Bullets do not discriminate

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By the editorial board

Trinity Gay envisioned herself winning state track meets. She saw herself bringing home gold for her country and family. She saw herself getting her license and graduating high school. She did not see the stray bullet. 

Gay, 15, was with friends at the Cookout on South Broadway when a shootout involving at least four suspects occurred. According to friends, Gay was listening to music in the parking lot of the restaurant when the incident began. A stray bullet struck Gay. She did not survive that night.

This tragedy puts in perspective the logical fallacy that increased gun ownership is an appropriate alternative to common sense gun regulation. To those who stand by the statement “The solution to bad guys with guns is more good guys with guns,” a question is posed: What about Trinity Gay? 

Simply fighting fire with fire—matching the number of those who misuse guns with those who use them responsibly—would only turn our streets into a warzone; a warzone where names like hers are buried in an ever-growing list of innocent bystanders lost to gun violence. 

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There may not be an overt and easy solution to ending unnecessary gun violence in our country right now, but we can at least take steps forward. Perhaps the best solution will become apparent only once this occurs. Do we not owe it to the families of victims like Trinity Gay to try? Do we not owe it to ourselves, our friends and our family? Bullets do not discriminate.

An easy first step would be to resolve the issues regarding the private sales of firearms in the state of Kentucky. Currently, there is no law that requires a background check for these transactions. The only restriction on private firearm sales in Kentucky is the barring of knowingly transferring a weapon to a convicted felon. This creates an obvious loophole which allows anyone to bypass a background check by simply buying a gun from any other source aside from a licensed dealer. If private sales aren’t regulated, the purpose of having dealers become licensed is lost.

Even more alarming is the fact that other than a background check, there is no other oversight on gun purchases. Currently, there is no law requiring gun registration in Kentucky, no permit is required to purchase, and no permit is required to openly carry. The only stipulation on gun ownership aside from age is the requirement of a permit to lawfully carry a concealed weapon. 

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Such a concept is ludicrous when applied to other constitutional rights: imagine a world where we had no regulation on interstate travel—no driver’s licenses or traffic laws. Why is the right to bear arms treated so recklessly?

With such a wide margin for progress, we have an obligation to stand on principle. We must stand on the principle that we will do everything we can to protect our own against harm. We must stand on the principle that even if the path ahead is uncertain, we will move forward. 

We do not need any more sacrifices no one chose to make. We do not need any more senseless deaths used as statistics to show evidence of an issue. We need to fix the issue.

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