The second amendment to the US Constitution states that a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Every American has been raised to believe that they have that right to own a gun when they become 18 and that is just their American right, but are
some people too invested in their gun ownership? Times are beginning to change, public places aren’t as safe as they used to be and some civilians are blaming the guns. This is a very controversial topic that has been discussed many of times. There is an estimated 55 million Americans who own guns. The percentage of people who own guns decreased from 25% in 1994 to 22% last year. There is also an estimated amount of 300,000 to 600,000 guns that are stolen yearly. The US tops the list of countries with the most guns. The United States owns about half of the worlds guns while only taking up 5% of the world population. The average American gun owner owns about three guns. Are guns the problem to all of these shootings?
Gun laws vary from state to state. Most states laws when it comes to actually purchasing a gun are different, but in general most states follow the same guidelines and rules with guns. All states require that you have a gun license prior to purchasing a gun. In most states there is a age minimum requirement that you must meet before you purchase a gun as well. States also require a clean legal record and a background check before the purchase.
Shootings happen all around but right now, school shootings draw the most attention right now. “We’re 21 weeks into 2018, and there have already been 23 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed. That averages out to more than 1 shooting a week” (Ahmed and Walker). Violence in US schools today is more likely to be done by a gun. The academy of Critical Incident Analysis collected data on school violence around the world and found that between 57 of the incidents that they found where 2 or more people were killed, out of 36 countries 28 of those incidents occurred in the United States.
On average, 30 people will be shot and killed in America daily. The gun homicide rate in the United States is up 25 percent higher than other high income countries. Right now, Americans are torn on if their were stricter gun laws, could it reduce mass shootings? People on the left side would argue that guns are the problem and that they are too easily accessible. People on the right side however would argue that we have the second amendment for a reason and everyone deserves the right to own a gun, the shootings are not the guns fault but the person. Around the world, other countries have substantially lower death rates to gun homicides. In germany, it is just as unlikely to be killed by a gun as it is by a falling object in the United States. About 2 people out of every million are killed by a gun. In Japan, the likelihood of being shot and killed by a gun is the equivalence of being struck by lightning, which is roughly one in 10 million. However, gun laws in Japan are some of the strictest in the world and most extreme. There are laws against owning a gun, owning bullets and ammunition, and discharging a firearm. Pretty much in Japan, any type of interaction or connection to guns is illegal unless you are apart of the police or military. There are a lot of restrictions and laws to the small apart of people that can own a gun. Handguns and semi-automatic guns are strictly forbidden. You can only own guns for sporting and hunting. There are also a list of steps you must do before you are even eligible to get a gun, and even after you do all of those things you may still not be able to get a gun. It also is not uncommon for police to check on you periodically if you do own a gun and ask your neighbors about your behavior. Steps to purchasing a gun include a written test only given out on certain dates, a psychiatric evaluation, drug test, criminal background check, and a gun skills contempacy test. In America, most of the time you don’t need a gun license to purchase a gun (depending on the state). All you need to pass to get a gun is a background check and then you have a waiting period if your state has one. When someone goes to purchase a firearm, they are put under investigation by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. There is then a 72 hour waiting period put in, but after the 72 hours even if you haven’t been checked, the sale can legally go through and you can get your gun.
People have been arguing that stricter gun laws would reduce the amount of mass shootings in America. After running a poll asking if strict gun laws would help prevent shootings, 72 people voted. 60% of people said yes and that it would help prevent shootings and 40% said no it would not help. Some students put in their input, one student saying “Stricter laws when purchasing a gun won’t help anything, if someone wants to do something like that they will just purchase it illegally through the black market or off of somebody else.” However, data found that 82% of guns used in shootings were purchased legally.
Gun violence is a big problem in America right now and both sides of the political spectrum are pointing fingers at the opposite things, the people in charge of the gun and the gun. Many Americans are in favor of protecting their second amendment right, so it’s possible no harsher gun restrictions will ever be placed on the purchase of guns. However, something in America must be done to figure out how we can prevent this violence and protect the lives of children and others.