Congress: The American People Call For Stricter Gun Laws Now
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Growing up, the thought of a school shooting was unheard of. It never crossed my mind, nor the mind of my parents. Now, it’s sad to say that it has become the new norm for Americans. Everyday, we hear about a mass shooting, a school incident, a family being murdered or a child being accidentally killed by a firearm. When did it become okay to hear these sort of incidents reported and not even bat an eye?
Now, as a parent of two small children, I often find myself thinking of when my kids will start school. And instead of thinking about how much I will probably cry on that first day I drop them off and watch them walk away like proud, independent little men, I find myself thinking about what to tell my kids to do in the case of a shooting. I find myself thinking, what if one of my boys become one of the 2400 children injured or killed by a gunman (credit: Gun Violence Archive)? It’s not something a parent should have to think about. It’s not something a child should have to think about.
The NRA campaigns against all forms of gun control strictly for their own benefit. They spend over $3 million dollars per year to influence gun policy (credit: BBC News). They claim it makes the country safer, but I’m sure that’s because of the money stuffed in their overflowing pockets. According to the IRS, the NRA made $20.9 million from selling advertising to industry companies. The firearms industry makes $31.8 billion of the U.S. economy (credit: Business Insider).
Most are calling for a ban on assault weapons. However, a study conducted by the FBI shows that most murders are caused by handguns (credit: NIJ). The ban on assault weapons is definitely a must. However, we need to look at the bigger picture and voice the need for stricter gun laws on all weapons. Yes, it will not stop people from getting weapons, but adding that extra step will deter those with bad intentions from simply walking into a shop and slapping down a few dollar bills.
An even more radical, and possibly better idea, would be to change the second amendment. The United States Constitution was created on the foundation of our country in 1789. Now, more than 200 years later, I think it’s safe to say that time’s change and people change. It is necessary for us to make certain appropriations in order to regulate that. After all, “a well regulated Militia…” is the only necessary security to our free State.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, Americans own an estimated 265 million guns. That is enough for every adult American to own more than one gun each. There is a historic and deep-rooted sense of identity in being able to own a firearm. Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they cannot imagine life without a gun. We are the only civilized country that owns as many guns as there is people and has as many gun related deaths by almost 50% (credit: CNN).
The Department of Health and Human Services stated that only 3-5% of violent acts are attributed to individuals with a serious mental illness. We cannot use the excuse of someone being mentally ill for these incidents occurring. Yes, it may be a factor in some cases. But taking that fact into account, it’s not the real problem.
The most recent and prominent explanation Americans are giving: bad parenting makes bad people. Is it true? Yes. The age range, however, of these mass shootings are ages 11 to 66. A majority of those incidents were committed by someone over the age of 30.
As of 15 February 2018, there have already been 30 mass shootings. How many more are we going to let happen? As a mother, father, wife, husband, partner, son or daughter and a citizen of the United States, stand up. Let your voice be heard.
Here are some basic facts to help shed light on gun violence as of late:
- In 2015 and 2016, there was a school shooting for every month of the year. In 2017, February was the only month that passed without an incident involving a gun (credit: BBC).
- 56,755 Americans were killed by guns from 2014-2017 (credit: The Week).
- In 2017, more than 70,000 injuries were attributed to gun violence (credit: The Guardian).
- A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which four or more people are shot, not including the shooter. This happens 9 out of every 10 days (credit: The Guardian).
- More people have died by gun violence than from the war. Since 1968, there have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths. Since the United States was founded, there have been 1,396,733 reported deaths related to the war, as of October 2017 (credit: The Guardian).
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