Loud call for gun control

Anapaola Gonzalez, freelance reporter

Did you know that most American children are just as likely to die by a gunshot as they are by cancer?

Gun control has been a controversial topic for many years, dividing those who think it is pointless and those who believe there should be stricter gun laws. Major events such as John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, the Orland Nightclub shooting, the Las Vegas shooting, and many more have raised public awareness on the lack of control America has on the possession of guns.

The government should regulate and control guns for the public’s safety and other reasons such as preventing dangerous people from getting a gun, stopping gun related homicides/suicides, and because of all the violent crimes caused by guns.

The government regulating guns can make it more difficult for the wrong people to attain one. One of the many ways this can be done is by requiring background checks and permits from those searching on purchasing a gun. Data posted by the FBI showed that 42% of people were blocked from buying a gun after they were background checked because they had felony convictions on their record.

If those people had gotten their hands on a gun, they probably would have used it to cause harm to others. Not only that, permits have been proven to have positive effects on lowering gun deaths.

Researchers in Connecticut found that a 1995 Connecticut law requiring permits was linked with a 40% decline in gun deaths. They also found that when Missouri repealed its permit-to-purchase law, gun deaths increased by 23%. Having to go through background checks of potential gun buyers and requiring permits might seem like a hassle, but if it can stop a deadly weapon from coming into contact with a risky person, then it is worth it.

The government regulating guns can stop the number of gun related suicides and homicides from further increasing. In a time where depression is extremely common amongst young adults (18-25) we need to make sure they do not have access to dangerous weapons, as they can be impulsive at a time of mental weakness.

As reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among all the firearm-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020, about 54% were suicides. Homicides also take up a huge chunk of total deaths in the U.S. According to UC Davis Health, in 2019, 14,861 people in the United States died from firearm homicide alone.

The most crucial reason as to why the government should place more regulation laws on guns is to diminish the number of violent crimes. School shootings, a situation sadly not new to anyone, are very common. Most of these school shootings are caused by a student at the school who got their hands on a gun. For instance, February 14th, 2018, there was a shooting at Majority Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, seventeen were killed and seventeen injured. Authorities confirmed that the perpetrator, Nikolas Cruz, had somehow attained the gun legally. Stricter laws and regulation could have prevented Cruz from getting a gun and killing innocent people.

Other countries have it bad too, right? Based on CNN analysis news reports, there have been 288 school shootings in the United States since January 1, 2009. That is fifty-seven times as many shootings as the other six G7 countries (Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada, along with the European Union) combined.

On the other hand, there are people who do not agree with stricter gun laws and believe that in a world like this, guns are needed for self-defense. As claimed by statistics done by researchers, there were a total of 1,453 gun defense deaths in 2020. Not only are there other forms of self-defense, such as learning martial arts, but the number of gun homicides also outweigh the number of gun deaths by self-defense. Data released by the CDC showed that the same year, 2020, more than 45,000 deaths were caused by guns, a level of gun deaths not seen in decades.

All in all, the government should reinforce their gun laws to make the world, even if it’s a little, safer. Dangerous people would find it more difficult to attain one, guns would not be used to take their own or someone’s life, and the number of violent crimes would surely decrease. If this cause interests you, many nonprofit organizations such as The Brady Campaign and Coalition to Stop the Violence seek to reduce gun violence and the number of guns on the streets.

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