What Do We Do About Gun Control in the United States?
More than one third of Americans claim that there is a gun in their household. By that estimate, there are between 270 million to 310 million guns in the United States. Gun control has become a hot topic with numerous recent mass shootings. This leaves us with the question- how do we make the violence stop? Do we place even more restrictions on those that can purchase firearms? Do we get rid of guns all together?
The second amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights includes a citizen’s right to bear arms. A person has the right to own a gun for his or her own self-defense. A gun is also necessary for many hunters during game season. So eliminating guns all together would infringe upon our second amendment rights as well as a human’s basic instinct to hunt for meat.
I read a sobering statistic the other day, in 2015, 13,286 people were killed in the United States due to firearms; this statistic excludes death by suicides. 26,819 people were injured by a firearm.
Suicide is among the top 10 causes of death in the United States, and is the second leading cause of death for children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24 years old. According to the Brady Campaign, each year, more than 39,000 people die of suicide by firearm (this accounts for 51% of all suicides). Older adults are more likely to use a firearm to commit suicide, and families that keep a gun in the house are more likely to have a family member commit suicide using the gun.
The top three worst mass shootings have occurred within the past 18 months. Orlando, Las Vegas, and Sutherland Springs rocked the nation. In 1999, a pair of gunman entered Columbine High School and killed 12 students and one teacher. This mass murder chilled the nation. Now, this shooting isn’t even considered one of the top ten worst mass shootings in our history.
So what do we do to solve this problem? The second amendment states that we have the right to bear arms, so it would be against our constitutional rights to take away the ability to own a gun. Do we make it more difficult for individuals to purchase a gun? That causes a problem because what’s to stop a person from purchasing a gun and giving it to someone that can’t?
There are many sides to the argument and a great deal of passion surrounding the issue of gun control. The most reasonable way to solve the problem is to have both sides come together to reach a sort of happy-medium. I think that it’s important to realize that there is a problem even if we haven’t one hundred percent identified the specifics of the issue. Tighter restrictions and more intensive background checks could easily help aid who is capable of purchasing a weapon. There are many reasonable outcomes that could potentially save the lives of thousands of Americans. As a nation, we need to come together for a solution.