November 2, 2016
Dear future president,
Despite the fact that that the US ranks as one of the most economically and educationally advanced countries in the world, we still struggle with a problem that other developed countries seemed to have figured out years ago. This ever growing dilemma is gun violence. Gun violence is the cause for thousands of deaths in the US every year. However, many Americans still refuse to admit that increasing gun regulation would lower our massive amount of gun related deaths. With the great amount of damage it causes the US, something needs to be changed about the lack of gun control in the US regardless of the “freedom” some feel that it would take from them.
With 30,000 gun related deaths each year in the US alone, there is no doubt that Americans are doing something wrong. The US has six times the gun homicide rate of Canada, seven times that of Sweden, and 16 times that of Germany, making it by far the highest gun violence rate of any developed country. According to the CDC, for every “100,000 people in the US, 3.4” will die from gun homicides. The obvious way to prevent gun violence is to make the pistols and semi-automatic weapons used in most shooting less available to dangerous people. This Is proven to work even within the US itself. States such as Rhode Island, whose citizens own less guns have far less gun violence in comparison to places like Louisiana and Wyoming which have very high gun ownership. Even though this same correlation is also present between nations, people still refuse to agree that gun violence is the result of lax gun control. In addition, 58% of American citizens agree that semi-automatic firearms should be banned, yet no actions have been taken to actually make this a reality. Weather this is due to the power of the gun lobby or faults in our government, our democratic system is meant to serve the desires of citizens and this is not what is happening in regards to gun control. Although there are many facts to support my point, there is more to this problem than just percentages and numbers.
For every person who dies due to gun violence, there is a family, a friend, or a significant other who has to live with the pain of a loved one being killed. Not only is a human life cut short, but the lives of the people around them are altered forever. Many pro gun activists argue that taking people's guns wouldn’t have a large impact on crime and violence in the US. They believe that people will find other ways to cause the damage otherwise done by these guns. I agree with this argument, but only to a certain extent. It’s true that School stabbings might take the place of school shootings or that robbery at gunpoint could be replaced with robbery at knife point, however, it seems obvious that it would be easier to inflict more damage in both of these situations if the perpetrator had been armed with a firearm. Of course, taking guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals would not completely eliminate all murder in the US but it seems selfish to me that one could be willing to sacrifice the life of another person in order to have the level of “freedom” they feel they deserve.
Of course, there are people who disagree with me. These people have their own reasons and arguments to support their opinions but many of these arguments consist of faulty logic and misleading information. For example, some of the most common arguments supported by pro gun activists are the idea that some people use guns for enjoyment, not violence and the right to bare arms. First of all, one shouldn’t be allowed to own guns solely based on the fact that they “enjoy it”. Everyone can have their own hobbies, but once they start to put others in danger, they are no longer just a hobby, but a threat to society. Second, the bill of rights was created in 1791. At this time, the only guns that existed were front loaded muskets. Not only were muskets incredibly inaccurate, but they took about 30 seconds to reload as opposed to modern day rifles which have become much more accurate and can fire hundreds of rounds every minute. If our laws never changed, Americans would still own slaves and women wouldn’t be able to vote. People don’t usually live by what we believed 200 years ago and gun control should be no exception. These pro gun activists are afraid of having their rights taken away, and reasonably so. However, at this point we need to weigh our options. After all, who has less freedom; someone who’s had their guns taken away or someone who’s had their life taken away?
Overall, America is far ahead of other countries in many aspect, but in gun control, we still fall short. America as a whole and it’s citizens are far more affected by gun violence than other nations. With America’s outrageously high amount of gun violence and the grief it causes, it’s time we do something to change the way we view and act about guns.
Lopez, German. "America's Gun Problem, Explained." Vox. N.p., 03 Oct. 2015. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.
Henigan, Dennis A. The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.
"Guns in America." Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.
"Assault or Homicide." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 06 Oct. 2016. Web. 02 Nov. 2016.