What is the “Right” Way to Stop Mass Shootings?


Carly Amoriell

A graphic design by Carly Amoriell, illustrating the gun-rights vs gun control argument. The image includes crime scene tape which represents the recent shootings that have occurred.

Emery Clark, Editor

The gun-rights vs gun-control argument has been an ongoing debate for years. Recently, the argument has started to heat up due to the increasing number of mass shootings. Gun-control advocates believe that guns should be regulated and that there should be more requirements to buy a gun. Gun-rights advocates believe guns should not be regulated due to the American citizen’s right to the Second Amendment: the right to bear arms. The topic is very controversial and is widely debated, especially because of the recent elections.

As of November 2022, fourteen states require background checks before a customer can purchase a gun. Jessica Fitzwater, a democratic candidate for Frederick County Executive and a gun-control advocate, speaks out: “Every day more than 110 people are shot and killed in the U.S., but firearms are not regulated like other consumer products. There is a lack of accountability in the gun industry and not enough funding for research on gun violence.”

Fitzwater’s opponent in the race, Republican Mike Hough, comments, “I am currently running for Frederick County Executive and we do not do gun laws.”

He continues, “The goal of the Law is to make sure that criminals and people with mental illnesses should not have access to firearms. People who illegally sell and transfer firearms to these people should be punished. Law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to own guns.”

While there are different opinions on what the solution should be, the number of people harmed by gun violence increases each day. Now, the question is who should be held accountable for the rising death toll.

The blame has been placed on many, from elected officials, to the suppliers of the weapons, and to the assailant. Hough shared who he believes should be held accountable: “People who supply firearms to minors or sell them illegally should be punished to the full extent of the Law.”

Ronny Beard, a Social Studies teacher at Oakdale High School, disagrees. “The perpetrator should be held most accountable, the parents should be held accountable if they bought the weapons [for the perpetrator]. I don’t believe you can necessarily hold the manufacturers accountable because when you sell kids guns you can’t necessarily say they will go out on a mass shooting spree.”

Beard had more to say; he conveyed how the government as a whole wants to place the blame on each other and try to claim individual victories instead of working together to get to the root of the problem and claiming a total victory.

The gun debate continues as more shootings occur and government officials try to find a way to stop them and assure public safety.