Urgent Need for Gun Control Revealed Yet Again

Sean Para

The recent mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard is yet another glaring reminder of the urgent need for a comprehensive and stringent reform of gun control laws. On Monday, Aaron Alexis, a Navy reservist with security clearance, gunned down 12 people in yet another deplorable act of violence. According to authorities, he used a shotgun and a pistol purchased in Virginia a few days before the rampage.

These repeated acts of mass violence should simply not be happening and are preventable. The Connecticut shooting last December led to serious talk of reform, but ultimately, nothing happened. I wrote an article after that shooting exhorting change, and here I am doing the same thing again. Alexis had been given a medium-level security clearance due to his work as a Navy contractor. Prior to the shooting, he was involved in several incidents that should have been warnings about his mental state, such as an incident in early August in which he called police to his Rhode Island hotel room and complained about voices speaking to him through the walls. He said that he was being followed. Obviously, the system failed at several points to prevent this tragedy from occurring.

The basic cause of all these shootings is the same. Guns are too readily available to those who wish to cause people harm. The Second Amendment was created at a time when our (then incipient) nation did not face these problems. Al- though the Supreme Court does not agree, because of the phrase “well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,” I believe that the Second Amendment was created to protect the militia’s right to bear arms. However, there is no longer a militia. Even if the Second Amendment was intended to ensure the people’s right to bear arms, this is an outdated law. If the Bill of Rights were not so sacrosanct, there would certainly be more debate on this issue.

This law is simply outdated, no matter its original intention. The Founding Fathers would have agreed on this point. The Constitution was intended to be a malleable document, able to be changed based on contemporary needs. We need to prevent people who wish to harm others with guns from doing so.

Another major factor in our nation’s inability to pass comprehen- sive gun reform is the strength of the gun lobby. The National Rifle Asso- ciation is one of the largest and best- funded lobbying organizations in the country. The NRA’s great wealth allows them to fund candidates committed to the current gun control policy. This is because the gun industry is very profitable and gun makers want to keep selling guns despite these continued atrocities.

This flagrant abuse of our wealth and power must be stopped, yet no one is willing to do so. How many more mass shootings must there be before our country can take the necessary and entirely feasible steps to prevent more deaths? Our gun control system is broken and we are faced with constant tragedy in support of this fact. Therefore, we need to reform gun control laws at a national level to prevent more senseless violence.