Gun Control is not the Answer

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Gun Control is not the Answer

George Dinkins

George Dinkins

George Dinkins

Tran Dang, Staff Writer

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   What would you do if a mass shooting occurred at your school? The fact is, school shootings have been on the increase, with twelve having already taken place this year and 17 incidents in mid-February. These figures do not include numerous threats.

   The prevalence of school shootings has gripped many with fear. In response, people are coming up with ideas on how to prevent them. Some say that the government should impose stricter regulations on buying and owning a gun.

   Are stricter laws the answer to this epidemic?

   Despite what others say, stricter gun control laws aren’t the answer. They do not deter, nor do they prevent criminals from obtaining guns or breaking laws

   Two thousand illegal firearms cross the U.S/Mexico border every day.  History has shown that banning something that has become a part of culture will result more illegal purchases. When hunting sharks for soup, for example, became illegal, the black market exploded with it.

   Of 62 mass-shootings between 1982-2012, 49 were perpetrated using illegal firearms. A Federal Assault Weapons ban in 1994 was successful in limiting the availability of guns. However, a 2004 study conducted had shown that the ban did not have a significant reduction in injuries caused by guns.

   President Trump has spoken about having intensive mental health checks on gun buyers, and many people agree that it is one way to solve the crisis. However, many mass-shooters are not mentally ill. A 2015 study was conducted and found that of 235 mass-shooters, only 52 had a mental illness. Frank Farley, a psychologist, states that only 4-5% of mass-shooters suffer from a mental illness.

   Imposing stricter gun control laws will also infringe upon the right to own firearms and deny the people a sense of safety. Thirty percent  of American people currently own a gun. Thirty-six percent of people don’t see themselves owning one in the future. Having stricter gun laws would make it difficult for families to defend themselves. 61% of men and 59% of women surveyed agree.

   Many argue that having stricter gun control laws will lead to fewer suicides, with evidence that in the years between 1999 and 2013 firearm suicides accounted for 52% of total suicides. When gun ownership went down, overall suicides also went down. However, correlation does not equal causation. Lithuania has one of the lowest gun ownership rates in the world, but its suicide rate was one of the highest. Japan and South Korea follow the same trend, with South Korea having the highest rate of gun suicides. In contrast, the U.S is ranked 26th in suicides but has the highest rate of gun ownership.

   Instead of adding laws that restrict gun ownership when it clearly won’t help, the U.S should get to the root of the problem. Education will be a key in stopping the trend of gun violence. Just as the government mandates adequate training before obtaining a license for driving a car, they should do the same for guns. The government should not create more regulation, but instead have people retest yearly. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

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