Gun Violence is an Epidemic

Across the United States, gun violence has become more and more of a problem. Ever since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, a new conversation has arisen. Is the Second Amendment more important than human life? Sandy Hook, an Elementary school in Connecticut was not expecting an armed gunman to storm the building that morning. The shooting took 20 children’s lives and six adult’s. That was nearly six years ago and yet no problems have been solved. Since 2012, 86 school shootings have happened and that’s excluding college campuses.

When the Parkland, Florida high school was devastated by a shooting, this re-sparked the conversation. Stoneman Douglas High School was also not expecting 17 of its students to die that morning but due to no issues to being addressed for six years, it happened. In past 1,870 days there have been 1,624 mass shootings, even while the conversation has been sparked so this begs the question, why have we not resolved this?

Sadly, it’s not that easy. Changing gun laws would be taking away an amendment of the United States and to people who enjoy hunting, or simply collecting weaponry, they feel personally attacked when the issue is discussed. Philip Alpers, a gun violence researcher at the University of Sydney spoke on this issue saying, “It’s confiscation of private property and the threat of jail, and that’s not the American way,” and he’s exactly right. If we placed this analogy on any other amendment of the United States, it would seen as a loss of a human right. For example, the 19th amendment allows any person in the democratic nation to vote; if this was taken away, it would be total anarchy among the voters.

However, the 19th amendment being in place never led to an epidemic of people dying by voting. The most it cause was by people fighting back against the amendment being passed in the first place. This is something that could also happen if the 2nd amendment is repealed. The 2nd amendment makes sense for the time it was written in. Most American citizens lived on farms, with few police officers, very localized government and an every-man-for-himself ideal. The society we live in now is totally different with the amount of farmers being the minority and cities being ravished with gun violence. This is when it calls to be reformed.

Even if America makes the process to buy a gun more difficult, there will still be that percentage of people who either steal guns from family members or make it through the process. In this way, we’ve simply reduced the risk but not gotten rid of the problem. People must have a conversation among themselves if the guns are really worth all of the death and destruction they cause. Is something so deadly really a household object and should be easily obtained?

The way you can help address this in Congress is by voting. America is a democracy and thrives off of their citizens participation. 

Image Credits: Jonathan Ernst, Shannon Hicks, Matt Patterson