The Scarlet

Should Gun Control be Reformed?

Arianna Reyes, Scarlet Staff

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After the Las Vegas Massacre that occurred on Oct. 1, gun control is a major topic of conversation. Stephen Paddock, the gunman who committed the mass tragedy, had up to 20 firearms in his hotel room. He took to the Route 91 Harvest music concert in Las Vegas and left at least 59 people dead and over 500 injured. By orchestrating what is now referred to as the worst mass murder in United States history, Paddock set the stage to talk about better gun control laws.

Gun control has always been a controversial topic with many points of view. Some groups have always advocated for the right to bear arms. Coming from the state of New Hampshire, this has constantly been a part of my life.

People regularly talked about the importance of the right to bear arms, but personally, I never saw what the big deal was. However, with a state slogan like “live free or die” it’s hard to argue with one another over what people are allowed to do. If you were to ask most of the population of New Hampshire if better gun control laws were needed, it is likely that they would blatantly answer no.

Growing up in Londonderry, everyone was very sheltered, and there was virtually no diversity. Londonderry is a town that is mostly conservative with a large population of gun owners. Similarly to Londonderry, the neighboring towns had easy access to guns as well. Almost every town in New Hampshire has at least one gun shop, with multiple types of firearms and ammunition. Surprisingly enough you can get a gun as easily as getting in your car and driving to Walmart. Yes, Walmart: they have cases with guns that are easily accessible to the population.

I have a few vivid encounters with guns throughout my life. The more miniscule of which is the distant gunshot I could hear in the early mornings of winter when hunters were out. I also remember when I was at summer camp that the brother camp had rifling sign-ups, where children had the chance to try their hand at shooting for the first time.

My most vivid experience was when I slept over my friend’s house back home. Her parents were out of town and she had a lot of dogs so they asked to sleep in their bed. On the wall, there was a shot gun mounted, taped next to the bed was another gun, and there was one more locked away in a safe in the corner of the room. That was the first time I realized how prominent guns really are in our society, and how scary that can be.

Now that this massacre has occurred in Las Vegas, I would be curious to go back to my town and ask people what they think should change in order to make gun laws safer. There is still a major debate in the White House on whether or not this should finally be the cause of gun control reform laws. This mass shooting and all the previous ones that have already occurred the United States should open their eyes to how guns actually affect our country. Guns are too easily accessible and put more lives in danger than should be accepted.



2 Responses to “Should Gun Control be Reformed?”

  1. MarkPA on November 2nd, 2017 4:45 pm

    “That was the first time I realized how prominent guns really are in our society, and how scary that can be.” Strikes me as a bizarre reaction. She had no exposure to violence by gun; yet, she finds inanimate artifacts made of iron and wood “scary”. I too was born into and reared up in an environment where I was surrounded by iron and wood inanimate artifacts. There was no violence in my environment either. And yet, guns have never inspired any anxiety in me whatsoever. What could account for this difference in reaction? Might it be purely irrational?

    It’s not that I lack any comparable experience; in fact, I have had such a reaction. I’ve long had a completely unnerved experience from the sound of a circular saw. (I’m OK with reciprocating saws.) If not running, a circular saw’s presence doesn’t bother me; turn it on, and my anxiety soared. After 10 years of nearly daily talk-therapy with my home improvement contractor I’m now at peace with my anxiety. Yet, even in the depth of my terror, I’ve never occurred to me to change to make circular saw laws safer.

    What drives this urge to seek change to make [name of inanimate artifact here] laws safer? Is it emotional? Rational? How does it fit into our system of liberty where each individual has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? How does it fit within a system where each individual’s enumerated Constitutional rights are guaranteed to be respected?

    What shall we do with inanimate objects such as printing presses or religious symbols? No doubt there are plenty of groups who are terrified by the power of the press or the symbolism of come religions (but not others). What changes shall we consider to make printing press laws or rosary laws safer?

    What should we make of the 14 year-old Yazidi girl who defied both her Iraqi government and the Islamic State by carrying an AK-47? What Iraqi or Islamic State gun laws could make her safer?

  2. Paul A Sand on November 4th, 2017 10:59 am

    If your argument were valid, NH’s easy gun availability should make it be a hotbed of murderous violence. But it’s not. Look at state firearm death rates (, NH is in 44th place.

    Suggestion: base your advocacy more on facts, less on your childhood fears and traumas.

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Should Gun Control be Reformed?