Undeniably, aspects of life evolve with each generation that, in turn, forces our government to change as it adapts to the changing world. However, this change in the government typically takes time, as the affected generation must grow up and finish their educational career before they begin reshaping government policies. The Greatest Generation grew up during the Great Depression, Baby Boomers with the Vietnam War, Gen X with the removal of the Berlin Wall, and Millennials with 9/11. The typical period of waiting for the government to adapt is not satisfying to today’s American teenagers—the generation of mass shootings. The future of our country is being killed in movie theaters, concerts, and classrooms; they are no longer waiting for these tragedies to fade away. They demand “Gun Reform,” but that, depending on your perspective, can vary drastically in meaning.
The most prominent demands include the raising of the age at which you can buy a rifle to at least 21, the addition of a waiting period, universal background checks, and closing of all gun show, hereditary, and boyfriend loopholes. These might appear extreme at first glance, but the generation(s) with the power to change the laws are unable to fully understand and process why they are demands. As a child born in December of 2001, I cannot possibly fathom what it was like to live during the Great Depression, to hear the news of JFK’s assassination, or to hear the news of 9/11. An adult, similarly, can not imagine growing up in a seemingly endless pattern of mass shootings. Until the current representatives have been traumatized by having active shooter drills in the middle of class, the current representatives do not have the right—nor experience— to claim these solutions unreasonable. Moreover, the Constitutional interpretation that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” means that any person can buy a weapon specifically designed to kill as many people as quickly possible at a gun show without even showing an ID is both than outdated and dangerous. Implementing a waiting period would decrease murders and suicides, as it forces a person to contemplate their decision, often preventing dangerous and rash decisions. Universal background checks will promote a safer society, keeping weapons away from convicted criminals and people with a history of mental illnesses. Lastly, raising the age from 18 prevents children from endangering themselves or the people around them. Personally, I believe the legal age to purchase a gun should be 25—when scientists say the brain is fully matured.
With generational changes, the government should strive to change at the pace of an evolving world. In some ways it’s been able to evolve successfully; however, the Second Amendment remains a very controversial topic, where the government has failed to implement the adaptations its citizens demand. Despite the founding fathers’ envisioning the Constitution as a document that would adapt with the country (Thomas Jefferson hoped it would be rewritten with every generation), the US finds itself hesitant and resistant to desperately needed gun reform that will save lives.