Ethan B. Utah

Triggered America

The importance of better gun control and regulations.

Triggered America

Modern America faces a lot of issues. We face the issues of hunger, climate change, wars, substance abuse and legalization, and many more. One of the biggest and most controversial of these issues is gun violence and control. Too often are we seeing officers discharge a weapon with or without a motive, and we are bombarded with police brutality accusations. We see armed gunmen enter places of business or education and commit horrendous acts of violence. We see gangs and groups using guns for nothing else but to harm or even kill other human beings. Yes, we are all bound by The Second Amendment, but did The Founding Fathers think it would ever become this extreme? No, we must act now, we need better gun control.

One of the biggest and most controversial topics associated with gun violence and control is police brutality. Police brutality is classified as use the excessive or unnecessary force by an officer or law official. This is something that must be further investigated. Police are a necessity for America, they make sure laws are followed and that people are protected and safe. That being said, before a police officer is allowed a firearm, he or she should be trained in when and how to use said weapon. They should be well instructed on when it is appropriate to open and discharge their firearm. Officers are trained to “shoot to wound” this means that if they feel threatened they can shoot the transgressor in a part of the body that will render them immobile. But a lot of times it can take more than one shot. If an individual is aggressive enough the officer(s) may have to take more than one shot to stop them. This often times leads to a death. Another subject of interest is mental illness. In an article by Mike Maciag from 2016 entitled “The Daily Crises Cops Aren’t Trained to Handle”, the author highlights that police officials of this day in age are not well trained or equipped to handle cases of mental illness. That when one comes up they are often confused, scared or stressed. Which also leads to impulsive behavior that often times results in death. This is an issue that cannot be overlooked. Having our police forces trained in said manners will only guarantee us more security. There will be less deaths, less drama, and more peace of mind. In short, the modern police force is a wonderful necessity. But the people in said force must be rightly trained and learned in the ways of firearm discharge and human interaction.

As stated before mental illness is a big factor in the gun control epidemic. When we hear of mass murders of shooting sprees we often think that it is linked to some sort of motive. While that is true in some cases, more often than not, the offender is diagnosed with a mental illness. Three percent of U.S. adults suffer from serious mental illness, that is nearly 9.5 million people. Individuals with this affliction cannot be trusted completely to make good and wise decisions for themselves. That is why (when treated right) they are put into therapy or different kinds of programs that are able to give them the help that they need. If we allow civilians with mental illnesses to purchase and use firearms, we not only put ourselves in danger but them as well. Nearly 1 in 10 police calls are due to mental illness. That's not to say that all calls are gun related, but they could be. This is why we need to be taking better precautions when selling and using guns. We need background checks that will make it easy to see what afflictions a person may have, what type of criminal activity (if any) they have been affiliated with. It is important to catch these types of things early, so that we may better prepare for the possible outcomes. We need to better secure our rights but more importantly our safety.

Another thing that has been an issue of late is the illegal firearm trafficking. We have many immigrants coming in from many different countries. This is a good and positive thing, but as with most positive things, there is a downside. This downside being that a portion of immigrants are bringing over illegal firearms. This causes a great problem. More than half a million firearms are stolen and sold in the U.S. every year. The majority of which being handguns. While this number may be extreme, it is quite often overlooked because there is no limit to the amount of firearms and individual can own. The people buying these illegal firearms are usually gang affiliated or involved in a certain group that is connected to unlawful acts. And if not, they are still are still committing transgressions against our country. This being said, when illegal firearms are being sold, no background check is required. It is strictly a “cash for item” deal. When this happens there is no telling what the buyer will do next with it. We have to have better security making sure there are no illegal firearms, and if there are any we must search and seize them.

All in all we do need better control laws and restrictions. The number of deaths we see everyday that are connected to minimal gun law is astounding (more than 30 people everyday.) We need to look after each other make sure that we are doing our part in taking a stance. We must vote, petition and use our voices to be heard. Our gun laws are not strict enough, yes everyone has the right to bare arms but nobody has the right to shoot somebody dead because of childish senseless violence. Let’s be the generation that ends gun violence, senseless terroristic acts, and lives in a communal land of peace. 

Spanish Fork High School

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