Finally Pulling the Trigger on Gun Violence

President Biden’s new gun control plan ensures new protections on American freedom


Faith Beckmann

The phrase “Never Again”, a phrase which became the rallying cry for the anti-gun violence movement, is covered up by the names of places that have had mass shootings in the past few decades. The majority of these shootings have happened in the past two decades alone. With new gun control regulations in place, the frequency of shootings like these may begin to decrease, allowing American citizens to no longer have to live in fear.

Across America, there has been a widespread fear instilled in the youth without many adults even realizing it. From the time children as young as five are placed into school, they receive instruction on how to hide and stay quiet in case of an “intruder.” As they get older, they are tasked with learning how to barricade doors, throw objects as self defense, and how to escape the room if the now-named “shooter” just so happens to enter.

Students in high school like myself were merely in the first through fourth grades when the horrors of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown shook the country. And we were in middle school when we watched coverage of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, fearing our school would be next. Suddenly, we all lost a bit of our youth as we were forced to face the terrible reality of gun violence in America at such young ages. As my generation, Generation Z, has grown up and found our voice, we’ve begun to speak out against the current relaxed gun laws in the United States through protests and activism, much to the disapproval of older generations.

On Thursday, April 8, President Joe Biden announced that his administration was planning to instill new gun control laws across the country. Like the younger generations, he too agrees it is time for change. 

During a speech, President Biden stated, “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international embarrassment.”

CBC News: the National

And he is completely correct in that sense. Every time a new exhibition of gun violence occurs in the United States, you see commentary from citizens of other countries referring to the ignorance of the Americans who refuse change and the overall stereotyping of America as a violent, dangerous place. With this, it would seem logical that self-proclaimed Patriots would also be fighting for gun control reform to protect the dignity of the country. However, in the comment sections of dozens of articles about Biden’s speech, many were preaching about the need to protect the Second Amendment and how America was becoming a tyrannical state.

Those are just common misunderstandings. The Second Amendment was never meant to guarantee guns to anyone who lived in the country but to ensure a militia could be formed at the time the United States had no official army. To further this, the most high-grade military weapons at the time the amendment was written were nowhere near as dangerous as the semi-automatic weapons that exist today. Modern-day military authorized weapons do not belong in the hands of just any United States citizen, they are used in the military for a reason. And it is these weapons that are the ones most often used in shootings across the country.

The Biden Administration’s gun regulations would make it more difficult for people who have no business carrying these vicious weapons to obtain them without an extensive background check. This would ensure that former criminals, those with extreme mental illness who have been noted to have violent thoughts and tendencies, and so forth would not be allowed to have access to any semi-automatic weapons. This is not an attempt to take away anyone’s freedom, it is an action to keep people safe. Which is, at its core, the main responsibility of any country’s government. 

Regulation like this matters because it allows people to no longer be forced to live in fear of whether or not they are going to be grouped into the next list of names on a television screen. It allows me and my fellow students to be able to go to school without fantasizing about where we would hide in our classroom if a shooter were to enter the building. It allows parents to have a peace of mind dropping their kids off, knowing they will return home safe. It allows people to go into crowded malls and shopping centers without having to be suspicious of anyone in oversized clothing or carrying large bags which may be concealing a weapon.

These fears are the true infringements on our freedom.

If you live your life in fear, you will never truly be free. When people make owning weapons a symbol of freedom, they do nothing but limit the freedom of others. Believe it or not, many people would be completely fine without having to have a semi-automatic weapon in their home. Just look at people in Australia. The country banned semi-automatic weapons in 1996 after an increase in gun-based suicide and gun violence and everyone has been just fine. The majority of people who own guns only use them as a power statement. Owning guns makes them feel tough and in-control, allowing them to feel like they alone have authority.

It’s selfish.

The power trip makes them feel like they need to own a gun. So much so that when people like me raise legitimate concerns over gun violence and shootings because we do not want to be next, they simply do not care.

As more and more shootings continue to happen, one can only hope that President Biden is able to convince the rest of the government to enact laws to end this epidemic that has gone on far too long. Otherwise, our freedom is at stake.