BUSINESS

Opinion: U.S. should consider a zero tolerance gun policy

Megan Peoples
Oxford Stories
mipeople@go.olemiss.edu

Gun control remains one of the biggest issues today, yet government leaders have done nothing about it. We have U.S. citizens today who legally, and sometimes illegally, possess weapons that are unnecessary.

Not everyone values the opinion of others, and gun control is a topic everyone cannot agree on. After living 20 years, I have seen numerous school shootings. As a student, sometimes when I hear about school shootings, I fear for my life. Imagine waking up one day, going to school and getting shot. It is saddening.

In October, one of the worst mass shootings took place in Las Vegas. The news reported that the shooter seemed normal, but killing 59 people doesn’t seem too normal to me. He had an arsenal of 23 weapons and accessories, including semiautomatic rifles, scopes and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

A month following the Las Vegas shooting, there was a mass shooting in a Texas church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The shooter walked into the church and shot 26 innocent people who never knew their day would end that morning.

Trump’s response to that shooting was that a bystander wounded the gunman, Devin Kelley, and if he hadn’t wounded the man, he would have still be shooting. But if U.S. citizens didn’t have the right to own guns, the mass shooting wouldn’t have taken place.

Not even three months later, a 19-year-old used an AR-15 semi-automatic-style weapon that left 17 people dead and another 14 wounded in Parkland, Florida. After the shooting, President Trump suggested giving teachers guns for safety in schools. Suggesting that teachers have weapons to protect students and themselves is sickening.

It is not hard to find guns these days and easy to obtain a gun illegally. If the United States were to take everyone’s gun, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Those in the military are the only people who should have AK-47, machine guns, etc., for purposes like war or combat.

At least 30 people die in America daily, and the United States gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than other high-income countries, if that tells us anything. Countries like Japan have a zero-tolerance policy, and gun crime rates in Japan are low.

Although the United States has a pattern of mass shootings and gun violence, nothing is being done about it. It should concern everyone, not just school students and faculty. If we do not try to stop hate crimes and high crime rates, what will become of the country?

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