Shooter's aftermath leaves heated topics to debate

Shooting tragedy only further proves the need for gun control.
Posted on Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

Some tragedies are simply unspeakable.

Such is the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where Adam Lanza took the lives of 20 children and six adults this past week.

The issue that Americans are left to fight over now is whether we should be more concerned about mental illness or gun control.

It is the massacres that bring forth arguments over mental health and gun accessibility, yet there are numerous shootings that take the lives of innocent Americans on a daily basis. They do not make the national news or the front page of the paper unless the person killed was famous or there is something unique about the story that will draw public attention. No, these day-to-day murders are so common that we do not have that sort of time.

People championing gun rights state that the Sandy Hook shooting and similar occurrences such as this summer's movie theater shooting in Colorado are the result of mental illness and who is behind the gun, not the weapon itself.

I would like to know what these same activists have to say about the average shooting, though — like the various shootings that have taken place in Elkhart County over the past year resulting in death and permanent injury. These shootings were not methodical, or the act of a deranged 20-year-old on a rampage; these shootings were the result of accidents or plain malice.

Rather than attempting to throw medications and fancy terminology at the problem, we should be removing the tools allowing murderers to continue with their violent acts. We should make guns far less accessible than they are.

This is not to say that all guns and gun-related purchases are bad.

Hunting and other activities in which guns are necessary make perfect sense to me, as my neighbors and family members take part in them and only utilize their weapons for such occasions.

Having an armory in one's study for absolutely no logical reason and always “packing” for the sake of “packing,” however, proves my point that gun laws are too lax and should be made stricter.

There is no reason I should be able to waltz into a store and purchase a gun for the mere fun of it.

And the so-called “voter fraud” laws were not exactly a big help in deterring people from being able to possess a firearm. Having a Social Security card is not enough to allow someone to vote, but a gun permit is?

Our country is moving backwards in a dangerous way.

Practically encouraging people to go out and purchase gun permits as well as guns is like going on television and openly praying for violence.

It is not the gun that kills people but the person with the gun that kills people, of course, but people cannot kill others with a gun if they do not have one to fire in the first place.

The list of requirements for legally possessing a firearm should be much lengthier, and those looking to purchase a gun should expect a mental health screening, questioning of what they intend to use their newly purchased firearm for, and a valid reason for owning a gun.

I am not interested in waking up to another news report of another death from another gun.

I am interested in hearing the voice of the people putting an end to this once and for all.

Emily Duchon is a freshman at Ball State University. She graduated in May from Elkhart Memorial High School.

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