Firing Back: Modern Times Call For Gun Law Reform

Hanna Edwards, Staff Writer

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Schools have had a problem that has not been addressed for years- April 20, 1999 to be exact, when two young men walked into Columbine High School with guns and bombs then killed 12 classmates and teachers and injured 21 others. 

When the U.S Constitution was ratified in 1791, the Founding Fathers wrote a Bill of Rights which gave Americans the right to bare arms. This right has been up for debate in recent times, leaving many to argue how it should be viewed in modern day.

When the founders wrote this bill, a gun took a full minute to load and fire one shot and was used primarily by mercenary groups to fight for the 13 original colonies of America. Now, there are 50 states and millions of people living the the country. Access to rifles, machine guns, shotguns and pistols have become commonplace, and machine guns that fire 300 rounds per minute is not something that our founders could have imagined when they granted this right. 

Weaponry began to become a problem in civilian life in the 1930s. Following the Valentine’s Day Massacre where seven members of Chicago’s North Side Gang were murdered, the first gun control legislation was passed in 1934. In 1938, after a group of felons began illegal sales, it became law that salesmen must have a license to legally sale firearms. Then in 1968, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Martin L. King Jr., a bill placed age restrictions and stopped felons and the mentally ill from owning a gun.

Today, even with this legislation, fatalities resulting from civilian gunfire are only increasing, most recently at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Since the beginning of 2018 there have been 22 school shootings that resulted in at the least one death or more. This is alarming considering that only 13 service members have been killed in combat zones during the same time frame.

Modern times call for gun law reform. It is time to stop debating our Founding Fathers intentions and start pressing current lawmakers to take action.