We Need More Gun Control

Remi Ragland, Staff Writer

Guns are a leading source in homicides and suicides nationally. They are openly available to purchase and own in the U.S. and even easier to bring into public places. Guns are taking over the country and devastating our communities daily. In order to stop this, there must be stricter gun control because of its threat to safety and education. 

Schools have become a scary place for many students. Recently, school shootings have become more and more common. Now, students and staff have to be prepared for an event where their lives could all be in danger. Amnesty states that “between 2013 and June 2018, there were 316 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in the USA.” Schools are meant to be a protected space for students to learn, but now, they have become feared places open to danger. Guns are readily available and are easily able to be taken into public places such as schools. Also, oftentimes, early signs of the possibility of a shooting are ignored and shunned away. A prime example of the threats gun violence has on education is provided with the recent school shooting at an elementary school in Texas, killing 19 students and two adults. The threat of shooting is a distraction for many students and severely changes the environment at schools. These massacres have not stopped and have become normal in the U.S. Tighter background checks and barriers to purchasing and owning guns must be put into place in order to change this norm. 

Additionally, guns are a threat to safety in general. Those who are mentally ill are equally able to access these weapons. NCBI states that “during 2006 and 2007, again, approximately 70 percent of gun-shot deaths were suicides.” Easily accessible guns provide a simple way for those struggling with mental health issues to take their lives. If there were more restrictions on who could purchase guns, perhaps they would not end up in the wrong hands. Guns also disproportionately affect black communities. Amnesty again shares that “firearm homicide was the leading cause of death for black men and boys aged 15-34 in 2017,  and they were more than 10 times more likely to die from firearm homicide than white men and boys of the same age group.” We must give these communities an opportunity to prosper without the threat of violence and a possibility of a future. 

Those that fight for less gun control often argue about their right to keep and bear arms in regards to the second amendment. Although this is written in the Constitution, we must remember that as stricter gun laws may be seen as a threat to written liberties, the mere existence of guns takes away our rights to safety and life. Is it more important to know that you have a right to keep and bear arms or is it more important to protect the lives of children and adults, who are being killed and traumatized every day? Other countries are already ahead on this issue. Thoughtco says that they “have implemented stricter gun ownership regulations than the U.S. have lower homicide rates, and this is no coincidence. Looking at the example that Japan, with its strict firearm control laws and its almost nonexistent national homicide rate, sets, it’s clear that fewer guns, not more guns, is the obvious answer.”  If other countries can successfully reduce violence and massacres simply from restricting gun use, we can too. The U.S. is in desperate need of change, and it starts with stricter gun laws.