The issue of gun control is one of the most contested ones in our country. Every election cycle it’s discussed, but it’s normally pushed under the rug because at the end of the day most politicians don’t want to go near the issue.

Every time our nation sees a tragedy such as the movie theatre shooting in Aurora or the evil attacks on elementary schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, the first thing people, especially the media, resort to is increasing gun control.

Increasing gun control will not stop these sorts of tragedies from happening. Even with more gun control, people will still find a way to acquire weapons on the black market. The bigger issue here is the mental health of these evil attackers.

I am not against increasing background checks on all weapons purchased, so we can stop those with problems from acquiring weapons and ammo, but it is not the government’s place to tell me which weapons and magazines I can or cannot buy.

Areas that ban guns completely, known as “Gun Free Zones”, such as here on Mason’s campus create a dangerous environment for people to be in.

I pray that we never see the horrors of a gun incident here at Mason, but the truth is it’s a real possibility that we need to be prepared for.

The main problem is taking the weapons out of the hands of criminals, but for some reason gun control policies mainly concentrate on taking arms away from law-abiding citizens.

Increasing gun control laws does not make it safer for the general population. Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country and they had over 500 murders last year, a grim murder milestone.

Their gun control policies don’t work because they disarm citizens while keeping criminals in possession of guns. Connecticut also has very strict gun control laws, yet the tragedy happened at Sandy Hook.

The new gun control law introduced to Congress just last week is mainly targeted at banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, identical to the ban passed during the Clinton administration. This bill will do nothing to stop these incidents from occurring.

Crime statistics compiled by the Census Bureau show that in the 10 years before the Clinton gun ban, there were 173 mass shootings with 766 victims. But during the 10 years of the ban, from 1995-2004, there were 182 mass shootings with 820 victims.

The bottom line is that we need to keep guns in the hands of the good guys and take them away from criminals, a daunting task.

According to statistics compiled from 100 fairly recent gun incidents, when the shooter continues until law enforcement arrives, an average of 14.29 people are killed. When an armed civilian is present, an average of 2.33 civilians are killed, a huge difference.

Proponents of gun control have their heart in the right place. They would like to see fewer people murdered. I’m sure everyone can agree that fewer murdered innocent civilians is a laudable policy objective. Unfortunately, more gun control does not achieve this goal.