Dear Future President,
While many believe guns are the cause for all the homicide issues, it may have more to do with those wielding the guns. It can be looked at like this, give a gun to a saint and it will be used sparingly, give it to a known mobster and it will be used to commit crimes. Guns are responsible for many thousands of shootings a year. In addition, they have also touched many on a personal level. Despite this, gun related violence is declining.
The amount of gun related deaths is earth shattering. According to an article on smartgunlaws.org, a well known pro-gun law organization with nearly three decades of first hand experience with gun violence, “In 2010, guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour.” That many gun related deaths proves that, without a doubt, gun violence needs to be stopped. The immediate reaction for most people is to blame what’s causing the deaths, guns. However, if the facts are considered, the same amount of deaths can occur if guns are taken out of the equation. Those bent on committing suicide or homicide will do it regardless of whether or not guns are available.
That being said, I understand how those who may be on the receiving end of death by a gun must feel. I have felt a fraction of the terror and helplessness once before. A few years ago, I went to visit one of my family members in Indiana. For most of the time I was there, all was well. On the last day, however, we all had an experience that changed us for the years to come. We were driving in downtown Indianapolis looking for a nice restaurant to spend the evening in when we heard a loud bang. Looking around, confused, we attempted to figure out what had happened. Moments later, another loud bang invaded the quiet streets. This time, there was a flash of light that accompanied the terrifying sound. We then got a glimpse of what was making the sound. It was a middle aged man in a hoodie, firing a pistol into a closed jewelry store. While I wasn’t the target of the scary man with the gun, I certainly did wonder what would have happened had he pointed it at me. Looking back at it, I was scared of the person, not the gun. The gun on its own had no way to hurt me, it was the person behind the gun who was calling the shots.
Despite all of the death and destruction caused by guns, the truth is, gun violence is declining. An article on Infowars.com states, “Over the past 20 years, gun sales have absolutely exploded, but homicides with firearms are down 39 percent during that time and “other crimes with firearms” are down 69 percent.” More than anything else, this statistic proves that the amount of guns owned by Americans isn’t related to the number of crimes involving guns. While the amount of guns increases, the amount of overall crime is decreasing. This is puzzling, however, it can be explained by taking a look at the person who owns the gun. Only those who have a gun and are of the violent frame of mind partake in criminal behavior.
Guns always seem to be the cause for the amount of homicides we experience, however, a closer look at who owns the guns may be the solution to the problem at hand. The amount of deaths linked to guns are unacceptably high. On the other hand, the amount of deaths from firearms are decreasing despite the amount of guns on the streets increasing. At the end of the day, we may not need to ban guns nor do we need to allow the system to remain as it is; we need to pay more attention to who can acquire said guns. Once we prevent dangerous people from owning guns, we will be able to dismantle gun violence in America.