The State of Gun Violence in the US
Gun violence in today’s America has become routine and common. This violence causes a surprising number of deaths and injuries throughout the United States. The main lethal weapon used to take part in violence is the gun. That’s one of the reason why stricter gun control policy is needed to make it impossible to own a gun for those who should not own them in the first place. Taking such action could make our neighborhood is a safer place to live. It could also give parents a sense of hope sending their kids to school without fear of loved ones may not be coming home safe. To avoid the horrific death of the 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary school children tragedy, we need some forms of stricter gun control reform and we cannot just simply ignore these evil acts with all the deaths the society endured time to time. Gun violence in our country today is nearly impossible to ignore and we need stricter gun control policy while protecting the 2nd Amendment rights to keep our schools and neighborhoods safe.
Since 1999, two friends from Columbine, Colorado came to school with unholy plan to try and kill as many people as possible, gun related mass shootings at schools or public gatherings are more common this days. These shooters at Columbine, were well prepared and had thought out their plan carefully. Together they had 4 guns with them when they began their cowardly acts. It has resulted 12 students including teachers were killed and 20 others were injured. That’s not including the 2 killers who committed suicide shortly after their carnage. School shooting has been in the rise since this tragedy. According to the Washington post: The number of students has experienced gun violence at school since Columbine stands at more than 219,000 children at 223 schools. 143 children, educators and other people have been killed in assaults, and another 288 have been injured. In 2018 alone, there have already been 23 shootings the highest number during any year since at least 1999 (20 April 2018) This single act of gun violence at Columbine high school triggered a gun debate and raised some serious questions like, is our gun control policy strong enough or does the government ever act in any sensible gun law? Even though every time when a tragedy happens a lots of people think that some type of gun control legislation may happen but unfortunately, the government in Washington can not automatically have a gun control policy passed because of a powerful gun lobbyists like the NRA and second amendment advocates.
Another big issue is children and teens getting hurt or killed with guns. One reason why Columbine was so big was because of the killing of so many harmless teenagers and it was the first mass shooting in us history followed by 26 killings at Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and 17 teens were gun down on at Marjory Stoneham Douglas. Most of these tragedies could have been prevented or minimized if some sort of restrictions has been placed on gun purchases. It breaks the hearts of so many Americans when a child or teenagers gets killed by a gun. For example according to Everytownreserch.org , Firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children and teens and the first leading cause of death for Black children and teens. 21 Nearly 1,600 children and teens die by gun homicide every year.22 For children under the age of 13, these gun homicides most frequently occur in the home and are often connected to domestic or family violence.(23) It is very sad to see that our government is ignoring gun violence as normal while causing these many deaths.
Furthermore, over the years any talk of gun control violence has been characterized as taking guns away from people and blame gun control advocates as enemy of the 2nd amendments. However, the truth is asking some type of safety measures like universal background checks, cooling off period to purchase firearms, abolishing the sale of firearms to mentally ill individuals, stopping people who are in the terrorist lists or people with criminal backgrounds are not too much to ask and defiantly it is not taking away guns. In addition, fully automatic weapons are should belongs to the battle filled for military use and not on American schools or churches to kill innocent people. It is well understood that guns have probably helped us win most wars we have fought and saved some families from crazy dictators around the globe however, guns should never be used to kill our kids nor our brothers and sisters here in our streets.
Unfortunately, just like all laws and regulations any gun control regulations must go through congress and if it gets through it has to be signed by the president of the United States. In the current poetical environment it is unlikely to pass any forms of sensitive gun laws, because first foremost president Trump is not interested in talks of any kind of gun laws. Second, throughout the years many gun control legislations have been proposed in Congress and none of them made it through a committee. After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, most gun owners and second amendment advocates were in support of some type of gun control measures to be enacted but dysfunctional Washington failed to come to tougher to work for good. According to American Journal of Public Health 2018 study found that, Gun policies with the highest support were universal background checks (87.8%); stronger measures requiring accountability by gun dealers unable to account for missing (e.g., lost or stolen) guns (84.8%); requiring a person who can legally carry a concealed gun to pass a test demonstrating safe and lawful handling (84.7%)… This study clearly demonstrates a greater public interest in gun laws however, politicians unable to act in the public interest due to gun lobbyists. It’s a known fact that when it comes to gun control, Democrats and Republicans, splits right down to party-liners. Usually, the Democrats are in favor of heavy restrictions on guns and on the other hand, Republicans heavily resembles towards gun rights and tend to take cover behind the 2nd amendments. Such tribalism got so dangerous and resulted in gridlock to do anything in Washington especially in gun control policy debates.
It is true that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own guns but that gun ownership doses nothing to deter crime rather than causes more crimes. We should also never lose sight of the intent of the founding fathers when they adopted the 2nd amendment of the constitution. It was truly intended for people to protect themselves from the governments unforeseen aggression of power but not to shoot innocent kids at school grounds or church gowers at the house of worships. The idea bearing arm was born based on their own past history with England and the only way to deter any government aggression was by allowing people to arm themselves to fight with full time paid army in the time of sudden invitation or emergencies. however, they never envisioned the 2nd amendment to be used in a manner we see today. For instance, The individual armed with AR-15 Military style weapon who killed 11 worshipers in Pittsburgh Jewish synagogue on Oct 31/2018 was also allowed to purchase over 21 guns with no questions asked. This shows that how the system failed to protect the innocent and stricter gun law needed more than ever.
Finally, gun control debate is so complicated and complex. It seems no matter what happens and no matter how many children’s at school or how many people at church got hurt, gun control debates fades away as soon as the media stops talking about them. If we look back major school shootings since Columbine: in 2007, Sueng-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech student whom diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder opened fire and killed: 33 Injured 25, in 2012, a 20-year-old Adam Lanza went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire on the students killing 28 injured 2, on February 14, 2018, teenager Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a semi-automatic rifle. killed 17 and injured 14. These are students who lost their lives at schools with no fault of their own and just because the system failed them. We should all ask if these tragedies are not enough to act, when then? Maybe it is time for all us to demand from our government a safer schools to educate our kids, a safer Churches to worship, and a safer bars to have fun while preserving the 2nd amendment rights.