Last updateThu, 02 Apr 2020 1pm


The Outlook Editorial Board Discusses Gun Control in the Nation

Following the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, gun control legislation has once again come into the spotlight.

The mass shooting, which took place during a Jason Aldean performance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, left 58 people dead and 489 injured. The devastation occurred in a period of less than ten minutes, according to police.

The shooter, Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, NV, had fired hundreds of rounds from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, and allegedly had stockpiled 23 weapons, as well as attachments such as bump fire stocks which allowed him to increase the speed at which he fired.  Police also found that he had set up cameras in the hotel corridors near his room, presumably to monitor those who might be approaching.

The backlash after the shooting was immediate. However, as more details came out about the quantity of the weapons, and the types of guns – including AR-15 variants and Kalashnikov rifles – debate began to focus on the specific weaponry used, and the general broad parameters of gun laws.

“I definitely think gun control is too broad,” said one Outlook editor. “There is more that should be done, and I think that is evident in the recent tragedies in the past years that have involved guns. There should be stricter gun laws, making it difficult to obtain a gun, or at least a very extensive process to get one.”

“I think they should be stricter on the types of guns that one can purchase,” added another editor. “Sure, people have the right to have a gun for protection, but they shouldn’t need something unnecessarily powerful.”

“I think there should be a system to gun control,” said another editor. “Disarming citizens isn’t the way to go about that. There could be a more concrete system to being able to legally own a gun, such as psychological tests and background checks.”

According to statelaws.com, the state of New Jersey requires a thirty-day waiting period for residents to purchase guns, and bans certain weapons, such as “unlicensed assault rifles” and sawed-off shotguns. It also outlines some of the limitations – those who have been convicted for a violent crime, or been committed for mental disorders of some types cannot purchase weapons.

However, these sorts of systems have been found to have loopholes – such as gun shows, which do not do full background checks in all situations. The limitations on those with violent crimes only apply due to a conviction; a similar stipulation is seen when it comes to mental illness – only those who have been committed or institutionalized are prevented from buying weapons.

“I think they should study the patterns of why people want to own guns and how they can crack down on background checks and analysis of the consumer,” another editor agreed. “They can pair these restrictions with trying to combat illegal gun trade and hopefully come up with a large initiative that can attack all sides of this issue.”

Other editors believed that add-on features – such as the bump stock devices used in the Vegas shooting – should also be more tightly regulated.

“Any device that can be added onto an already a dangerous machine gun should be regulated,” said one editor. “I also do not think that individuals should be able to purchase semi-automatic guns.”

However, some disagreed with the idea.

“I believe that banning bump stocks will not solve anything. The best way to describe this is like treating the symptom and not the disease,” said an editor. “Anyone who owns a gun knows that there are many ways that you can convert a semi-automatic rifle to an automatic. It is not necessarily easy, but it can happen with just the use of at-home items. We cannot pretend that banning one conversion technique will solve this problem.”

However, there was almost unanimous belief that Monmouth was a safe campus, regardless of what else was happening in the world.

“Monmouth cannot control random acts of violence but I know they do the absolute best they can,” said one editor. “In regards to the general area, there were shots fired outside of Stingers apparently the other night so that is not the most comforting. You have to just attempt to not live in fear.”

“I feel safe on campus. Since beginning school here, guns on campus has not even been a thought,” said another.

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