CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- From the massacre at Columbine High School to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the question of gun control has taken too long to be answered.President Obama recently released his new plan for gun control
. The nation has lashed out at it, tearing at the most sane and concrete proposal the White House has been able to squeeze out into the public in recent times.According to Obama, the new plan for gun control is to activate a ban on military-style assault weapons, improve background checks, help schools develop emergency plans and fund the Center for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.Many people and organizations, such as the National Rifle Association, do not realize Obama is not administrating military action on innocent families who own guns but is administering action against the general idea of gun violence. He is not intending to violate the Second Amendment of the Constitution, but he is trying to protect it by preventing gun violence before it turns into a larger issue than the nation can handle.Cody Himelrick, a Pocahontas County High School junior and sport hunting enthusiast, is against Obama's gun control plan. "Crime rates have gone up big time since [Obama] started [his gun control plan]. Taking away guns from good people is just [illogical]. The bad guys will still get them."Himelrick is not alone. The nation as a whole is concerned that the only people who will soon have guns are criminals who browse the black market. But with background checks being enforced and more strenuous, those who have previously committed crimes will find it harder to pass through the security procedures that allow them to buy guns, thus less guns will circulate to the black market.The guns that will be most regulated are military-style assault weapons. There has been an argument over what exactly is a military-style assault weapon, but does it really matter?Any gun that can shoot down 20 innocent children in the blink of an eye should be considered a lethal weapon. Any gun used by the military that can kill a horde of enemies should be considered a lethal weapon.
Guns used by the general public should not come attached with the labels "sniper" or "military." Whether for sport or display, the general public should not hold any type of military-style weaponry.Gun enthusiasts tend to disagree with this proposal. They say, "Guns do not kill people. People kill people."Unfortunately, military-style assault weapons are the quickest way to eliminate a large group of people outside the use of explosives, and no one sees the nation fighting over citizens' rights to bear hand grenades. Hand grenades are meant for military use just as equally as military-style assault weapons are.The nation needs to come together to draw more awareness to guns and gun violence. Citizens with the proper training and experience need to educate others about the proper use of guns. Schools should offer programs that address mental instability and the triggers of violent behaviors.Violent behaviors can be triggered through influences such as violent video games and movies. Children and young adults are especially vulnerable to such influences, and they should be limited in their exposure.In most cases, mass-shooting gunmen have a mental instability such as depression or schizophrenia. If a greater percentage of the nation were educated about the triggers and mental disorders that cause violent behavior, it is possible more shootings could be prevented.Common sense is the key factor in regulating gun violence. Gun owners need to take responsibility of their guns and keep them in secure places. Guns do not belong in the hands of children or individuals receiving, or in need of, psychiatric care.
Gun control raises many questions. This is not, and will not, be a simple fix. Banning military-style assault weapons and increasing awareness will not ultimately stop all violence, but there needs to be a first step towards a more peaceful nation that does not infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens.