Guns mean a lot to Americans, clearly, as can be gathered from the strong, clashing opinions that come up from both the left and the right when issues of gun control arise; so, how do Americans feel about the recently passed law which raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm from the age of 18 to 21? It’s difficult to navigate a problem so controversial, with one half yelling praises of safety and the other half declaring defamation of the Second Amendment, so who’s in the right?
Although this law does not go against the Constitution- since it does not prohibit bearing arms, it only applies regulations- people who are pro-gun argue that this is a threat to the Second Amendment. In addition to this, it’s a recurrent belief among the right that this small age change won’t prevent any tragedies in the future in regards to mass shootings.
After all, what is the correct age at which we can declare an individual mature enough to own a firearm? Is a 21 year old more stable than an 18 year old? How about we raise it to 25 just to be safe, or possibly 30. In the minds of gun advocates, it’s a slippery slope which won’t solve many problems.
On the other hand, those who support this law believe that this is the beginning of a new era of gun control. Given that the recent two most deadly school shootings have been carried out by individuals under the age of 21, this seems like a logical first step to take.
The left believe that, if anything, this law is far too mild, considering the 256 mass shootings the US had in 2018 alone. Although many are still demanding the outright abolition of the Second Amendment, this minimum age change is being celebrated by anti-gun individuals as a small victory for America.
Both sides present points worth consideration, but in all honesty, this law on its own won’t change much of anything, so it seems. A three year age difference doesn’t adequately separate the stable and unstable, and if a minor really wants to own a gun, then they will find other ways in which to obtain one.
That’s not to say this law is completely useless, only to say that while it is a step in the right direction when it comes to the issue of gun control, it likely won’t do much to prevent gun violence, which is the real issue at the core of this debate. I can only hope that for the safety of all Americans these regulations continue to be passed.