Why the U.S Needs Gun Control

Now, to all the yeehaws reading this, hold onto your hats and let me explain.

On Nov. 7, yet another mass shooting occurred at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. The shooter killed 12 people and later shot himself. The community held a vigil at the bar on Thursday to mourn the victims. This shooting was the 307th mass shooting in 2018 in the United States alone.

 

As per usual, this was blamed on mental health: on Friday morning, Trump said, "It's a mental health issue. He is a very sick puppy". But, the gunman was allowed to legally purchase his gun in the state with the toughest gun laws in the nation. Still, it wasn’t enough. We need gun control.

 

What is Gun Control?

Gun control is defined as a set of laws or policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms. Gun control is NOT about banning all guns-- it just means that it is going to be harder to legally purchase a gun and that some guns will be banned, such as semi-automatic rifles. So, no one is “coming for your guns”-- you’d still be able to own a gun, provided it isn’t  an assault rifle, and you’d have to go through a bunch of safety procedures before actually getting it.

 

Why do we need gun control?

Mass shooting has many definitions but the most agreed upon is “when someone kills 4 or more people in a single incident in a single location.” That said, there has been a total of 308 mass shootings in the United States this year, and  the US has the highest number of mass shootings than any other country. Now why is that? For the most part, many countries react right away after having one mass shooting. For example, Australia had a horrible mass shooting in 1996 in Port Arthur,Tasmania. Martin Bryan went into a cafe and murdered  35 people and injured another 23 people with a semi-automatic rifle which he had legally purchased. The government responded by banning semi-automatic and automatic rifles in the following days. Australia hasn’t had a mass shooting since. How does the U.S. react to mass shootings? First, they begin by blaming it on mental health, then send love and prayers to the victims while doing absolutely nothing to prevent it from happening again. The needless casualties are then forgotten until the next mass shooting happens.

 

Gun control has proven to reduce mass shootings, decrease suicide rates and reduce gun violence in general. Many countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan reacted immediately after just one mass shooting. After implementing gun control laws, their rates for gun violence went down and they have had a total of 10 mass shootings combined between 2000-2014. The United States had 133 between those years. This video by Vox sums up nicely why we need gun control.

 

Where do we even start?

We start by admitting that we have a problem. You can’t come to a solution without realizing you need help. We then continue by reducing the amount of guns available to the public. The US has the highest rate of gun ownership than any other country and it has been shown that more guns lead to more gun violence. Finally, we vote for better, stricter gun laws such as obligatory background checks and bans on semi-automatic rifles. I mean, seriously, why on Earth would you need a war gun if you’re not at war?

 

We need to stop this cycle of mass shootings. We need gun control. And yes, I know that the Second Amendment says we have the “right to bear arms,” but if you look at the fine print, you’ll see it says “well-regulated.” The Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. Times change, and so should gun laws.