As a kid raised in rural Vermont, guns are nothing new to me. I have never found it to be surprising or unsettling to know that my neighbors, classmates and teachers all own guns.

During certain times of the year, hunting is a perfectly viable excuse to miss school. So it may strike you as odd that I’m the one writing about why we need more gun control in this country. But it is impossible to ignore the events in the past decade, let alone the past year.

Towns like Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut now carry with them the heavy burden of what happens when evil is given access to tools to perpetrate such evil.

As a nation, we cannot idly allow events of such a nature pass by through our news cycle without doing anything to prevent the next one from happening.

Gun control is by no means a singular issue; it is a multi-dimensional problem with no single solution. I do not want to ban guns, but there is absolutely no good reason that guns with the capability to slaughter twenty children and six adults in less than an hour should be legal. For anyone.

We need comprehensive reform of gun laws, yes. But other factors that affect such horrible crimes must also be dealt with, primarily mental health reform.

Many who oppose gun control use the second amendment, citing that it says citizens should have the right to bear arms. However, there is a portion of the second amendment that seems to be forgotten quite frequently: “A well regulated Militia”

In its entirety, the second amendment calls for regulation of gun laws that will allow for both the militia and the individual to act responsibly in defending themselves against harm.

The fact is, the current system is not well regulated, and despite both state and national guards, citizens continue to view themselves as the necessary militia.

As a side point, I believe it is safe to say that the authors of the second amendment were, at the time, writing of guns that required around two to three minutes to be reloaded. Hardly in the same category as the guns being used to commit such heinous crimes across the United States.

In response to the events in Newtown, the National Rifle Association announced a plan supporting the armament of both security guards and employees at schools. If the solution is anything, this is not it.

Adding more guns to the system adds increased instability and hurts regulation, instead of helping it, not to mention the cost of such measures.

Since the events in Newtown, Slate, a Division of the Washington Post Company, has been cataloguing as many gun deaths as they can.

Currently, the number is at 1,172 deaths.

Gun control is not a selective issue. We cannot continue to view it as something that needs attention once a year based on singular events that strike our media’s attention.

Guns are a continuous and unremitting problem that is far too easy to get and far too easy to use. We must take both responsible, direct and multidimensional action to solve a problem that continues to cause unyielding harm.

Aaron Locke