Last year, Brian Murtagh wrote an interesting comparison of gun control and abortion on Facebook that went viral. He asked, “What would happen if getting a gun had the same laws as women getting an abortion?”. Some of the highlights from his post include, “a 48 hour waiting period, parental permission, a note from a doctor proving they understand what they are about to do, a video about gun violence,” etc. While these may not all be practical solutions, it prompted the question: what can be done to control gun violence?
After several mass shootings, it is time to think of logical ways to increase gun regulation without an outright ban. A possible solution could be rigorous psychological tests that fully assess a person’s mental capacity to carry a gun. This may quell the shootings that are carried out by a psychologically unstable person. However, this may not be enough to weed out true psychopaths and sociopaths.
Perhaps then, purchasing a gun should be made increasingly difficult. In Utah, it is easy to buy a gun. All that is needed to purchase is a valid ID and an instant background check. A permit is not necessary for Utah citizens to buy shotguns, rifles or handguns. If the state required a valid permit, it would make purchasing a gun a more rigorous task. The process of acquiring a permit to own a gun could easily be the same as acquiring a concealed carry: a mandatory five-hour course, nine background checks and proper knowledge of handling a gun. Also, possibly add on a psych test for good measure. Maybe the tediousness alone will dissuade people from even trying to buy a permit.
Also, while AR-15’s and M1A’s are not assault weapons, they should not be accessible by the general public. Yes, they are competition rifles for those into sport shooting, however, there really is no practical use for them. Semi-automatic weapons may turn a single shooting into a mass shooting in a matter of minutes, because they have high capacity magazines and fire as fast as the trigger is pulled.
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to solutions on gun control, but they should be enough to spark the debate. Practical ideas tend to be born out of an open, logical discussion.
Editor in Chief and life-long student