The country of the gun enthusiasts, the “US of A”, whose constitution’s very second amendment states that they have the right to keep and bear arms, is finally beginning to see the other side of the coin. This year itself more than 20 gun-related incidents have taken place, with uncountable people dying and even more being injured. That’s just the number of incidents that have occurred in the very institutions where young, budding minds go to learn but instead end up residing for eternity.
Gun restrictions have always been a rarely discussed issue in the States. I think it’s high time that they broke this silence.
You might be wondering why have I chosen to single out America as the country of the gun enthusiasts and why am I trying to tackle this issue by taking their example. Well, the answer is simple: Americans were the ones who took up the right to arms in their constitution; they are the ones who say that when the States were formed, a shot was heard around the world. Be it their fashion, music or politics - the world is obsessed and they have made it so through excessive publicity and hence in recent times, America is the country that impacts the belief of people globally.They are currently at the forefront of this issue.
Another opinion many people share when it comes to such cases of gun violence is that if there are people out there with intentions to hurt us, shouldn’t we arm ourselves to be able to defend ourselves? A clichéd line that people of this opinion use is, “offense is the best defense.” Well, to them I say - it’s really not. It is pointless as it would just lead to more guns being a part of the environment. This would mean more firearms being manufactured and purchased and hence much more relaxed gun control laws.
Let's have a look at the facts, shall we?
Firearms are the second leading cause of death of children in America.
Women in the U.S are 16 times more likely to be killed with a gun than women in other high-income countries.
Nearly 1600 children and teens die by gun homicide every year.
The gun homicide rate in the U.S is 25 times higher than that of other developed countries.
(These are facts uncovered by everytownresearch.org, a support fund for gun safety in the U.S.)
Another very clichéd explanation politicians like to throw around while trying to elucidate such inhumane acts is mental health problems - a personal favorite of US president, Donald Trump.
He blamed the Florida school shooting, where 17 students and staff members were killed and many others injured in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, on mental illness. Well, here are some facts that will hopefully bring light to the truth.
Overall, mass shootings by people with serious mental illness represent 1 percent of all gun homicides each year, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
A 2016 study by the same estimated that less than 4 percent of gun violence is associated with serious mental illness alone.
A 2015 study found that less than 5 percent of gun-related killings in the U.S between 2000-2010 were committed by people diagnosed with mental illness.
That is just the beginning so the next time you hear some political figure trying to make a fool out of you by blaming it on mentally ill people we’ll all know who its really referring to.
The solutions to this issue are right there for those countries seeking it and for those politicians ready to come out of the shadow of institutions like the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners Of America, and the Second Amendment Foundation in order to save lives, even if it means losing funding for their next political campaign.
The steps to controlling gun violence that make sense to me are-
1)Increase the age to buy guns to 21.
2)Make it much more difficult to acquire assault weapons in the terms of legal procedure and paperwork.
3)According to a study done in 10 countries, when harsher gun restrictions were implemented, gun violence went down by a percentage of 10-20%.
4)End legal immunity for gun manufacturers, which means to end legal protection given to gun manufacturers and sellers from civil claims brought by victims of gun violence.
96 people die due to gun violence everyday, and that sadly are just the numbers for America. Globally, the death toll is too high and erratic to even specifically state. Gun violence is not an issue that has just popped up, it’s been there since the dawn of the first industrial revolution and isn’t going away anytime soon if we don’t take any strict measures.
So, let’s make sure that the next thing people hear is not a gunshot heard around the world, but the united voice of people who actually give enough of a damn to at least discuss the issue at length. For those of you who are still not convinced or would like to know more about gun violence, I recommend watching the video titled ”Speaking is Difficult” on fieldofvision.org or youtube, maybe then just maybe you will agree or at least be open to the idea.