough?

Gun control has grown to be a hotly debated issue in the past decades. However, deciding how to handle the issue has become urgent. Within 2019 alone there have been 41 mass tragedies creating controversy on the floors of the Capitol and among American citizens. 

Staff along with students from varying grades were surveyed, asking their opinion on current laws concerning gun control and possible modifications to the Constitution’s Second Amendment. 

After surveying 30 members of the NHS community, the results were telling. Seventy-seven percent said that they felt gun control needed to be heavily increased while 23% felt as though enough laws were already in place. 

Many people in recent years have begun to feel the need for stronger gun control as tragedies are on the rise. Many of these occurring in schools some even around Connecticut with one of the largest being the Sandy Hook tragedy. 

A majority of those questioned felt that with the increase in mass shootings, safety should be prioritized moving forward. 

“Historically, people have had access to weapons that can injure or kill large numbers of people and that is their only purpose,” says Mr. John Carino, English teacher at Naugatuck High School. “I feel like the only use for those is warfare.”

The opposing side feels placing more restrictions on guns will create a higher safety risk for society as criminals can work against the system in an effort to still obtain the weaponry through a multitude of mediums such as the dark web. 

“Guns don’t kill people, it’s the people that use them,” NHS sophomore Cameron Jacobs told the Greyhound News when asked his opinion on the matter.

The fear in question is that their second amendment freedoms are being threatened. 

Many people feel as though the amendment should be modified however, to fit with current day America, and the current issues that come along with living in the 21st century. 

The way this goal would be achieved is through more thorough background checks being performed before the person looking to purchase a weapon may do so. This would include checking the mental health of the consumer in question.

Restricting the access of these weapons would also limit unnecessary purchasing, or those unstable with bad intentions being stopped due to the difficult nature that would be buying a weapon. 

Mental Health records have increased by 700% between the Virginia shooting of 2007 and 2014 according to the Gifford Law Center, adding up to around an astonishing three million person increase in mental health record filings. 

The numbers have only continued to skyrocket in the six years since the study, with this ever growing epidemic in the US. Many feel that other countries gun laws are more adequate, for example in Ireland guns are only allowed for hunting and otherwise prohibited. 

The numbers show a jarring difference with places like Ireland as discussed, Sweden, Italy, and many more having no mass shootings reported in 2019 while America was reported to have had 249 mass shootings just last year alone. 

  “We should have more background checks to restrict who can get them and have more outreach places for those who aren’t mentally stable,” said Alyssa Roberts a Junior at NHS when asked about adding restrictment. 

Despite these numbers many do not wish to modify Amendment 2 of the Constitution, the Greyhound News asked around to find out more regarding the public opinion.

What community members had to say on this hotly debated issue was something sure to leave American citizens thinking.

 “The main reason is to defend ourselves from our own government. That’s why it was written in the first place,” said a teacher at NHS, Mr. David Dymond. 

Many citizens fight for their rights to remain for fear of tipping the scales of balance between the government and the people. 

Historically, the Bill of Rights was created to do as desired by those who are on this side of the issue. These ten amendments with the second being one that is very prominent, acting as liberating for the American people. 

Guns being viewed as a means of protection is a common feeling, especially in the political climate we live in today in a society plagued by tragedies and cruel people. For some to see this layer of protection stripped away instills a feeling of unrest and fear.  

Overall, it is clear that many have different views on how this issue should ultimately be handled. The American people must ask themselves, where is the line drawn between freedom and recklessness or restriction and liberation. It will be a difficult issue to resolve however one way or another the US will see a result and the impact that result will have on society.