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The Need for Stricter Gun Control Laws: Gun Violence

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Gun control must be regulated by passing and renewing gun laws, educating people on safety precautions if they own a firearm, increasing the age restriction of which people are able to purchase a gun, also having gun buyers undergo more in-depth background checks to ensure we are not allowing non-eligible people the resources to cause themselves or others harm. Our second amendment in the Bill of Rights, clearly states the right of citizens to bear arms, but the people that originally signed off on this document imagine what is happening to our country now. Many gun control advocates support that we should just ban guns altogether but out second amendment keeps lawmakers from doing so. Therefore, to combat these causes, alternative gun control solutions must be made for each one.

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Gun violence is not susceptible to one state, but more of a county as a whole. Between the years twenty sixteen and twenty seventeen, there was an increase in firearm-related homicide by thirty-eight thousand six hundred and fifty-eight. Moreover, guns are responsible for m estimated thirty-six thousand deaths a year, meaning an average of one hundred people get killed by firearms daily, and one hundred thousand injuries. In the year twenty seventeen gun deaths reached a new record, with about forty thousand deaths that year alone. Breaking it down more, sixty-one percent are suicides, thirty-five percent are homicides, one point four percent are law enforcement shootings, one point three percent are unintentional, the other point eight percent are undetermined. As we continue to develop and grow as a country we have to be able to protect our future doctors, entrepreneurs, architecture, etc of the future. How are we intended to do that when thousands are dying to die to the nonexistent gun control in the United States of America.

In comparison, the United States of America experiences a higher rate of gun violence than any other country. The IHME (Institution of Health Metrics and Evaluation), discovered that of gun violence in twenty sixteen in America exceeds many countries. “The project determined a rate of three-point eighty-five violent gun deaths per every one hundred thousand people in the United States,” (Gun Control). As opposed to the UK (0.07), Japan (0.04), and in developing countries Syria (1.17), and Ethiopia (1.97). While rates in Latin America exceeded America’s with countries such as El Salvador (40.29) and Venezuela (34.77) experiencing ten times the amount of gun violence. In America, since the latter part of the twentieth century has experienced mass violent events in which large groups of people are murdered in public typically with firearms. These events have occurred in schools, clubs, restaurants, concerts, movie theaters, and other spaces.

The question that stands is what causes America to have these high rates in gun violence? Many people have suggested that there is a link between economic factors (unemployment rates, average education factors) to the amount of gun violence experienced by a community. However, if this was the case then the United States would experience a rate of point seventy nine percent death get one hundred thousand people. Which is about one-fifth of the actual rate. Many experts have questions if any characteristics of the United States make the country more susceptible to gun violence. Theories range from the glamorization of gun violence in films, television, and video games. While gun activists believe that gun ownership and even more multiple gun ownership leads to higher rates of gun violence than in other countries. In addition, they also agree with the fact that the government allowing the age limit the purchase a gun being 18 plays a big part in gun violence rates, not executing full background checks on buyers, and not educating the US population of proper gun safety.

Although many people have the thought that gun violence cost them absolutely nothing, that is not the case. “Researchers have estimated that gun violence costs the US economy more than $200 billion annually, including $8.6 billion in direct cost to the US taxpayers,” (Gun Control). This was discovered by a journalist from Mother Jones. The largest portion of $8.6 million, direct taxpayers’ costs, about $5.2 million covers the long-term cost of incarcerating individuals who engage in criminal gun violence. Then the estimated $220 billion indirect costs, including lost wages and impact of quality of life determined by the jury in victim lawsuits. In addition, there is about $6.2 billion dollars going into studies. Then those studies use a value of $7.9 million (Environmental Protection Agency), and the US Department of Transportation uses $9.2 million. Furthermore, this does not even include all the costs associated with gun violence, such as security enhancements made to schools following mass shootings.

