What the US needs to do to fix gun violence
Dear future President,
Gun control has been a long debated topic, should we ban all guns or make them extremely difficult to get, or should we make firearms super easy to get. I sit right in the middle of this debate, agreeing with aspects of both sides. I think that background checks and documentation of people who buy guns are good, but on the contrary I think that guns should be easy to get and available to those who want them, if they pass background checks. Basically guns should be available to everyone who can pass a background check, whether that be for self-defense or sport. But one of the big reasons why guns need to be available is their effect on the economy.
Personally I really enjoy shooting guns there is a huge community around it, including at my school where we have a trap shooting team. In a poll done by Pew Research Center in 2013, of the gun owners surveyed 32% said they mainly own a gun for sport and hunting. But on the other end the other 48% bought guns for self defense. In a study done by Gary Kleck, Ph.D. a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University in Tallahassee, he concluded that guns were used around 2.5 million times to defend against a criminal, in all states except Hawaii and Alaska. Also from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime annual crime survey, in the world the U.S. ranks number 1 in gun ownership at 88 per 100 people but ranks 28th in gun related deaths, at 2.97 per 100 people.
The United States economy is made up of tons of different industries, and a large contributor is the gun industry. In a report by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, they stated that In 2008 the economic impact from the gun industry was 19.1 billion dollars, in 2014 it increased by 125%, to 42.9 billion dollars, and supplied over 263,000 people with good paying jobs. So by increasing the number of laws to limit what kind of guns people can own, will greatly affect this industry. It would most likely make the amount of gun sales drop causing firearm manufacturers and distributors stock to drop.
But that doesn't mean crime involving guns doesn't exist, so far in 2016 over 12,000 people have been killed by firearms. So how can we make this number lower? Well first off, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that in total gun violence related deaths have been going down since 1993. To reduce gun violence we need to get firearms out of the hands of people who might misuse them. Whether that be previous criminals or people with mental disabilities that might affect decision making or personality traits. Also the majority of gun crimes are committed with an illegally obtained firearm.
Bottom line is the problem with gun violence isn't the guns its the people that have the guns. We need to limit the access of guns to those who shouldn't have them, and crack down on the illegal distribution of illegal firearms.