Gun Control

   A mother bought her daughter a pair of light up Sketcher sneakers for her birthday. The daughter came home after school the next day and told her mother that she did not want the shoes anymore. When her mother asked why, the daughter explained that if there was ever a school shooting; the lights on her shoes would give attention to where she would be hiding. The daughter is only eight years old.

   Some people say that the United States should not have stricter gun control laws when purchasing guns. The truth is that the United States should have stricter gun control laws such as requiring in-depth background checks when purchasing guns, because the increase of strict gun control laws would help diminish the access to guns.

   Most people in our society today also think that we should keep gun control laws the same. Unbelievably, the laws in place as of right now only require that citizens and legal residents must be at least 18 years of age to purchase shotguns, rifles, or ammunition. All other firearms, such as hand guns for example, can only be sold to people 21 and older. When researching these people’s arguments, researcher Natalie Leppard remarks that “gun ownership is an American tradition older than the country itself and is protected by the Second Amendment; more gun control laws would infringe upon the right to bear arms,” (Leppard). This thinking is flawed. While discussing the controversy of the tradition of guns and gun laws, Leppard comments that gun control laws are “just as old or older than the Second Amendment (ratified in 1791). Some examples of gun control throughout colonial America included criminalizing the transfer of guns to Catholics, slaves, indentured servants, and Native Americans,” (Leppard). These people of our society also argue that guns are used more for defensive use than in a violent way. Reviewing debates of violent use compared to defensive use of guns, Leppard quotes that “stricter gun laws would make it more difficult for people to protect their homes and families,” (Leppard). This thinking is incorrect. Guns are rarely used in self defense. This is shown in an example of our world today, regarding the percentage of people who use guns for defense, Leppard notes “the 29,618,300 violent crimes committed between 2007 and 2011, 0.79% of victims (235,700) protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm, the least-employed protective behavior,” (Leppard). Leppard’s research in 2010 writes that there were “230 “justifiable homicides” in which a private citizen used a firearm to kill a felon, compared to 8,275 criminal gun homicides (or, 36 criminal homicides for every “justifiable homicide”),” (Leppard). Even though gun control laws are part of American tradition, the laws are there for safety reasons. Due to the fact that the laws that are in place as of right now are not decreasing the deaths of innocent people, something needs to change.

   Not only are guns used in a more violent way, but they have increased the number of deaths in the United States over the years. The number of guns deaths in the United States have increased compared to the amount of gun deaths in previous years. While discussing this, Leppard mentions that there were “464,033 total gun deaths between 1999 and 2013: 270,237 suicides (58.2% of total deaths); 174,773 homicides (37.7%); and 9,983 unintentional deaths (2.2%)” throughout those years (Leppard). These numbers are more than half of the total deaths in the United States. When comparing the statistics of deaths by guns in the United States, Leppard comments that guns were also the “leading cause of death by homicide (66.6% of all homicides),” between 1999 and 2013 (Leppard). Leppard’s research regarding American deaths by guns and car crashes in 2013, specifies that there were “33,636 Americans killed by guns versus 33,782 fatal crashes,” (Leppard). The statistics are astonishing, as the number of deaths by guns and cars are only off by 100; although driving a car requires training, personal background information documents, and a license before use. While guns do not require any training, personal background information documents, or a license before purchase or use. Guns have also played a big role in the increasing number of suicides in the United States. As discussing the statistics of suicides by firearms in the United States between 1999 and 2013, Leppard recognizes that there were also “270,237 firearm suicides in the United States, accounting for about 52% of all suicides during those years,” (Leppard). Edmund McGarrell, Director of Crime Control Policy Center at the Hudson Institute, found in his research surrounding the leading causes of deaths, remarks that firearms are now “the 12th leading cause of all deaths,” in our society today (McGarrell). According to a March 2014 study published in the International Review of Law and Economics by McGarrell, he comments that when “gun ownership went down in the United States, overall suicide rates went down,” showing that guns do reduce deaths when restricted (McGarrell). This argument is not just shown in the modern world today, but also compared to other countries’ statistics around the world.

   Guns not only contribute to the enormous amounts of deaths per year, but the statistics between the United States and other countries’ gun laws effects are drastically different. When regarding the subject of the United States’ rate of gun violence compared to other countries, professional writer, Nurith Aizenman claims that the United States has the “31st highest rate of gun violence in the world: 3.85 deaths due to gun violence per 100,000 people in 2016,” (Aizenman). That was eight times higher than the rate in Canada, which Aizenman mentions, had “.48 deaths per 100,000 people — and 27 times higher than the one in Denmark, which had .14 deaths per 100,000” (Aizenman). These statistics are mostly likely affected by the gun control laws in Denmark and Canada. Gun control laws in Canada require the person to have a restricted possession and acquisition licence (RPAL) for restricted firearms, to qualify purchasing a handgun or other restricted firearms. Canada’s federal laws also severely restrict the ability of civilians to transport restricted or prohibited firearms in public. In Denmark, only license holders are allowed to own multiple firearms, but have to get a separate permit for each weapon. Not only do we see the United States have higher gun violence than other countries in our modern world today, but also in previous years. In 1992, writer Douglas Weil quotes that there were “13,220 handgun murders in the United States; Great Britain had 33, where in countries where shall-issue laws were enacted, and the results were statistically significant when contrasted with the trend in countries without these laws,” (Weil). Viewing the United States’ gun violence death rate, Aizenman reviews that the United States’ death rate is also “higher than nearly all countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including many that are among the world’s poorest,” (Aizenman). This also comes to show that gun violence is not always based on a poor city, but by the gun laws and restrictions in place. Looking at the rates of gun violence in most countries compared to the United States, Aizenman claims that other countries’ rates of gun violence are approximately “one-seventh that of the United States,” (Aizenman). These statistics prove that the United States needs stricter gun control. Other countries have proven it with their own gun control laws that are appropriate and necessary to help their country’s success.

   The truth is that the United States should have stricter gun control laws such as requiring in-depth background checks when purchasing guns, because the increase of strict gun control laws would help diminish the access to guns. Having stricter gun control laws are shown to help decrease the amount of deaths and gun violence. The question frequently asked by Americans is “what can we do about it?” And for some reason this question is difficult to answer. Although, the truth is that there is a very simple solution. As a country, the United States can provide strict gun control laws to prevent the increasing numbers of innocent lives taken by gun violence every day, week, month, and year. Increasing gun control laws can protect the younger generations of the society, as they too are worried for their safety and future. This is the time to stand up and make a choice to change the world forever for generations to come.

I am very passionate about the subject of this article. I posted this article, because it is important for me and I want to be able to go back one day and read my work. So please, if you disagree with my personal opinion please keep it to yourself because I spent a lot of time writing this paper. Thank you 🙂

 

Positive mind.

Positive vibes.

Positive life.

xoxo Ava 🙂

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