US House of Representatives advances bipartisan gun safety measures in “Protect Our Kids Act.”
It’s no secret how divided America is when it comes to the subject of gun ownership. A recent poll taken by Columbia Law stated that 72% of Americans believe that the second amendment gives citizens the right to own guns. However, that same poll also showed that 56% were in favor of banning the carrying of handguns in public, while 61% would forbid people from owning semi-automatic weapons. This poll shows that Americans are more united in the idea of gun control than we may have believed previously. Gun control activists aren’t necessarily trying to ban people from owning guns or prevent everyone from buying guns; they are simply searching for ways to lessen the damage these weapons may cause by keeping them out of the wrong hands.
On May 24, 2022, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire at Robb Elementary School, killing 19 children and 2 faculty members. Later he, too, would end up dead, raising the total death toll to 22. This severe tragedy led to a public outcry asking legislators to change our gun control laws. So what exactly is congress trying to do to help prevent the next attack?
According to NPR, Congress has already started working on a new bill to protect schools and children. The bill is still in the works, but some of its main points include “red flag laws” intended to prevent dangerous people from owning guns, funding for schools for safety and mental health resources, and raising the age at which people can purchase long-guns from 18 to 21. The piece of legislation is proposed by a bipartisan group of
twenty senators, including ten Republicans and ten Democrats. America may be divided when it comes to politics as a nation. Republicans have one set of beliefs, and democrats have another. Even though the two parties can get bitter with one another, it’s clear that the two parties want to keep American children safe.
This isn’t the first bill we’ve seen calling for reform. Five states, including Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Vermont, Washington, and, more recently, NY, have raised the legal age to purchase firearms to 21. Change on the federal level is likely coming soon. On June 9, 2022, the house passed a set of bills entitled the “Protect Our Kids Act” by a vote of 223-204. The bill raises the age limit of gun ownership and establishes tougher federal offenses for anyone who trafficks firearms or sells high-capacity magazines. It provides a magazine buyback program compensating owners looking to turn theirs in. The bill also strengthens federal regulations on bump stocks and ghost guns. Only time will tell if the bill, which may be considered too restrictive for some, will pass in the Senate.
Those saying gun control won’t fix anything or stop crimes like these from happening may be right. However, these bills aim to ensure that the wrong people can’t get their hands on semi-automatic weapons and shoot up a place. Gun ownership is a big responsibility and clearly one that not everyone can handle. As law-abiding Americans, it’s time to push for change to protect our people, and our sovereign right, the right to life.
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