Guns do more harm than protection
TUES. | 06-14-22 | OPINION
On May 25, a threat of a shooting at Rose was made. This threat was made soon after the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas which left at least 19 children and two teachers killed. These victims are joining those of the 213 other mass shootings in the United States in 2022 alone.
Something must be done to stop these violent acts. For too long, the United States has seen list upon list of victims appear on news networks and done nearly nothing to make a change. The United States is leading in the number of gun violence deaths in countries with developed economies. According to bloomber.com, in the U.S. the number of gun violence deaths per 100,000 people is 3.964. The second highest country with a developed economy is Cyprus with 0.628. According to worldpopulationreview.com, the U.S.
Graphic by Harry Albritton
had the most school shootings from Jan. 2009-May 2018 with a total of 288. The second highest country, Mexico, had 8. These statistics are not something that should just be overlooked. I do not understand how these facts can be so readily available yet some people do not see that there is a problem in this country.
Firstly, we do not need assault rifles. There is no need to have a weapon that can fire 600 rounds per minute. The only reason to have a weapon like that is to kill multiple victims at once. I have heard people argue that these guns are for protection against others with the same type of weapon, like the old adage “fight fire with fire.” However, if you think about it, we don’t fight fire with fire, we fight it with water. We find something that extinguishes the problem, instead of just bringing more to the table. To extinguish the mass shooting problems, there needs to be an all-out ban on assault weapons. The fact that an 18-year-old can go and buy two assault rifles days after his 18th birthday (which is exactly what happened in Uvalde) is ridiculous. An all-out ban would also get rid of the need to protect yourself from people with these weapons because they would be banned.
I have also heard the argument that people will find a way to get these guns anyways, so there is no point in banning guns. Even if that is the case, I don’t believe that leaving guns easy to obtain is the best solution. Just making it illegal will deter most people from attempting to obtain these weapons. On top of this, there is substantial evidence that this is not true. In the UK, there was a mass shooting in 1987 where the gunman was armed with a pistol, hand grenade and assault rifle, resulting in the deaths of 16 people. This prompted the government to ban powerful guns, such as assault rifles. These gun laws were furthered after a 1996 shooting resulting in the deaths of 16 children and a teacher. The government banned handguns and called a gun amnesty period, during which gun owners were compensated for handing over their weapons. This resulted in more than 162,000 handguns being surrendered. From that point on, there was not another mass shooting until 2010. Since 2010, the only other mass shooting occurred in 2021. This is not the only country that this type of action has worked for. Australia had a mass shooting in 1996 resulting in the deaths of 35 people. Subsequently, the government enacted a ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons and implemented lengthy background and identification checks for potential gun buyers. Since these laws have been put in place, the number of mass shootings has been steadily decreasing, particularly with regards to the number of deaths in comparison to the U.S.
I am tired of having to go to class every morning with the looming fear of being attacked. Since the time I was in kindergarten, I have had to be prepared for the fact that someone, at any point, could come into my school and cause the same kind of chaos that occurred in Uvalde, Sandy Hook, Columbine and so many others. I want to urge everyone to finally begin valuing the lives of children over guns. There is a way to end this perpetual fear that all students have to learn to live with; we just need to push for more change. There have been too many lives lost for this issue to continue to be ignored. Gun laws need to be changed before another tragedy has time to occur.