Can We Talk about Gun Control Yet?

“Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” This is one of the most commonly used phrases when discussing gun control. But the validity of the argument goes out the window when someone that you love dies at the hands of a mass shooter. The second amendment gives every U.S. citizen the right to bear arms, but does that automatically give them the right to take the lives of innocent people? Everytime we let another mass shooting occur without taking any steps towards gun control, we’re paving the way for another one to happen.

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/media-covers-mass-shootings

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been 308 shootings in 2017 alone. To put this in perspective, there have only been 312 calendar days since January 1, 2017. This means that a mass shooting occurs almost everyday, sometimes just mere hours apart. The media covers large mass shootings, such as the most recent one at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs,Texas on November 5, 2017, or the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. These shootings caused large amounts of casualties, giving the media a reason to report it. However, there are several smaller mass shootings that occur almost daily, meaning the issue is much closer to home than many realize.

http://www.statesman.com/news/state--regional/photos-multiple-people-reported-killed-injured-church-shooting-sutherland-springs-nov-2017/vadX6EzPO2td2zCbAPtNTJ/

So why are we still treating gun control like it's a bad word? Well we can partially thank the National Rifle Association for that. This organization advocates for gun rights. The NRA is a very large and influential interest group. They spend millions of dollars a year on lobbyists and politicians’ direct campaigns. This includes the 30 million spent towards Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Gun control would mean a lot less money for many influential people, meaning their money just speaks louder than the voices of the general American population, crying for a change.

Of course there is also a strange conflation of gun ownership and American pride. Do you have the right to own a gun for your own personal safety? Yes. Does this gun ownership make you a wonderful American citizen? Not necessarily. As Americans, we have to teach future generation that it is not any less patriotic because you decide to drop your weapons. By refusing to even discuss gun control after the amount of people whom have died from mass shootings this year alone, we are encouraging our future generations to believe that violence is the answer for all of our problems.

https://www.pinterest.com/johnlecroy/patriot/

However, maybe it doesn’t help that we only contribute this violence to certain demographics.  Based on America’s history, there seems to be a large stigma surrounding people of color owning guns.  But according to Pew Research Center, non-hispanic caucasian people account for the largest amount of gun ownership in the U.S..; they make up 41% of the guns owned. This means that the U.S. legal system has no incentive to make stricter gun laws, and therefore they won’t.

The most important defense, and undoubtedly the most logical one, is that many people have guns for self defense purposes. And no one wants to take that away. It’s completely understandable to want to protect yourself and your family. The call to action is not for a ban on all guns, just stricter gun laws in general. Of course this won’t stop all crime. Many criminals already receive their weapons illegally. But this would stop the amounts of mass shooters, because they are generally retrieving the guns through legal means. An average U.S. citizen does not need a high-powered assault rifle. It was originally created for military use in war. Without training, the average person would not be able to use it for protection.

https://www.pinterest.com/geniusman123/stop-the-violence-part-three/

It seems that after every mass shooting, the media goes into a frenzy for a couple of days, and everyone agrees that now is the time to do something about this violence. But then we remember that it didn’t happen to us personally, and we continue our lives. If we don’t make strides to end this violence in the U.S., then we’ll be sitting around, waiting for the violence to show up at our front door.

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-illustration-stop-violence-one-hand-preventing-punch-attack-another-hand-image51708797

Thumbnail from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hyQDQPEsrs