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Gun debates have surfaced nationwide, once again, following a deadly school shooting, leading to the deaths of seventeen students and teachers. America experienced 18 school shootings in the first 45 days of 2018 alone. In comparison, Canada has only had 19 school shootings in a lifespan of over 328 years. Gun control has been a nationwide debate for years in the United States, usually following a horrific tragedy. There have been countless movements and protests demonstrated by the people in favor of new gun control laws to prevent another mass shooting. However, without fail, the Federal Government fails to get anything done concerning gun control. The National Rifle Association, or the NRA, is partly to blame due to their immense efforts to lobby congress and state legislation to oppose more gun control laws. Innocent lives have been taken by deranged individuals with deadly weaponry. Parents have lost their children. Children have lost their parents. Gun control laws must be passed, thoughts and prayers can’t bring back those who lost their lives, nor can they save the lives of potential future victims of gun violence. The 2nd Amendment, which protects the American citizens’ right to bear arms, was passed over two-hundred years ago in 1791, since then, guns have only become more powerful and deadly. The citizens of the United States must demand gun reform and vote any corrupt NRA funded politician who refuses to listen to the demands of the public out of office in the upcoming elections. Gun reform should not repeal the 2nd Amendment, but there needs to be serious change to protect the lives of the innocent.
Some politicians argue mental health was the issue in every mass shooting case and no gun control legislation could have prevented a mass shooting tragedy from occurring. In 1996, Australia passed strict gun control laws following a mass shooting that resulted in the deaths of 35 people and injured 18 others. Since gun control laws passed, Australia has not had a single mass shooting in over 20 years. The instance in Australia presents evidence that gun control prevents mass shootings. Unlike America, it only took the Australian government one mass shooting as a wake-up call. A buyback program was arranged and citizens voluntarily gave up possession of certain deadly firearms and received compensation. America needs to pass some sort of gun control regulation to prevent another mass shooting from occurring again, and the American people overwhelmingly agree more can be done to prevent mass shootings. Deranged individuals should not possess firearms, background checks should be mandatory.
The gun show loophole, which allows people to legally buy a firearm without a background check, is still legal in many states. According to The Washington Post, at least 167 of mass shooters’ weapons were obtained legally and 49 were obtained illegally. Public opinion has changed in favor of gun control legislation following the deadly shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th, 2018, the highest pro-gun control support has been in 20 years. Despite seven in ten favoring gun control legislation, the federal government fails to get anything passed. Some states have taken it upon themselves to pass legislation, but until the federal government steps in mass shootings will continue to occur in the United States. According to the Brady Campaign, more than 100,000 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents, or by police intervention. Companies have cut ties with the National Rifle Association following several school shooting survivors of Stoneman Douglas calling for a boycott of companies offering NRA members discounts for various services. Following companies severing ties with the NRA, some major firearm suppliers like Walmart, Dick’s Sporting goods, and Kroger and have also taken action to protect the public including removing certain firearm products from their stores and website.
Opponents of gun control advocates argue that gun control would only prevent law abiding citizens to obtain access to weaponry. The “Good Guy with a gun vs. Bad guy with a gun” argument is often used by those opposed to gun control laws. However, several on-duty armed deputies at Stoneman Douglas High School never entered the school while a shooter was active. Instead, the deputies stood idly outside the school later claiming they believed the active school shooter was outside the building. A good guy with a weapon failed to confront a bad guy with a gun. In all the mass shootings America has seen, how many were stopped by an ordinary citizen with a firearm? While this does happen, it is incredibly rare. Ordinary civilians usually are not the ones who stop these deranged individuals, the certified firearm first responders are. In these types of situations, the good guy with a gun can easily be confused as a bad guy with a gun during an active shooting. Police may open fire at an armed “good guy” civilian during a mass shooting. The National Rifle Association induces mass hysteria that any gun control legislation is in violation of their 2nd amendment right and the government is attempting to remove everyone’s guns. In the District of Columbia v. Heller, a Supreme Court ruling was made that made it clear that although citizens have the right to bear arms, the government also has the right to pass legislation to protect its citizens. The government cannot take away everyone’s guns, nor do most gun control advocates want to. Gun control advocates simply want less deranged people to possess guns capable of mass extermination. A majority of gun control advocates want deeper background checks and a ban on military grade weapons. Many just want their children to go to school without fearing for their lives.
Recently there has been a solution pushed by some politicians to combat mass shootings. “Red Flag” laws would disarm at-risk individuals suspected in committing wrongdoing. The Red Flag laws would keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals. Several states such as New Jersey and Ohio have proposed these types of laws to prevent another mass shooting, but the red flag laws although potentially effective is not enough that can be done to protect the lives of the innocents. Deeper background checks must be conducted on anyone looking to purchase a firearm of any kind. Private dealers must run background checks and close the gun show loophole that remains legal in many states. The legal age to purchase assault rifle and semi-automatic weapons should be increased to 21 years old. You should not be able to walk into a gun store, purchase a weapon capable of mass killing, and leave within five or ten minutes of walking in. Change is long overdue in the United States. Countless innocent lives have been lost, and will continue to be lost as long as weapons are left unregulated. There are many legislative actions that can be taken to prevent another mass shooting, the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be investigating every potential mass shooter thoroughly as they failed to do so on the Parkland shooter despite overwhelming amount of reports.
In conclusion, gun control regulation must be passed in the United States’ federal government. It is time to finally allow the family of all the victims of mass shootings to rest knowing change has been made. Change that will prevent another family from losing a son, daughter, father, or mother. Red Flag laws should be passed nationwide. Deeper background checks must be conducted on every individual looking to purchase a firearm. The gun show loophole must be declared illegal in the states that do not have laws against it. Background checks must be mandatory for every individual buying from a private dealer. The legal age to purchase firearms should be raised to twenty-one from eighteen. Politicians opposed to these laws which would make the American public safer must be voted out of office. Change is long overdue for this country, but it is not yet, too late to make it. We as the American people, must unite, and combat this issue once and for-all. For all those who did not live to see the very change that could’ve saved their lives, change must commence immediately.
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