By Stephanie Carson | Contributing Writer
Gun control is a topic many are very passionate about, and some may not know much about it at all. However one may feel about the subject, it is becoming more relevant than ever. From the Sandy Hook school shooting, to the Orlando nightclub massacre, to the recent tragedy at the Las Vegas country music concert, stricter gun control is an inevitable road that the U.S. has reached. That leads people to their next question: how do we protect the Second Amendment but also protect lives from being taken by reckless use of lethal guns?
According to The Washington Post, investigators found at least half of the 23 weapons found in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room were semiautomatic weapons that were legally modified to shoot as an automatic weapon. Citizens can legally purchase almost all the weapons found in the gunman’s hotel room in Nevada, according to USA Today. That leaves people questioning what exactly stands between innocent people and another national tragedy. Where do we go from here?
In June 2016, Tennessee’s U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander both voted against two different actions pushing for more restrictive gun control, according to The Tennessean. The same source also stated one of the measures proposed would have allowed the Attorney General to deny a gun sale to anyone suspicious enough they had “reasonable belief” they could have any affiliation with terrorism. The other measure the Senators voted against would have expanded the background check database for anyone purchasing a gun, The Tennessean reported. These actions took place just eight days after the Orlando nightclub shooting that killed dozens of people, as reported by USA Today. If the Senate voted to enforce those gun control propositions, they could have prevented the most horrific shooting in U.S. history.
The Chicago Tribune reported “Congress will take no action on gun legislation in the wake of the massacre” that took place in Las Vegas. Republican representative Chris Collins stated that taking action regarding gun laws is “unnecessary” and that we should not “knee-jerk react to every situation,” The Chicago Tribune said. The issue with this statement is U.S. leaders and representatives cannot continue ignoring these reoccurring tragedies. If they have the power to prevent them, they should. Americans are hesitant to attend public events, fearing for their safety. It is the government’s job to protect its citizens the best it can in every aspect. Protecting the Second Amendment is important, but protecting the people within the walls of the U.S. should be the number one priority.