Legislators pushed to ban assault rifles

February 27, 2023


Graphic by Paige Van Duyne

The push to ban assault rifles is critical as mass shootings increase by the day as seen in this graphic. Data from gunviolencearchive.org

Legislators are facing pressure to ban assault rifles in the United States. With a rising number of shootings, the push is crucial. 

Following the two mass shootings in California this past January, President Joe Biden renewed a call for Congress to pass legislation banning assault rifles.

“We’ve seen all of the damage that can be done with them from school shootings to other public shootings,” sophomore Abigail Jungmann said.

In the two California shootings, there were 19 casualties and 10 people injured. The urgency of these laws is becoming more apparent with the count of shootings increasing every week.

In the United States there have been over 50 mass shootings this year. Although much blood has been shed, the ban has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives or the Senate. The White House is building off strong public support to further propel stricter gun safety laws. This is pressuring Republicans in Congress into changing their thinking.

“I think your ability to own a gun is in the constitution. But, the constitution also does say a well regulated militia. So people forget the word regulated,” history teacher Brady Hannigan said.

Many people against stricter gun laws believe gun ownership is a privilege not to be taken away.

I think your ability to own a gun is in the constitution. But, the constitution also does say a well regulated militia. So people forget the word regulated.

— Brady Hannigan

The impact on the firearm industry if an assault rifle ban were to happen would depend on a lot of factors. The ban could only ban a few specific gun types leaving the industry not as affected. But if there were many types banned the impact would depend on the willingness of the industry to adapt and find new markets.

“The ban probably wouldn’t stop the industry as a whole. There are a lot of guns that can be used for hunting and other activities,” added junior Marissa Fasick.

Most guns used for hunting and sport are not assault rifles. Many types of guns that are needed for serious hunters will remain available. All in all the ban will help more than it will hurt.

There are alternative solutions to decrease gun violence that could be seeked out. Possible solutions include stricter background checks, red flag laws, more mental health resources, stricter enforcement and more.

“Maybe putting a limit on accessibility to assault rifles on a day to day basis. There’s other places where you have to store it in your locker or you have to be a  part of a gun club.” added Hannigan.

If new laws are put in place it will help prevent those with mental health issues, criminal records, and other setbacks from obtaining a gun. 

Gun violence is the leading cause of death in the United States. More must be done to restrict and stop the harm assault rifles create in the United States.

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