November 2, 2016
Over the past few years, gun violence has increased significantly in the United States compared to other countries around the world. On average in the U.S, guns cause the death of 92 people a day. Approximately thirty of these deaths are homicides and roughly sixty of these are suicides. The question is, should a law be created to enforce stricter access to guns? I believe that there should be restricted access to purchasing a gun by implementing background checks. A simple law would allow us to know who we are selling guns to. I believe this can be accomplished without violating the second amendment. The law would not eliminate the right to own a firearm, but a law can put safeguards in place to help create a safer environment for our nation.
The United States has the easiest access to guns compared to other highly populated countries. The U.S. does not require background checks, gun training, special storage or a license requirement to purchase a gun. Other countries such as Norway, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Australia, and several others enforce these requirements and have less gun related fatalities. Before 2011, mass shootings were 6 months apart and since then mass shootings are every 2 months. From 2000-2014 there was 133 mass shootings in public populated places. This indicates that the crime rate is increasing and it is more lethal than ever before. With an increase in lethal gun violence, it is so important that we regulate the access of guns to citizens that do not adhere to the gun control law. Additionally, the U.S has the highest suicide rate in the world and almost half of the suicides are with guns and this continues to increase. In the video it says that, “Depression with a gun is more dangerous than depression without one” (Vox). Easy gun access enables these deaths. If we create a law to prevent easy access, rates would potentially decrease. From 2000 to 2013 gun deaths exceeded deaths from AIDS, drugs, wars and terrorism combined. Vox says “America doesn't have a gun problem, it has several of them,” proving that the problems in the U.S are from lethal weapons and a lack of regulation . By creating a law, it will not take away your right to own a gun, it will just regulates access in an effort to reduce gun violence.
Gun control has always had a very long, pivotal role in America. It wasn't until the 1970’s that a lack of gun control became a major problem and most divisive issue in American politics. Gun control discussions escalate every time there is a mass shooting. Efforts to tighten access to guns is debated but action is never successfully implemented. For example, the Orlando shooting, “killed 49 people and wounded scores of others at gay night club” (The Lowdown pg 1). Many days later, Democrats tried to put a law in place and were shut down by the Republican controlled senate. The causes of the issue are because of repealed laws, illegal activity, and easy access. The government should not implement a law that denies people of their second amendment right, but a law that requires a waiting period for a background check that will not violate the second amendment, but will ensure that guns are in the hands of the right people. Even the most modest gun-control measures have been proven that reduced the number of gun related deaths.
Lastly, the key challenge of implementing law to control America's gun violence is the differing views of people beliefs. People who are pro-gun will argue that the government cannot take away their second amendment, their right to bear arms. I would address this by saying, it's not taking away their right to bear arms if the law requires a background check. A background check will alert authorities in a case that there is a potential threat to the community by a high risk buyer. The second amendment right will still be upheld. I would argue that the benefit would far outweigh the debate over implementation of a law. The benefit would be a reduction of gun related deaths.
After almost every mass shooting in America, gun control discussions are initiated. Unfortunately, the differing views of our political system prevent necessary laws from being implemented. Vox says “The U.S has nearly six times the gun homicide rate as Canada, more than seven times as Sweden, and nearly 16 times as Germany”. Our inability to implement a law designed to control access is why America has an overall higher lethal death rate. If we implement a law that regulates the sale of guns, we can reduce lethal gun violence and gun related suicides. Overall, a law would not violate the second amendment. A law would create a waiting period to ensure that the gun owner will be a responsible, law abiding citizen.