Shots Fired

A look at gun control in the U.S.

Guns have been apart of the American culture for more than a century. But due to shootings that occur all over the United States, the debate over gun control is more significant. Since the Newtown shooting, over 16,500 civilians have died to firearms. (Wolny, 7). With that being said, we must find a way to control the distribution of firearms to ensure the safety of American communities. Although there are many anti-gun control activists, the majority of people believes that gun control should be stricter. In fact 85% of people say that background checks should be required to purchase firearms (Wolny, 7). In many situations, guns have been used to rob, assault, murder and strike fear into people's hearts. For these reasons, Firearms laws should be stronger since it will lower gun related crimes and better protect guns from getting into the hands of criminals.

The other side of the argument

Many argue that guns are not a type of violence and more as a way of self defense. In a situation of life or death, they believe a gun will protect them from criminals.
Others say that no matter what laws are implemented, criminals and gun enthusiasts will still find ways and loopholes to find their desired firearm. Legal or not
One benefit of stricter gun control being implemented is that the amount of gun violence will decrease. With the lack of guns in a certain community, there will naturally be a lower gun related crime rate. In places like Australia, where the last mass shooting occurred in 1996, there are many more gun laws and restrictions. With this, there are significantly less gun homicides at only 0.00001% while the United States are at about ten times that amount at 0.00012% (Wolny, 15). Some say that they use guns for the self defense against crimes but in some situations, this may backfire. Many criminals use guns to intimidate their victims in to doing what they say. A study was done on these specific cases where different victims were armed with a concealed firearm. This study showed that the victims who are armed were more likely to die in these situations due to their resistance with a firearm as apposed to victims who were not armed (Background on Gun Control, On the Issues).
Another benefit of gun control is that it will help prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands. Many new proposals for gun control include background checks. These background checks are mostly for the purposes of keeping guns away from criminals and the mentally ill, along with teenagers and anyone incapable of using firearms. In the U.K., specifically Great Britain, the last shooting, occurred in 1997 (Dolan jr., 32). Since then Britain has swept the land of all guns except for hunting firearms and guns used for sport. The few exceptions listed are also greatly monitored. All gun owners in Great Britain are consistently checked for mental health and criminal record to ensure their background is safe and not dangerous to the people around them. The result is very significant, as the amount of gun homicides were only 59 across Britain and Wales, while Washington D.C. alone had 77 (Dolan jr., 33). The person behind the gun in a mass shooting is almost always a person with a mental illness. Looking back at the most recent mass shooting in America, the Sandy Hook, Newtown shooting, Adam Lanza, the shooter , had untreated problems such as severe anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. (Background on Gun Control, On the Issues). This mass shooting and many others might have been able to be avoided had there have been background checks on the purchase of firearms.
The increase of gun control is necessary for the betterment of American communities. It is shown to lower violent gun crimes and keep guns from criminals and the mentally ill. The amount of gun deaths have reached outrageous numbers and it's time that America does something about it. The violence caused by firearms has gotten out of hand and we must fix it now.
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