Gun Control: Why America Needs to Follow an International Example

Laura Mosier

In-Depth Editor

There have been 51 mass shootings in the United States as of March 4, 2019. In just 63 days, there have been 51 mass shootings. In this same period of time, 2,344 people have been killed by guns. Out of all of the victims of gun violence in 2019, 458 of those injured or killed were under the age of seventeen.

Fifteen days after the deadliest shooting in Australian history, the Port Arthur Massacre, Australia had implemented the National Firearms Agreement. Since then, gun violence has gone down immensely in Australia. The United States continues to have mass shootings that take the lives of so many people, yet nothing has been done to combat this issue.

The U.S. has a significantly larger number of mass shootings and death due to guns than other countries, such as Australia and Norway, that have implemented stricter gun laws. On July 22, 2011, Norway had the most deadly mass shooting in the world at a summer camp called Utoya. 77 people were killed, and most were children. After the fact, the Norwegian government worked hard to improve national safety in relation to mass attacks. Norway has not had a mass shooting since then.

Both Australia and Norway took action immediately following a tragic event, and both countries were successful in fixing the problem. Neither country has a complete ban on guns. A common misconception is that gun control means banning guns entirely.

The goal of strict gun laws is to make guns harder to obtain so that people who should not have them cannot get them. There is no reason that anyone outside of the military should have an AR-15 or any other type of assault rifle, nor should mass shootings be so common in the U.S. that it is known what the most popular gun is for mass shootings.

Controlling guns will not only help lessen the number of mass shootings drastically, but it will also help lessen the number of suicides by gun and the number of deaths and injuries due to domestic disputes. Guns are not the only method of suicide, but that are a common weapon used for it. By implementing gun control, it will be much harder for someone to obtain a gun if they have a mental illness. This will make is harder for someone who is contemplating suicide to obtain a gun, therefore bringing down the number of suicides by gun.

In domestic disputes, women are more likely to be murdered if a gun is present. Making it harder for people who show signs of excessive anger to obtain a gun. This in turn will lower the number of gun deaths that occur during domestic disputes.

Gun control also applies to how a gun is stored when it’s not being used. By having laws that require guns to be securely locked up, children will not be able to get their parents’ guns, and guns will not be able to be stolen during break-ins. Legally owned guns are frequently stolen and used by criminals, so having gun control will keep them from purchasing guns, and keep them from stealing guns during break-ins.

One of the most common arguments people have opposing gun control is that it violates the Second Amendment, however this is not true. The Second Amendment was intended to protect the right of militias to own guns, not the right for individuals to own guns. Since militias are no longer necessary, the Second Amendment does not apply here. However even if the Second Amendment did apply, conditions have changed since the bill of rights was first created. New amendments are created all the time that change old ways of living. As time goes on, there is a need for change, so altering the second amendment, or adding a new amendment to alter it, would be a necessary change.

Gun violence is a major problem in the United States. Other countries who have recognized the problem have taken action, and it has had a positive impact. Implementing gun control in the U.S. will reduce the number of gun related deaths and injuries, and reduce the number of mass shootings. While gun control will not completely eliminate gun violence, it will help diminish the problem.

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