Contributed by: Kate Reidinger
There is no denying that we value human life. We value our own lives, and the lives of the people we love. Therefore, we value human life. However, it is lost when we give the wrong people the right tools it takes to take away a life, or a number of lives with an easy pull of a trigger. Gun control provides people with further security and reduces crime rates. People with mental illnesses should not possess guns; this leads to more homicides as shown in the data collected from mass shootings in the past. Having gun control does not take away any American rights. Yes, there is the second amendment of the U.S constitution that all Americans have the right to bear arms. However, gun control isn’t taking away that right, only restricting it for a cause that would benefit society and save lives. Stricter gun rules and terms to purchasing, owning and using a gun does not dismiss the second amendment, it simply renders it flexible and sets terms and conditions for gun ownership. Gun control would allow only qualified people to obtain the guns. Which could be the first step to reducing homicides as well as suicides.
A mass shooting is defined as a shooting incident in which case four or more people are either killed or injured. In 2015 alone, there had been 372 mass shootings. Over the last three decades, more than 80% of guns used by killers in mass shootings had been purchased legally. Now that is way more than half. Therefore, we are selling guns to the wrong people and are not careful with whom we give lethal weapons to. The perpetrators do illegal acts, with legal weapons, and this cannot be justified. Though people kill people, and a gun is just an object, these “objects” do make it easier for people to kill as it provides them with access to do such illegal things such as murder. Data shows that there is a direct correlation between rates of gun crimes and rates of gun ownership. With further gun control, not only homicide rates would define but the rate of suicides would decline as well. Many suicides are done instantly, using guns. With less access to weapons that could be used for suicides, there would be fewer of them. Gun ownership is less common in some states of America than others, and it is in these states where gun ownership is less common, that the suicide rates are also much lower. Contradictory to that, in the states where gun ownership rates are higher, the suicide rates correlate. For example, in Wyoming where 63% of households were reported to own guns, the suicide rates were higher. It is a likely theory that many lives would be saved if people hid, disposed of, or locked away their guns – and it would be that easy to avoid the majority of suicide attempts. Guns should not be available to those who would take part in unjustifiable killings. Therefore, should only be given to sane and stable people as most of the killers in the past public mass shootings have been mentally unstable or had some kind of mental illness.
In America – we worry about terrorism, when gun homicide deaths are just as big of a problem, if not even bigger. Since 2002, more people have died from gun violence compared to acts of terrorism. In 2011, 17 U.S citizens were killed from terrorism, whereas 11,101 were killed from gun homicides. Now that was in the same year, and even so, there was a huge difference between the number of deaths. Yet we overlook gun violence and pay so much attention to terrorism when we should be just as cautious about gun violence. So why have gun control? This is why. With more gun control, there will be less death by homicide and less death by suicide; saving human life, possibly the lives of loved ones, or even your own life.