A Non-Solution to Gun Control


Photo from Medium.com

Daniel Kochupura, Co-Editor-in-Chief

One of the most sensitive, controversial issues in this country is gun control. The rest of the developed world can hardly fathom America’s statistics on gun violence, and like most of you, I regularly find myself sitting in a conversation which turns from the Steelers, movies, or Tesla into a second-amendment shouting match without much notice or opportunity to quietly retreat. And, I have to admit, the debate is becoming too much. I’m tired of hearing the same  “But what about Australia?” “The US isn’t Australia” “Well, you’re not Australia” back-and-forth.

Here’s how I feel about gun control: I have absolutely no idea what the gun laws in our country can or should be. Truly. Unlike most issues in American politics, which are about principles and priorities, gun control has a right answer. Let’s just stop yelling and figure it out. Only then can we safely get back to yelling about the other stuff.

Arguing about gun control is like arguing about the solution to a calc problem—there is an answer, I just don’t know what it is. Let the really really smart people figure out what it is. 

The calc problem at hand is two questions. To the numerous statisticians who read our newspaper: what amount of gun control would be safest for Americans? To the many legal scholars who peruse Voices: is the aforementioned solution constitutional?  That’s it. That’s the whole ballgame. Now, you might be thinking, “we already knew those were the questions. The answers are just really complex. The reason gun control continues to plague America is that both sides have evidence difficult to refute and problems difficult to explain. Your fatigue and impatience doesn’t make these problems any easier to solve.” That’s a very mature insight to make. Well done. Now, let’s disregard your “logic” and find ourselves a real answer.

Here’s the plan: we put into a conference room with two hundred pizzas, a water fountain, and a single window to longingly stare out of fifty statisticians of equal accomplishment, varied political affiliations, and children. We loudly declare, “none of you are going to see your families until thirty of you agree on an answer” and walk out. After some time, they’re bound to come back to us with a solution. We ask the similarly-assembled legal scholars how that solution fits with the second amendment, and congratulations, we’ve successfully answered one of the most shameful problems facing America today. I don’t mean to say it’d be a perfect system, but half of their collective kids will have birthdays in the next six months, so our problem-solvers won’t be wasting any time. Also, the pizza will run out well before then. 

I’m not saying we should hold the architects of our solution against their will for an extended period, but if they can’t figure out in a couple of days the problem which has been plaguing our society for decades, I feel like that’s their fault.


This exercise just goes to better illustrate the complexity of gun control. If the professional calc-problem solvers haven’t cracked it yet, it might not be as obvious as people may wish it was. Anyone expecting teenagers to have a definitive answer to the problem which has been splitting the country since before the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson became the same person is being absurd. It’s hard. You don’t need to have an answer yet. 

That being said, Voices has a proud history of pretending we know the solution anyway. The opinion section has published some unpopular takes in its 51-year history, and if past years offer any trend, we will continue to face issues of loud belief on both sides. I stand by the publication of everything that has gone and will go through this newspaper. To hear the argument that changes your mind, you first might have to hear a couple that don’t, and even though you could find some pieces ignorant or wrong, understand that it comes from students who are passionate about the improvement of this world and believe that we can be a difference. That’s something we can all celebrate.