A Choice Has To Be Made: The Guns Or The People
The second amendment may be a right to all Americans—but what if it’s just infringing on the right of fellow citizens to feel safe by enabling people to purchase weapons of war and violence, all while using a broken system? Gun control is an expense America cannot afford to skimp on with the ever-growing epidemic of mass shootings and overall gun violence. This has become more of an eerie reality for society today, as it seems more and more common to hear about a mass shooting on the news, such as the recent school shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. It was November 14th, 2019, that two young lives were both lost and three more were injured at the hands of a sixteen-year-old-gunman wielding a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol in the school’s quad.
It is imperative to note the number of mass shootings in America has exponentially increased. As of November 17th, there have been 369 mass shootings in 2019. This means that there have been more mass shootings in America than days in the year, which is disturbing and concerning. There should be work being done to reduce these troubling statistics, however, the country is caught throwing words at each other about who is right or wrong, when the fact is, we are facing an epidemic. What is more appalling however, is just how little states require in the area of being able to purchase a fire-arm. When the ease of purchasing firearms is discussed, it only takes minutes to acquire such an object. In thirty-six states, the rules and regulations are more lenient. When it comes to purchasing a weapon that has the potential to kill or harm another human being, we as a society have to do better. There is too much at stake for loopholes and ways to get around the law to exist.
Those who oppose gun control like to argue that places with strict gun laws have the worst gun violence. However, places like California, who enforce some of the strictest gun laws in America, cannot thwart the mishaps caused by the downfalls of other state’s laws, who are known for being more lenient. One gunman in July of 2019 legally obtained a semi-automatic assault rife, bringing it across state lines to Gilroy, California and opened fire at a local festival. In order for stricter gun-laws to prosper, the process must improve, but most importantly, it must improve in every part of the country. Nevada, however is not the only state where it is deemed simple to purchase a weapon. In states such as Idaho, Florida, Colorado, and thirty-three more, a person legally does not need a license, permit, or registration to buy a firearm. In Kansas, one doesn’t need any of these items to buy or carry a firearm.
Basically, if one has no criminal record, they can obtain a firearm with ease. Private sellers taking up shop to fatten their checks with the amount of money made from easy purchases does not help the situation anymore. Laws were passed stating private sellers had to conduct background checks on customers, however they are rarely enforced. The United States manufactures more than 10 million firearms a year, but with private sellers, only about a few million actually are being registered. Objects that have the power to end someone’s life, should not be let lose in the world, with millions of them not being able to be traced.
It is a common argument that the amount of media coverage mass shootings and gun violence attracts only encourages violent behavior and more shootings and that shootings are actually very rare. A study done corroborates the first half of this claim: there does seem to be a contagion growth from the media coverage of mass shootings, however, this is due to the way it is covered. It would be more beneficial to instead of focusing the attention on the perpetrators, to put the spot light on the bravery of those affected. To show that despite the atrocity survivors were forced to endure, individuals are becoming communities, coming together and uniting, surviving by inspiring love in a time when it can become easy to be angry. The world needs to see that part of the story. To the second part of that claim, the length between mass casualty shootings is shortening, with 369 occurring this year, two of them within twenty-four hours of each other. These events are becoming more frequent, with 9,932 gun deaths as of September first.
With the firearm-homicide rate twenty-five times higher than other leading nations, it should be clear that gun control is the only remedy, and that we as a country can do so much better. There are simply too many variables to consider when deciding if a person is fit to own a firearm; too many ways to get around the rules which are unstable, rules that need fixing, adjusting, revising. Stricter gun laws would save lives all over the country. People should not be afraid to leave their homes, children should not have to worry where to hide if someone walks into their class with an assault rifle, and this epidemic should not be seen as normal. It should not be expected. We can do better. There is a choice to be made: protecting the guns, or protecting the lives of not only citizens now, but future generations to come.