People Kill People, and They Do It With Guns


A bullet casing from the recent San Bernardino shooting.

The following is an opinion-editorial.

Mass killings in the United States have become so common that they now feel like a routine part of life. It has gotten to the point where the minor details don’t even matter anymore. It doesn’t matter where it happened, because it can happen anywhere; it doesn’t matter how it happened, because it can happen in so many ways, and it doesn’t matter why it happened, because the minds of the deranged men and women who commit these acts may never be understood. What does matter is the fact that innocent Americans are so frequently being murdered in cold blood on our very own soil.

Gun violence in this country can no longer be ignored. According to NBC News, “Despite only accounting for five percent of the global population, an astounding 31 percent of the world’s mass shootings occur in the U.S.” The numbers speak for themselves, and it is time to change our laws in order to prevent further killings from taking place.

I am calling for a widespread and extreme reform to our current gun laws. It is far too easy for someone with questionable mental health to acquire a firearms ID card and buy a gun. Applicants for a firearms ID should go through a series of scrutinizing background checks, interviews, and mental health evaluations. Not only should it be more difficult to obtain a firearm, but the types of weapons that are available to the public should be reconsidered. Long guns such as rifles and shotguns can be used correctly for hunting and self-defence, but they are still incredibly dangerous, and obtaining them should not be as easy as it is now. The use of weapons like handguns, semiautomatic, and automatic rifles that can fire a high volume of shots and inflict massive damage should be limited to only qualified professionals.

Addressing those who say that owning a firearm is a constitutional right, I say that the Constitution is a fluid document, and it can be interpreted in many ways. Amendments have been added, such as the 13th which abolished slavery and the 19th which gave women the right to vote, and the 18th amendment, which prohibited the sale and manufacturing of alcohol, was taken out. People, weapons, and times have changed since the second amendment was ratified in 1791, and it should be interpreted or changed appropriately to fit the world we live in now.

The truth is that while guns aren’t the reason people commit mass murder, they do make it much easier to accomplish. I am tired of opening up my laptop and reading about yet another instance in which one or two deranged people decide to end the lives of so many innocent men, women, and children, and are able to do so because murder weapons have become so easy to obtain. I know you are tired of this too, and I am calling on all of you to take action to prevent these terrible headlines from occurring. If you feel as I do, call, email, or send a letter to your local representative demanding that he or she work to reform our country’s gun laws and make sure that the United States does its most important job: protecting the lives and safety of American citizens.

If you live in the 5th District of New Jersey, which includes Montvale and Woodcliff Lake, your Congressman is Scott Garrett, and he can be reached at his Glen Rock office by phone at 201-444-5454 or via his email at