Raising Legal Age Limits Won’t Solve Gun Violence

A nationwide argument over weapon violence has  emerged in the wake of the terrible shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Unlike previous mass shootings, mourning and evidence-gathering have  been superseded by impassioned needs for weapon control, with a specific focus put on increasing age limitations needed to purchase particular weapons. Under federal law, the minimum age to purchase a pistol from a certified dealership is 21. The minimum age to purchase a long weapon (rifles and shotguns) is 18. Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz supposedly purchased several weapons after he turned 18, consisting of the AR-15 he used in the attack, causing calls by many weapon control advocates to raise the minimum age to buy all weapons to 21. According to #NeverAgain fans and weapon control groups, among the primary reasons for mass shootings is immaturity. For that reason, the only sensible service, they argue, is to raise the minimum age to purchase weapons.

This psychological, knee-jerk response cannot think about the myriad factors that add to the complex issues surrounding mass shootings, consisting of mental disorder, family breakdown and work disruptions. But possibly a lot more crucial, there’s no proof raising legal age limitations will fix the issue weapon control supporters are trying to deal with, and it’s extremely irregular and unreasonable for obedient grownups accountable enough to own weapons. The 3 most lethal mass shootings in the history of the United States have  all been devoted by people over the age of 21. In 2017, a 64-year-old eliminated 59 people in Las Vegas. In 2016, a 29-year-old eliminated 50 people in Orlando. In 2007, a 23-year-old on the school of Virginia Tech University eliminated 33 people. An analytical analysis on mass shootings happening in the United States from 1982 to 2018 exposed the typical age of mass-shooting killers is 35. Raising the legal age limitation to acquire weapons would not have stopped any of these murders, so why is there such a severe push to increase age limitations now?

Age limitations are a service looking for an issue, but much more than that they are unjustified and victimize adult Americans based upon age. At the age of 18, all males need to sign up for the draft under the Selective Service System, and Americans become qualified to sign up with the military at 18. Is it reasonable that the United States federal government can require an 18-year-old male to wield a weapon but then avoid that very same individual from purchasing a weapon? Also, is it reasonable to ask a 19-year-old to battle and possibly pass away abroad but avoid them from owning a weapon? Why would a person be considered fully grown enough to drive a tank in Baghdad but avoided from owning a rifle in the house? States permit 18-year-olds to vote, too, but why should such a person be enabled to assist select the leader in chief, who has the power to ruin the world with countless weapons of mass damage, but not be relied on with the capability to own a gun?

Beyond the widespread age discrimination and ethical hazards postured by an across-the-board age requirement, there’s also an entire host of other issues. What would happen to existing “underage” owners of such weapons? Would this accomplice, perhaps in the millions, be grandfathered into federal or state restrictions? Would they be required to quit their weapons? Much more essential, is such a requirement even constitutional? According to the Constitution, “the right of individuals to keep and bear Arms, will not be infringed.” American law has  regularly considered that an 18-year-old is a completely formed grownup, accountable for all his/her actions. In 1971, prior to the ratification of the 26th Amendment, a Senate report found 18-year-olds are: “completely mature enough to vote,” “Bear all or the majority of a grownup’s obligations” and ought to be enabled to “to influence our society in a serene and useful way.”

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in Roper v. Simmons that the death sentence might be used in cases where the opponent was over the age of 18 at the time of the crime, because 18-year-olds are considered grownups who have a complete understanding of the criminal activities they devote. If an 18-year-old is fully grown enough to be considered an adult by courts, states, the military and federal government in almost all situations, why not for buying a weapon? Raising age limitations is an ignorant, quick-fix, feel-good method to an issue that needs a more thoughtful and nuanced reaction. Weapon control supporters should focus less on raising age limitations and restricting young people’ rights and more on all the factors that in fact caused mass shootings.