Machine Guns Have no Place in Schools and Churches-Military Only


The United States has gained quite a reputation for being gun happy among the industrialized world. Although complete data for 2017 has yet to be released, over 420 mass shootings have taken place in the U.S. That breaks down to almost two mass shootings per day. These numbers do not even begin to take into account the smaller acts of gun violence that have also taken place this past year.
Examining the data from comparable countries reveals some startling trends: other industrialized countries don’t seem to have the same gun problem we do. There are a lot of different factors that need to be taken into account, but the comparative dearth of strict gun laws in the United States cannot be ignored. Unsurprisingly, there is a correlation between gun ownership and gun violence, and the American people own a lot of guns. Although only 37% of Americans report having a gun in their household, estimates claim that there are anywhere between 270 million and 310 million firearms possessed by civilians. Research has provided countless pieces of evidence demonstrating the danger associated with such numbers, yet the U.S. continues to have some of the most lenient gun control laws of the industrialized world.
Why would the federal government continue to allow such detrimental policies? They continue to allow gun regulation to be dictated by an amendment passed in 1791. There has been a decent amount of debate over what exactly our second amendment right to "bear arms" entails, or how that law should be extrapolated to fit in with the heavily militarized modern world we live in. Obviously, much has changed over the past two centuries, and our laws should reflect those changes. The rights of the Constitution were meant to protect the people and should be subject to review and alterations in response to technological advancements in military-grade weaponry that is easily accessible to the public.
Using the second amendment to defend your handgun or hunting rifle is debatable. Using the second amendment to justify your AK-47 is ridiculous. The second amendment was written nearly a century before the first machine gun was invented. There is a huge difference between the firearms that existed back in 1791 and the machine guns available today. There is no justifiable reason as to why a civilian would need to be in possession of one. As opposed to traditional firearms, machine guns can fire multiple rounds of ammunition with the single pull of a trigger without reloading. These guns were not designed for hunting, sport, or even defense. These guns were designed by the military with the sole intention of generating as much carnage as possible in the shortest possible time frame. There is no better evidence for the sheer destruction these weapons can cause than the most recent tragic mass shooting- Las Vegas in 2017. When Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 people with a machine gun, he took the lives of 58 people and left more than 500 injured before turning the gun on himself. Having access to military-grade weaponry allowed him to commit the largest mass shooting in American history.
This kind of gun ownership serves no other purpose than to show off or cause tragedy. This is not the kind of weapon that the second amendment could have even predicted, let alone intended. Although the government has taken some legal measures against machine guns (such as banning the sale of new fully-automatic rifles), it just isn’t enough. Although difficult, it is still perfectly legal to obtain one of the guns registered before 1986 that were grandfathered in. Even with the number of large fees and strict restrictions put in place to discourage this kind of gun ownership, legally getting your hands on a fully automatic machine gun is still attainable. As long as obtaining a machine gun is legally feasible, it is possible for it to fall into the wrong hands. Without serving any real, functional purpose, allowing any civilian machine gun ownership outside of the military seems like a risk that isn’t worth taking. Banning military grade weapons would not infringe on the rights of other gun owners. As a nation, we have failed to implement these stricter gun control laws without facing significant resistance. We need to start following the example of other industrialized countries who have abandoned lenient gun ownership laws in favor of public safety. Do we want to be a nation that has excessively lax gun ownership laws, or a nation dedicated to protecting its citizens? For the sake of our children and our great nation, it’s time to make the responsible choice and strengthen gun regulation.