As the election approaches, I’m worried Americans may be losing sight of one of the most important issues plaguing our country — the lack of nationwide gun control.
Gun violence kills 38,000 people every year, and that number will probably be higher this year as Republicans fail to give people another COVID-19 relief check.
One year ago from now, when former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was asked if he was suggesting a mandatory buyback of assault weapons, he said:
“In Odessa, I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15, and that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15. There weren’t enough ambulances to get to them in time. Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47! We are not going to allow it to be used against Americans anymore!”
I remember listening to that on the television, and I thought, "Finally!" We had a candidate that wouldn’t beat around the bush and hesitate to speak the truth. O’Rourke left the presidential race, but the enthusiasm from his call to finally ban and do away with assault weapons was something former Vice President Joe Biden caught onto.
Biden will require that assault weapons be registered if not sold back to the government. Frankly, I’m surprised they aren’t already registered, but if O’Rourke’s mandatory buyback plan will ever be feasible, this would be a prerequisite.
This is why I encourage everyone voting to settle for Biden. If we ever want to ban assault weapons or eventually repeal the Second Amendment, this is where we need to start.
Alexia Goldberg is a freshman in criminal justice studies.