There’s really no question that the situation in America has changed technologically. When our nation was born, the fastest form of ground transportation was the horse. Information was passed through written notes or by word of mouth. Many of us who spent time in grade school likely remember Paul Revere’s ride informing American troops of the approaching British. That too was a result of the means of transporting information at the time. Yet, at the same time, men in the military were using muskets, which even in the hands of the most skilled of soldiers could really only fire two shots in one minute. Therefore, it was reasonable for the Second Amendment to be created at that time, as it was not reasonable to expect the government to be able to show up to help defend its citizens every time, particularly with the transportation and communication means taken into account. If someone was attacking your family at the time, you and your musket were the only real means of defense.

However, the advent of new technologies puts this into doubt. We’ve gone from having to be self-reliant to being able to receive help at a moment’s notice. Instead of horses, we have cars that are able to move at incredible speeds and arrive in specific locations in little time. Instead of oral and written communication, we have telephones, radio, e-mail and texts which we can use to call for help. Most importantly, the capacity for one to defend one’s self has increased dramatically. We’ve gone from being able to fire one to two rounds a minute with muskets to hundreds of rounds a minute with assault rifles. Even semi-automatic weapons can fire tens more rounds than weapons made three hundred years ago. These advances in technology mean that someone can call for help, have that help arrive, and quickly defuse a situation in a matter of minutes or seconds. The era of the man with the gun defending his family has long since passed.

So, why are we still treating weapons as if it is still the late 1700s? Why is it that, even as technology has advanced, we still appear to live in the past when it comes to firearms? And, most importantly, why are weapons being treated as a cherished right rather than a privilege? While the rise in technology has made us safer, it has also increased the danger. There is probably no one driving on the road in Wyoming who does not have a license, and we even have to protect ourselves when it comes to using computers and telephones, as criminals can now use those devices with unfortunate efficiency, as this state has found out when it comes to scams. Yet, there are less requirements to deal with when it comes to guns, and the consequences have been devastating. In just the last thirty days, we’ve had shootings in Gilroy and El Paso, with El Paso in particular having more than twenty dead. And that’s not even counting the tragedies suffered over the years. Sandy Hook, Parkland, Las Vegas, Virginia Tech, Aurora -- all of these are merely aspects of the unchecked lack of control of firearms.

Because of this, there is only one way to solve this crisis. We must, for as much as it may pain us to do so in Wyoming, enact legislation controlling guns so that they would either be licensed or altogether banned. The time where we needed to defend ourselves in the manner necessary in the colonial era is over. It’s time that we embrace the future and prevent further tragedies from occurring by aligning gun laws with the world we now inhabit.

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