Gun control is an issue that is forever growing in debates. It is growing all over without any limitations or boundaries. Some may ask what exactly is gun control? According to Richard Perez-Pena, it is “any sort of restriction on firearms that can be sold, bought, who can possess or sell them, where and how they may be stored and carried.” In the recent 10 years, gun control has found its way into being a controversial topic in which one side believes people should be allowed to have guns on them, and the other side believes there should be major limitations to such weapons. In the United States today, there are a few federal laws that restrict anyone with certain criminal records, addiction of specific drugs, mental illnesses, etc.
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Also, it is required that gun dealers who are licensed, have a background check done through the F.B.I to see if they pass to own a gun and sell it. However, the system has major gaps in it where people sell and own guns without having a background check and so they are able to get away with it. Currently, each country in the world has stricter gun laws with the United Kingdom being the Strictest, and the United States being the most lenient. This leads into the support for stricter gun laws which have been declining over the years even though the number of mass shootings are increasing. It has even been influenced by social media, because it is a platform for people to voice their opinions.
Being that the opinions are strongly diverse, not everyone takes into consideration each other’s thoughts, and sometimes it is misinterpreted. It has caused a negative effect on the culture of America, and it has led to a series of unfortunate events where it is slowly becoming an even major problem across the United States, where both sides need to come together and create a solution in order to stop future chaos.
The media is one of the many variables that have had a powerful influence on gun control. It also has its pros and cons as well. The main purpose of media is to inform the public with any sort of information that they can relay especially when it comes to gun violence which leads into gun control debates. Overtime, the media has grown due to the increase in technology that have been created. By the use of technology, there comes two important factors, social media, and news stations, that are platforms where people can post certain aspects that go on daily while voicing their opinions and providing information of what is going on in the public. It is also a way to warn people of the danger that surrounds them.
For example, the United States has experienced a mass number of shootings that have been covered by the media. In 2012, 16 mass shootings took place leaving approximately a total of 88 people dead. One of those tragedies include when James Holmes entered the Aurora movie theater in Colorado for a “midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opens fire with a semi-automatic weapon; Twelve people are killed and fifty-eight are wounded” (Zornick). This is to show that the media covered the events with all the detailed information they had, even if it was absolutely gruesome to warn people to be cautious with their surroundings.
Furthermore, whenever such horrific events take place, people turn to social media for more information and to spread awareness. According to Tabitha Prisinzano of Columbia College of Missouri, “Students, who were raised on technology and the phenomenon of social media, did what was innate to them and uploaded gruesome videos of the shooting live to Snapchat.” By students giving live footage as to what was going on in a recent school shooting, they gave not only the United States, but the world an inside look into the terrifying reality of an occurring mass shooting.
Posting pictures, videos and information on what was going on allowed everything to go viral, and it made people take into consideration how awfully guns can be used. It also caused for school districts to come up with a reinforced plan call the A.L.I.C.E. It stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate. It is basically to provide a plan for individuals and organizations on how to handle an active intruder or active shooter threats. When people see what has happened in these mass shootings, where they have taken place, and whom they have lost to such unfortunate events, it really hits home, and majority of them tend to become pro-gun control. They feel as though guns are the reasons to such terrible events, and if it is to be limited to who uses it, and when and where it is used, then it could solve many problems and save many lives. Even though media can be a positive way to inform the public about tragedies and cause awareness, it also has a negative effect as well.
Although using many variations of media can warn people to take precautions, it can also allow people to share their strong opinions on the matter and if others do not agree, then it turns into a disagreement. Sometimes in those disagreements, they take place online or live on television and people spread a lot of hatred. Due to the amounts of hatred that is spread, it may cause more gun violence. For example, on September 13, 2017, 15 -year-old Caleb Sharpe opened fire at Freeman High School in Rockford, Washington, leaving one student dead and three others injured.
Also, according to Libby Kamrowski in the article, “Student accused in Washington school shooting blamed ‘bullying,’ stated that Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich “cited mental health issues and suggested Sharpe may have been influenced by violence on television and in video games.” This is to show that even though the information that is put out there on various kinds of media is not intended to give people idea’s to create gun related crimes, but it can influence young children that if they do not like someone, or if someone is bullying them and bothering them, that it is completely okay to pick up a gun and perform a mass shooting. It also shows that he had easy access to guns because his father owned a few, and he did not have to get any sort of background check to get a hold of it. It also proves another reason as to why there should be gun control and how it is influenced, because the amount of gun violence that goes on needs to be put to a stop. If the father had kept the guns out of reach, it might have been a little bit harder for Sharpe to get access to the firearm which could have saved a life. It is clear that the media can affect the awareness of multiple issues such as gun control, and the skewed recognition can also affect the way policies are tackled into place.
Furthermore, it is estimated that more than 30,000 people are killed by guns each year and homicide is one of the leading cause to death among younger children. Most reasons for where gun violence originates from are said to be caused by video games as well. Video games are a big factor in influencing gun violence because of the amount that are created in the actual game. Children today are more prone to violence because of the violent movies they may watch, or the video games they may encounter. It is a lot different to how things are done today because more video games that are created now are more violent than they ever were. Researchers believe that many people especially kids are growing up playing these video games religiously so their brains are basically formed in a way in which they can transfer the video game to the real world. It then becomes a factor that can make someone more prone to act out aggressively.
According to the American Psychology Association, in 2015 they declared “scientific research has demonstrated an association between violent video game use and both increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive affect, aggressive cognitions and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy, and moral engagement” (Keneally). This results in the group having to do further research and take a look at different areas of the issues which then caused the ratings for video games to have to be refined. In other words, it is difficult to acknowledge whether violent people are drawn to violent entertainment, or if the games or movies, or any other sort of violent media makes them violent.
Overall, the media is known to have a powerful effect on gun violence and gun control due to the way it is discussed and described. Media also has it’s pros and cons when it comes to the way how gun control is influenced. It allows for the public to get information about news that is currently going on through television, or social media, etc. It is also good because it allows to spread awareness to other people about negative situations and how they should take precaution. However, there are some ways that media influences gun violence.
A lot of ideas are given to people that going somewhere and creating a mass shoot out or even taking their own lives and it convinces them that is the right thing to do based on whatever situation they are in. The way entertainment such as movies, video games, or even new reports handle the gun control debate, changes the way audiences view the problem and ascribe to responsibly. It is also a unique way that is set for the public to have discussions about due to the amount of coverage on the topics or events because the media’s goal in to influence the public opinion. This all leads into how gun control is influenced now compared to how it was back in the days because not a lot of people had access to media, and if they did, it was rare to hear of a mass shooting that took place due to someone being influenced by violent video games. A lot has changed over the past few years when it comes to debating over control, and until a solution is established, nothing will ever be resolved.
Current Gun Control Vs. Past. (2021, Nov 29).
Retrieved December 4, 2022 , from
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