Although there have been plenty of laws passed to reduce the amount of gun violence America experiences, they haven’t all been effective but many have. For example, in 1989 President George W. Bush’s administration enforced a permanent ban on importing assault rifles. The restriction when further in 1994 when the federal government placed a ban on the manufacture and sale of specific models of firearms and duplicates. Furthermore, they couldn’t really tell if this restriction had any effect since before the banned assault weapons use was relatively low. In addition, they placed a law called the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, named in honor of James Brady who sufferd a shot in an assassination attempt. This amendment requires a five-day waiting period for all handgun sales, during which a background check was to be conducted on all purchasers. Which then expired in nineteen ninety-eight being replaced by the National Instant Check System (NICS), a database at the hands of sellers to make sure of the eligibility of a buyer to possess a firearm. Within the three year of passing the Brady Act, the FBI noticed a significant decline in homicides, robberies, and assaults involving guns. This act to prevent gun violence reported that by twenty thirteen the law had prevented over two million firearms sales to ineligible individuals.

On the contrary, they are many other laws that we should put into effect again. That for various reasons we have revoked it. For instance, after President Trump was elected in 2019 several states advanced legislation to permit the carrying of a firearm without a license and the carrying of firearms on public university campuses. Which have led to an increase in mass shootings. Also, Florida governor Rick Scott signed the law of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, this law raised the minimum age for purchasing a firearm from eighteen twenty-one, and gives more latitude to seize weapons from the mentality unfit, and provides funding for heightened school security. Later the same day, the NRA filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Florida, fighting that the new age restriction violates both the second and fourteenth Amendments. This law should be enforced because if you are not able to drink alcoholic beverages or buy cigarettes when you are eighteen, then what makes the government think they should then be able to buy a firearm with the potential to end his/her or someone else’s life when they can’t even decide what to put in their own bodies. In addition, it gives law enforcement more power to take away guns from a person deemed mentally unfit, making all the sense because why would we let a person who doesn’t know what they are doing have a gun in their hands if they are not aware of their surroundings. All of these restrictions will help aid America in have fewer mass shootings and death due to guns.

Another big thing that helps protect Americans is more shootings. As more mass shootings happen we learn better from our mistakes and become more equipped for the next one, but it won’t work if we don’t do anything about and act oblivious to the fact that 100 people are being injured due to firearms. Here are a very few examples of us learning from our mistakes. The Sandy Hook Elementary School, which twenty first-graders and six staff members were killed. Due to this President Obama introduced a bill that proposed expanding background checks, improving coverage and quality of mental health care, als banning several of the same firearms listed in the assault weapon ban that expired in two thousand and four. Furthermore, when married couples killed fourteen people and injured several more in California. It caused for firearms sold at gun shows and online to expand background checks —required states to provide the government with more information on the people who have been disqualified from purchasing guns—hired more federal agents to process the background checks. “Ms.Pelosi had already planned an early push to tighten background checks for gun purchases—a move favored by the vast majority of Americans, including most National Rifle Association Members. Implementing stricter and more in dept background will help ensure that we are not giving the wrong kind of people, the power that they should not have. These background checks are used to make sure we don’t do just that.

A big population of America is not educated on proper gun safety. Which then leads to one point 3 percent of unintentional shootings. Educating people better of gun safety. This will lead to a decrease in accidental gun shootings. When someone buys a gun they should go through a course, to better educate themselves to keep them and their families safe. In addition, many shootings are due to kids finding either their mom’s or dad’s gun and accidentally shooting themselves. Approximately forty percent of all American homes contain one or more firearms. In fifty percent of those households, firearms are kept loaded part of the time. In addition, roughly thirty percent of handguns are kept loaded and unlocked, meaning easily accessible to anyone. For this reason, we should advocate that parents keep their firearms where their children for sure are not able to reach. In addition, not just educating the gun owner, but also having then educate their families. In how to use it, and when to and not use it. Especially to the children’s making sure that they are well aware that they should in no reason grab the firearm even if it is just for a “game.” Safe storage of firearms has multiple benefits. It reduces the risk that the firearm will be lost in a burglary or theft. Also, a home when a gun is safely stored is less likely to be the scene of a teen suicide than a home where one or more guns are left loaded and unlocked.

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Many times mass shootings occur in America, and many of us stand around and ask, “Oh well what can we do?” In all honestly their are a whole lost of things we can go to keep the future generations of this world safe. Enforce stricter gun laws to America as a whole, do more in-depth background checks to ensure ourselves that we are not placing a firearm in someone’s hand that could cause harm to themselves or worse someone else’s family, and increase the age restriction to be able to purchase a firearm. With the current state of our country for many people owning a gun has become a necessity. We have to make sure that we are taking the best precautions in keeping our population safe, which is the future of our Earth.  

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