NEW YORK, NY–On March 16, 2021, eight people, six of Asian descent were killed at spas in Atlanta. The gunman claims this had nothing to do with racism but this sparked shock and fear for Asian Americans. According to NBC news, there have been 3,800 anti-AAPI hate crimes in the past year. Less than a week later, on Monday March 22, 2021, there was another mass shooting. Ten people were killed in this Boulder grocery store, from age 20 to 65. And on April 12th, 2021, there were two more shootings in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee. There have been about 150 mass shootings in 2021 in the US. Tragedies like these are heartbreaking, but what do we do about it?
Gun violence is proven to have gotten worse in the last 30 years. The ten mass shootings with the most victims in US history have all occurred since 1991. 40,000 Americans have died from gun violence in one year alone, 2017. Americans are 25x more likely to die from gun violence than in any other country. And in just one year more children died from guns than US police officers and the US military troops in war combined. On average 100 Americans die from gun violence every day. And as all this is happening, the NRA still is advocating “more guns everywhere.”
More action needs to be taken by the federal government to end gun violence.
In Boulder, there has been a ban on assault weapons since 2018. But, a Colorado judge ruled that, according to the New York Times, “Under a state law passed in 2003, cities and counties are barred from adopting restrictions on firearms that are otherwise legal under state and federal law.” Colorado has a history of gun violence. No action can be taken in this state until the federal government does something about this. It’s also a problem that the gun used in that Boulder shooting was a pistol modified to avoid being classified as banned. If things like this continue, these gun laws will be practically useless.
This is not the only loophole in gun laws. Guns can be sold online, which makes it extremely easy to lie about your identity or leave no trace of buying anything. And online gun buyers pretty much get a free pass because there are no regulations or checks. These loopholes prove that many people are against taking action against gun violence.
There is also a problem about background checks, while effective, they are avoided. It is proven that background checks when selling guns have been effective in making sure this gun sale will not jeopardize anyone’s safety. But, background checks are not mandatory, so a gun could be sold to a future/past murderer without the seller even knowing better. So now, only one in five gun sales are conducted without a background check. People who are pro-guns say that background checks are an invasion of privacy, but if it means the safety of Americans, this type of privacy invasion is worth it.
The best solution to fix these problems, secure the country’s safety, and end gun violence for good is a ban on illegal guns.
This has been proven to be almost 100% effective. For example in Australia, there is a ban on all semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns. That ban has been effective since `1996, and there have been three mass shootings since then. And in the US, there have been forty five mass shootings in just one month (March 16-April 18), and 150 in 2021. Gun supporters say guns are good for self defense and protecting families. But, this is only promoting more violence and violence is never the solution. There is so much proof that guns should be banned, and a ban will be effective. Also, gun advocates want guns because they fear being attacked. That is not a reason to want a gun. This is similar to the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Say a robber breaks into your house, and you remember that you have your gun. You raise your gun. This will only provoke them to hurt you in return. Getting more guns (practically asking for violence) won’t reduce crime, it is pretty obvious that the more weapons out there, the more dangerous the world is.
Although gun advocates also say that even if a ban will reduce dangerous crimes, it won’t stop some criminals from finding ways to get guns and commit crimes. Yes, this might be true, but it is also true for any other law created in any country. Even if criminals are still out there, this law will still catch some of the potentially most dangerous people in the country before they can do anything worse. Also, the second amendment does give the right to bear arms, but just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. This amendment was created in 1791, so times were very different. This was centuries ago, so weapons have gotten more dangerous. Also, America was a brand new country, just coming from war, and guns were allowed for the militia which was needed more back then. Now that there is no militia or war, guns aren’t needed and if there is war, the military is going to protect the country.
Another pro-gun argument is that guns prevent government tyranny. I disagree with this statement because the point of our democracy is to prevent tyranny. Right now we are living under the tyranny of gun violence. The more guns there are in the world, the more powerful gun owners are. The balance of power is made to prevent a single government branch from having too much power, and if there was abuse of power too often, that would be a dictatorship, and that is not America.
On a more optimistic note, There have been organizations started recently such as Moms Demand Action for gun sense in America, an organization founded by a mom after the tragic shooting in Sandy Hook. Moms Demand Action has shown that people can do more to help end gun violence and has advocated for more safety measures taken to protect people. They have over 6 million supporters and have a chapter in every state in America. Since they were founded in 2012, they have pushed the passing of many laws, more security measures, and 35 moms demand action volunteers won elections in America. Also, this petition to end gun violence reached a victory with almost 50,000 supporters.
Even though people are working incredibly hard to put an end to gun violence, it is not enough. Gun violence is getting worse and we are running out of time. Now is the time to put an end to guns before mass shootings before things get even more out of control than it already is. Forty five mass shootings in a month is too much. This is a problem that can’t be fully solved by regular citizens. The federal government needs to ban guns once and for all to keep America safe.
Sign this petition to make a difference regarding gun violence. Things like these are the first step to help a cause you are passionate about: