Enabling Domestic Terrorism

Photo Credit: The Nation

Chrystal Savage, Staff Writer |

I was appalled and concerned to learn that on October 9, 2017, Mr. Tucker Carlson, a FOX news anchor, 48, explained how he has yet to hear Democrats offer a solution to the issue of gun violence following the Vegas Massacre. This massacre, conducted by a U.S. born, Caucasian terrorist, killed nearly five dozen people and left close to 500 innocent concert-goers seriously injured. This is the worst shooting in modern American history, and it was executed by a mentally ill citizen of the United States. There was a significant amount of controversy surrounding the current presidential administration and their refusal to declare this massacre as an act of neo-Nazi terrorism, to which Carlson was responding.

Background checks, fingerprinting, and psychological screenings should be required by law and apply to all individuals looking to obtain arms. Taking such precautions is essential to securing the system. Even if this process takes weeks or several months, government officials should know that this would greatly reduce the danger that is posed by not allowing people with severe criminal records to obtain weapons. Fingerprinting would allow not only for more in depth background checks, but would also help law enforcement locate and identify suspects and criminals in the event that the weapon was used unlawfully.

Individuals looking to obtain fire arms should be psychologically screened and evaluated by certified psychologists to define their mental state. Those performing screenings and evaluations should also be vetted and certified based on their own mental health and medium of practice to maintain unbiased ethics and objectives for all groups.  Additionally, certain prescription medication may warrant confiscation of owned weapons, or may prohibit individuals from future purchases, as the side effects may have dangerous consequences. Gun violence is not caused by guns, nor is it stopped by guns. Gun violence is perpetuated by untreated mental illness, and laws pertaining to the purchasing and possession of these weapons should cater to the issue as such.

Silencers, private gun shows and dealers, flash suppressors, automatic, semi-automatic, and bump stock weapons should be prohibited among all civilians. A person does not need a silencer or flash suppressor for when they go hunting in the woods behind their house so that they “don’t wake the neighbors” or “scare away the other deer.” To make  such an argument is to ignore all motives behind the act.

Additionally, gun shows and private dealings should be prohibited. This is the place where the most loopholes regarding the obtainment of high caliber weapons for criminal misuse occurs. By avoiding federal and state certified dealers, individuals are able to also avoid background checks, fingerprinting and psychological examinations. There is absolutely no need for the average citizen to be granted access to military grade weaponry.

It should be required that all weapons be locked, and the owner provide a report and proof of possession on every census or upon the purchase of a new weapon. Locking guns is basic safety protocol, and if identified by law enforcement as an unprotected weapon, the situation should be treated as a criminal offense, punishable by fine and/or confiscation of the weapon in question.

Reporting and proving weapon possession should serve as a red flag to law enforcement, just as the warnings noted in the investigations of the Las Vegas concert, the Orlando nightclub, and the San Bernardino workplace massacres. In relation to the Vegas massacre, Stephen Paddock, 64, the perpetrator of terror, purchased more than a dozen weapons and mass amounts of ammo in less than 12 months, legally. This is indicative of a concerningly weak system. To reduce the risk of American citizens misrepresenting themselves, certified dealers should also file a federal and/or state notice of the purchase or request to purchase such weapons.

As a result people will likely never need to use their rights against an abuser of the second amendment, as they likely will be vetted and determined unfit to possess weapons, and will in turn be routinely monitored by specialists and law enforcement prior to a tragedy. This should be enough evidence to support gun control legislation.

It cannot be denied that legislation alone would not completely eliminate gun violence. Furthermore, these laws and amendments are not effective when they are not enforced hand in hand with one another. Gun violence is too broad an issue to only require one law or consequence to solve the entire problem.

My opinion, stated in this editorial, is not intended to be taken as the natural divine law, but instead as a point of mutual understanding, to start a progressive conversation that defends our constitutional rights, as well as our “certain unalienable Rights [[that are] endowed by [the] Creator], that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as described by the Founding Fathers in the American Declaration of Independence, which are made unfortunately difficult to enjoy when a constant fear of fellow Americans and daily errands persists. The Founding Fathers ratified the second amendment, but we must recognize they also lived in a very different time than we do now in which such amendments were warranted and remain open to interpretation today.

Only extreme leftists would recommend completely eliminating arms at this point in history without any phasing out. Perhaps America will survive to see the day when guns are no more and nuclear weapons are only old news, but unfortunately today is not the day for that conclusion. It’s an upsetting reality to accept that people in this lifetime will likely never see world peace, though we should all have hunger in our hearts to strive for that. Nonetheless, we can certainly do our part today to ensure that the next phase of the war on war is completed, as well as inspire our posterity to carry the torch and continue the fight until we have finally won.

Gun reform legislation would not drastically alter our society, the way many conservatives try to argue, but I feel it is important to ask ourselves, behind closed doors if need be, “Is our society so great that it does not need altering?”

“No” is the short, simple answer. There is always room for improvement, and if we are smart, we will look to nations that excel in particular departments and manipulate our society as is necessary, while still maintaining wholesome beliefs outlined in this country’s creation including, but not limited to, issues of gun violence, rates of crime, and imprisonment. With all this being said, policies must be kept and exceptions of all forms must be strictly prohibited.

This is less of a party issue and more about using common sense to fuel political opinion. In fact, the majority of Democrats and Republicans are in favor of stricter gun control and restrictions. So why is the public still made to believe that this issue is not bipartisan? An attempted massacre is a massacre, an attempted murder is a murder, and both should be restricted as fiercely as the other. Families are being torn apart, and for what?

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