Mass shooting and shootouts have become more common as time has progressed and gun control is a result of these mass shootings and shootouts. Gun control is the regulation of the selling, purchasing, owning, and use of firearms and it is a highly debated topic nowadays, especially since shootouts, mass shootings, and drive-by shootings are on the rise. Gun control has several view points so, naturally, it is difficult to decide which is right and which is wrong. Some people believe that gun laws should be stronger in order to stop mass shootings for good, to save the lives of students, and to prevent more people dying at the hands of shootouts. However, some other people believe that society doesn’t need gun laws because of the 2nd Amendment (one’s right to bare arms) and that guns can be used for defensive purposes, not just to kill.
Looking at gun control from a historical lens, it has certainly been around for quite a while. Gun control even existed in the Old West. A few select towns in the Old West would have new comers disarm themselves upon entry into the town, be it at a hotel or a lawman’s office. This was to prevent wild shootouts from erupting and to ensure that the lives of the citizens that lived in the town weren’t in danger. Gun control also dates to the 1900s, where several laws and acts were passed for gun control. One gun control act was the Gun Control Act of 1968. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 22, 1968 and was passed after the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King JR. It was used to create brand new offenses on firearm use, target firearm industries and make new and tougher regulations on said industries,
In the past people didn’t only resort to acts, bills, and laws to help with gun control. They also resorted to protests. In 2013, thousands upon thousands of protesters crowded West Capitol Park to protest New York’s newest gun law. They goal was to undo the law and criticize Governor Andrew Cuomo, the man who pressed it. Jessica Bakeman and Gannett Albany Bureau state: “State Sen. James Seward, a Republican from Milford, N.Y., said he would like to see a full repeal of the law signed Jan. 15 and touted to be the toughest gun law in the nation” (2013).
The law pushed for harsher punishments for people who use guns illegally and to ensure that firearms stay out of the hands of mentally ill people. However, protesters claimed that the law targets law abiding firearm users. One man even claimed that state leaders are stripping New Yorkers of their gun right for their own political gain. Another protest was the March For Our Lives protest, which took place started March 24 of 2018. The March For Our Lives protest took place after the Parkland shooting on February 14, 2018 that resulted with 17 students and staff killed. Sarah Gray states: “They’re taking matters into their own hands, advocating for stricter gun-control laws and more mental health resources for treating troubled peers” (TIME Magazine, 2018). The protest even sparked several student actions like walkouts. Some of the survivors even took to social media sites to share their story and to encourage tougher gun laws. But, after what they wanted didn’t happen they decided to quit waiting around and to take matters into their own hands.