The Lode

An obvious solution

Sai Rajeev Devaragudi, Lode Writer

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Every time I write an article here or even speak with someone new in my life, I try to converse or write about something new. But today for the first time I want to write about something which everyone is so thoroughly aware of and everyone knows what the problem is but none of us can do anything about it. We are helpless and so are our leaders as innocents in this country continue to die be-cause some crazy person got hold of a gun so easily. Yes, gun control is what I am going to write about.

Here are some simple straight facts which everyone knows or can find very easily. As of Nov. 8th, 2018, 312 of the 365 days of this year have passed and the country has seen 307 mass shootings. Many major news outlets use data from the Gun Violence Archive website to report any statistics related to gun violence. The Gun Violence Archive de-fines a mass shooting as a single incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, are “shot and/or killed” at “the same general time and location.” Now, this number might be different from any other congressional report as there is no official definition for a mass shooting. In 2013, a report from the Congressional Research Service, known as Congress’ think tank, described mass shootings like those in which shooters “select victims somewhat indiscriminately” and involve four or more deaths—a higher bar than the Gun Violence Archive’s, as it doesn’t take injuries into account. Earlier in 2013, a federal mandate identified the threshold as three or more deaths. According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, more than 12,000 people have died from gun-related violence in the U.S. so far this year, and more than 24,000 others have been injured.

Now we may still not be able to put this into perspective since gun violence is so common in our country that some people think of it as a regular phenomenon or some say guns are a part of the so-called “American Lifestyle” which makes no sense as guns do not lead to life. They lead to death. As simple as that.

The figure to the right compares the gun-related killings in the U.S. compared to other countries. If you observe, the countries compared against the U.S. are as developed as the U.S., and as rich in the economy as the U.S. Homicides are taken here to include murder and manslaughter. The FBI separates statistics for what it calls justifiable homicide, which includes the killing of a criminal by a police officer or private citizen in certain circumstances, which are not included. In about 13 percent of the cases, the FBI does not have data on the weapon used. By removing these cases from the overall total of gun deaths in the U.S., the proportion of gun-related killings rises to 73 percent of homicides.

This vast difference in the gun-related killings is very simple and quite obvious. It is so easy for one to get hold of a gun in this country that it is almost difficult to not have or own a gun. There are as many guns as there are people in this country and the reason for this is the misuse of the Second Amendment: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

These are the exact words of the Second Amendment written in 1789. This amendment needs major rework to be applicable in 2018 since there have been some major changes in how people live in this country. There has been a lot of debate over the term “well-regulated militia” as it does not mention who regulates this militia. The original intention of this amendment was to protect the people from a tyrannical government or to protect the people from a free standing army. Thus, the well-regulated militia that is necessary to the security of a free state was a militia that might someday fight against a standing army raised and supported by a tyrannical national government or an invasion.

Now one of the major fears of invasion was from the slaves during that time. It was necessary for the people to own and bear firearms to oppress the slaves and to prevent them from revolting. None of these fears apply to the present day since the government is the one responsible for the protection of its people and people do not need protection from the government itself. This country was formed by those people who thought slavery is good for the progress of the nation and supported slavery all along. Slavery lasted until 1865 when it was prohibited nationally by the Thirteenth Amendment. America as a country legally allowed slavery until Abra-ham Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery altogether.

The same people who thought of slavery as a “necessary evil” for the progress of the white race were the people who thought that it is necessary for people to bear arms to defend themselves from a tyrannical government or an invasion, none of which is a possibility in the near future.

Today, people think that slavery is obviously bad and it was ludicrous that we as a nation allowed it to happen for so many years. I have a similar thought about how people are allowed to own and bear firearms in this country as of 2018 and it is ludicrous for people to own guns for whatever reason they are allowed.

Take the example of automobiles. To own an automobile, one has to pass two exams, obtain a driver’s license, obtain an insurance, register the vehicle with the government, and the vehicle should pass all the safety requirements such as seatbelts and airbags to use the vehicle on the roads. To buy a gun, go to the nearest gun show with money and photo ID and one will be given access to a variety of guns, including machine guns and assault rifles. It is as simple as that because transactions done at gun shows are referred to as private transactions and are exempted from a federal background check.

It may take another 100 years for the government to come to their senses and abolish guns in this country. Apart from the U.S., there are 194 countries which have less gun violence because they have stricter gun laws. It is a proven fact that people are safer in countries with strict gun control laws and as long as the gun manufacturing companies and NRA spends millions of dollars lobbying Congress to prevent passing gun control laws, nothing can be done by Congress or the government to protect innocents from gun violence.

*Note: This atricle ran 11/15/2018

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An obvious solution