Staff Writer / Copy Editor
Last week, President Donald Trump announced a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and related cartridges. This comes after multiple vaping-related deaths and hospitalizations across the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Sept. 11, there were at least 380 cases of vaping-related illnesses reported across 36 states and 1 territory, along with 6 deaths across 6 states.
Trump said vaping was causing, “a lot of problems…”, to reporters at the White House. The reporters also asked if they had discussed vaping with their 13-year-old son, Barron. He responded “We haven’t told him anything, except don’t vape. Don’t vape. We don’t like vaping. I don’t like vaping.”
The speculation currently is that these vaping-related incidences are due to a rise in the usage of black market vape cartridges containing Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that gets users high from cannabis.
Personally, because there is a lack of oversight from the FDA along with cannabis still holding a Schedule 1 substance enforcement by the DEA, this is the main reason these products appear to be unsafe.
Why is there such an emphasis on reducing vaping when we have so many citizens dying as a result of gun violence like mass shootings? A mass shooting being classified as any instance where at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.
According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which has been tracking mass shootings in the U.S since 2014, at least 300 mass shootings have occurred in 2019 so far. Along with this, there have been 39,872 cases of gun violence, leaving 10,547 dead and 21,034 injured in America.
Possibly the reason for a ban on vaping versus legislation tightening gun policies is because of lobbying from groups like the National Rifle Association. Personally, I love guns. I think they are cool. I like the power that comes with owning a gun, holding a gun and firing said weapon but we have a lot of work to do as a nation to keep gun ownership responsible.
Firstly, legislation should require everyone wanting to own a weapon to undergo tighter background checks and mental health evaluations. This would ensure a firmer grasp on who can and cannot buy weapons, especially citizens who are involved in nefarious activities or have mental health concerns.
Everyone that wants to procure a weapon should have to take a gun safety course. I would recommend this as a one-time course spanning 12-20 hours. It should teach gun safety, basic information on different types of guns and the basic laws concerning gun ownership, county and federal level.
There should also be a limit on how many weapons are owned per-person, per-household. A single person does not need to own more than four guns in my opinion. Though, if a limit would be enforced, there should be a permit allowing citizens to own more than the allotted amount with a tax stamp per weapon over the limit.
There needs to be a realistic thought about the ammo capacity limit of weapons. A citizen realistically should not be deer hunting with an M-16 and a magazine of 30 rounds. Extended magazines should be either banned or obtainable by a tax stamp-based system.
The open-carry and concealed-carry laws need to be more thought out, as I feel they are both confusing and inadequate for most citizens to understand.
Overall, the worst part about trying to pass laws like these are the fact it will never happen as long as we have overwhelming support from the GOP for fewer restrictions on weapons. They are focused on their own interests and no longer the interests of the American people.
No, arming teachers will not help. No, more school resource officers will not help. Why make school feel like a prison by having to have metal detectors? It’s sad that companies are now selling bulletproof, Kevlar-lined backpacks for school children. I no longer want to live in fear of receiving an education because I may be shot.
Our politicians no longer work for the people. They merely work for themselves, and their interests.