By Delilah Gray
Nowadays you can’t even look at a news source without reading that another shooting has happened. Already in 2017, there have been over 307 mass shootings. A mass shooting is identified as four or more fatalities, so this statistic isn’t even going toward the overall amount of shootings that have happened in 2017 alone. We just had the largest mass shooting in U.S. history in Las Vegas and the largest mass shooting in Texas happen in the span of a month. What needs to happen next for the government to deem it necessary for there to be stricter gun laws?
Americans own 270 million guns, which gives America the highest rate of guns in the world, according to DoSomething.org. According to the Guardian, since 1968, there have been over 1.5 million deaths by guns in the U.S. 1.5 million lives have been lost because the government is clinging onto the dwindling validity of the Second Amendment. While mass shootings happen all around the world, the U.S. takes the cake for the most shootings yearly. Sources say, as of Jan. 1, 2017, 19 states and Washington D.C. require background checks for all handgun sales. Only 19 out of 50 states have taken the initiative in realizing how serious a problem it is.
For you gun enthusiasts: I get it. I’ve shot a rifle before and it’s quite fun. But you must understand that just because you like it, doesn’t make it any less dangerous to the public. I know many gun enthusiasts like to hide behind the Second Amendment as if that somehow justifies the ongoing epidemic of gun violence or continuously use the most asinine phrase, “People kill people, guns don’t,” to defend it. You’re right, people do kill people, but people kill a lot more people with guns. The easy access to guns needs to stop.
Donald Trump never fails to surprise the world with his obvious transference of real problems to ones that have a small correlation rather than facing the problem head on. Instead of accepting the fact that rising gun violence is a problem, he’s putting the blame on mental illness.
This is an equal blow to his presidency, considering that he keeps passing bills denying adequate health care for mental illnesses, but sure Trump, keep blaming mental illness. The American Journal of Public Health “found less than 5 percent of 120,000 gun-related killings in America between 2001 and 2010 were committed by people with a diagnosed mental illness.”
There is a broad spectrum of mental illness, including what it can be deemed as and how it can be helped. Unlike gun violence, that clearly has one means of helping the problem. Stop blaming mental illness and blame the lackluster gun laws instead.
After the recent shooting in Texas, stricter gun laws are imperative to move forward as a country. Stricter background checks that go back as far as a buyer’s history can go, anything along the stricter lines.
If we as a country don’t push toward the goal of gun control, who knows when the mass shootings will end? Last year, my city Orlando had to be strong and this year Las Vegas has to be strong. How many more cities will have to “be strong” by next year if something isn’t done?
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