“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The Second Amendment is very clear on how guns should be handled. The definition of infringed by Merriam-Webster dictionary is, “Act so as to limit or undermine.” After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, Colorado has put gun restrictions in their sights. Colorado legislature made the Second Amendment part of their agenda after the horrific shooting at an Aurora Movie theatre in July of last year. As of now in Colorado, according to the Denver Post, Colorado has passed three new gun laws; restricting magazine size to 15 rounds or less, Universal background checks, and gun purchasers now have to pay a fee for the background check. Passing these three laws will be futile in the goals they are trying to achieve because they are simply repeating history that has already proved that these efforts do not work.
The last ban from 1994-2004 reduced the number of magazine size to 10 rounds, but did not restrict magazines produced before the ban and none of the high capacity magazines were bought back or destroyed. The reduction of magazine size does not make criminals less lethal or victims safer. The Columbine High School mass shooting happened on April 20, 1999, which was right in the middle of this high capacity magazine ban. Assault Weapon Information.com reports that Eric Harris used, completely legal 10 round magazines and brought 13 of these legal sized magazines. Harris fired 96 rounds before ending his own life. For Coloradans, Columbine is the first major shooting that hit home for us and is a pivotal massacre to analyze. Harris having smaller magazines did not buy anyone more time, the cops did not stop him, no one tackled him to the ground while he was reloading.
Stricter background checks are not inherently a bad thing, but criminals do not always obtain their firearms legally. If one were to commit a crime, they would not want a gun that has serial numbers and a record of their purchase and their name attached to the gun. In a Today Show report, it was confirmed that Adam Lanza, the shooter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting attempted to purchase a firearm. He was denied the purchase due to a failed background check. Lanza obtained his firearms by killing his mother who had legally purchased the firearms. The only way Lanza was able to obtain these weapons was by killing a legal gun owner. The background checks worked and there is a bigger problem at play, in these situations passing our stricter background checks we gain nothing.
Guns are not only a tool for criminals to use, they can help as a deterrent. Criminals are going to be less likely to attack an armed individual or break into an armed house. This raises the stakes and now their own life is threatened. Guns can benefit society especially when society as a whole is educated about them. The three laws that Colorado passed are futile, by reducing the magazine size and now these law-abiding citizens have to pay for the background checks. Enough is enough; Colorado’s state government and the federal government have to be told that its citizens do not want these laws. These gun laws are not going to make us safer and it is putting this burden on law-abiding citizens. There is an intrinsic value of guns in society and we need to uphold people’s rights even if it is not something you are passionate about. Your neighbor might be affected by this and needs your help, so please call or email your representative and tell them that you don’t want these laws and we shouldn’t pass legislation out of fear or ignorance.
Zak Wagner is a senior communications studies major