Gun control is possible only if we change our mindset

Daniel Melo/ Contributing Writer

Gun control is often a long and worn out debate in America that only seems to arise in the public sphere when a tragedy occurs on our very soil.

On Oct. 1, a gunman open fired at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, killing 58 people and injuring nearly 500 others. This incident once again raises the question of whether a stricter gun policy could have prevented such a massacre.

Unfortunately, the answer is no. America’s gun problem rests upon the pillars of our morals and ethics, and laws don’t have the capacity to alter these values easily.

If gun control were to work as miraculously as proponents like to believe — take Chicago and Baltimore, which have very strong gun laws — wouldn’t have the monumental crime rate that it currently has.

The value system that America currently posses is disastrous and selfish, so no amount of policy could prevent gun violence if America, as a community, doesn’t change their fundamental belief system.

Bill Press, the former Chief of Police of Fairhope, AL has a total of forty years serving as a police officer, and even he states that gun control is a necessary aspect of public policy.

“I’ve always been for gun control,” begins Dr. Press, “but gun policy can’t prevent every incident involving a firearm,” said Press.

Press also noted how we don’t utilize our court system as much as we should. “Criminals that get caught committing a felony with or without a firearm should be imprisoned for a lengthy amount of time,” Press said.

“Instead of throwing them back out on streets, we should seek to contain these criminals in order to make the streets safer.”

Additionally, those wishing to obtain a gun license should go through an extensive course that promotes awareness on how to properly handle a gun.

Other countries, like Japan, for instance – have an incredibly low gun homicide rate. A  lot of people attribute the low number of gun related violence to their strict laws.

When applying for a firearm permit in Japan, citizens must complete a class on safety and current gun laws and are also required to pass a written comprehension exam.

These individuals must also complete various documentation that proves family background and previous place of employment, pass a criminal background check, and complete a training seminar that goes over handling and shooting. All of this is needed to obtain a three year license to buy and own a firearm.

People often question why doesn’t America implement similar laws to achieve the same results as Japan. Press provides us with a simple yet extremely profound answer: “Japan’s cultural values and society are completely different from ours.”

Although strict regulations sound appealing, America’s gun problem is far deeper than written words on a sheet of paper.

We have to take a long, hard look at ourselves in the mirror and realize that the only way to fix this problem is to alter our mindset. Only when we achieve this transformation, will gun laws would be a worthy discussion.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo taken from Flickr.

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