current affairs

How many more shootings before the US changes gun law?

The likelihood of a major change in US gun laws, even in light of the recent Colorado shootings that left 12 dead and 58 injured, seems slim. 

The likelihood of a major change in US gun laws, even in light of the recent Colorado shootings that left 12 dead and 58 injured, seems slim. 

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. Individuals have the right to own a firearm that they are allowed to use for lawful purposes, such as self-defense within their home. Obviously that’s not the only way the guns are being used. 

James Holmes, 24, the alleged shooter at the midnight opening of Dark Knight Rises, owned all of his weapons and ammunition legally. 

President Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney have both expressed the view that rather than changing the laws they need to look at changing the people. 

In an interview with CNBC on the tragedy Romney explained, ‘There are, were, of course, very stringent laws which existed in Aurora, Colorado. Our challenge is not the laws. Our challenge is people who, obviously, are distracted from reality and do unthinkable, unimaginable, inexplicable things.’

Although there are numerous advocates for changing gun laws in order to prevent any more shootings, the answer isn’t that obvious. 

The fact is people like Holmes who come up with these twisted, sick plots against innocent people don’t necessarily need the guns in order to carry out their plans. 

Yes, it was easier for him to get the guns, but if he couldn’t he could have used other methods to wreak just as much havoc or even more. 

Mitt Romney, in an interview with NBC News said, ‘I don’t happen to believe that America needs new gun laws. A lot of what this … young man did was clearly against the law. But the fact that it was against the law did not prevent it from happening.’ 

However, it is hard to see the harm in restricting gun laws, especially in states that are much more lenient. 

Between the most recent shooting in Aurora, and the past mass shootings in Columbine and Virginia Tech you would think that the government would take a step back and say that maybe the guns are the problem and that if people didn’t have access to them in the first place these things wouldn’t happen, but the guns still aren’t being blamed. 

The approach to focus on the psychiatric side of the people behind the guns in these shootings is an interesting approach, yet its effectiveness is questionable.    

Obama agrees with that side of the argument but is also voicing his opinion that guns such as an AK-47, is more suited for soldiers and should not be available to the public. 

He has called for stricter background checks for those trying to buy guns and a national consensus on combating violence. 

While small steps are being made to put an end to gun violence, it seems that this shooting wasn’t enough of a shock for a major change in the law.