Gunshots ricocheted off the cold brick walls of the school hallway. Screams were followed by thumps, a sure sign another life had been lost. Cowering behind the podium, Ryan watched the doorknob shake with ferocity, fear settling with an icy feeling in his gut.
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The door finally gave way, the intruder bursting into the room. Their gun spit smoke into the air, metal getting its first taste of iron, calcium, iron, and brick, in that order, leaving a family with one less child to return home that day. There has been an average of one school shooting per week this year, which makes up just a small percentage of the 331 mass shootings which have occurred in the US in 2018. (Gun) Gun regulations in our country must be more strictly enforced to do something about this issue.
The prevalence of the economic aspect of gun violence is tearing its way through the United States in forms of medical bills, higher tax payments, security enhancements, loss of property value, and decreased wages. The yearly cost of gun violence is 229 billion dollars, 49 billion coming from lost economic contributions and wages from both victims and shooters. Loss of quality of life accounts for another 169 billion. (United) The average American household income is 59,039 dollars, meaning it would take 3.9 million years of a normal citizens earnings to match the cost. Taxpayers are held accountable for reimbursing half of that amount, an average of 12.8 million dollars per day which is considered a low estimation. (Statistics) However, this expense is not distributed evenly. From current data, it has been deducted that states with more extensive and smart gun regulations and laws save money while also saving lives. In a recent study it was discovered that when gun violence rates had a surge, home value decreased by four percent. A study in Washington, DC revealed that every 10 less gun incidents was closely related to one less business closing, one new business opening, twenty new jobs, and an extra 1.3 million dollars in revenue for businesses. (Economic)
Gun regulations also need to be constructed, purely for the cause of safety for America’s citizens. So far this year almost 14,000 people have died from gun violence. (Gun) Seven children and teens are killed by a firearm on an average day. Guns also have a higher fatality rate over other weapons. (Survival) People often use the phrase guns don’t kill people, people do. Yes, guns may not be able to kill someone on its own in the literal sense, but they enable a person to have that ability in an easy fashion. They also make killing easier for the perpetrator than with using other objects such as knives, because of its ability to kill multiple people with a simple holding down of a trigger, along with their ability to cause mass destruction from far away, and the fact that if someone doesn’t know how to use a firearm properly, they are still able to contribute to multiple deaths and injuries. Our country has the largest ratio of guns in the hands of citizens with an average of 88.8 guns per one hundred people. Serbia, the second highest, has a ratio of only 58.2 firearms per one hundred people. Handguns killed 52 people in Canada in 2012, 48 people in Japan, and eight citizens in Great Britain. The US had a much higher rate of handguns killing 10,728. (Shammas) At the root, guns are designed and manufactured as a means to kill or injure. When you view the proposition of gun control with that realization, the perspective changes. People try to solve the problem of gun violence with more guns. Far more assets at much less cost than guards Attacks would end! tweeted President Donald Trump in regard to arming teachers with guns. (Trump) Obviously we should arm all of our educators with firearms, because the willingness and ability to kill someone should be a quality that someone who wants to teach a kid how to add and subtract should have, right? Adding more guns into the mix is doing the opposite of protecting American citizens, and instead adding an increased danger.
Reducing gun violence isn’t all about creating more laws, but also about adapting and strictly enforcing the ones we already have. The background check system we have in place is filled with loopholes, the major one involving a private trade of firearms. If you were to buy a gun from someone privately selling, you would not be obligated to a background check. Even in instances where someone is buying from a public company, background checks have not always been taken seriously. In December of 2016 Dylann Roof killed nine people in a church in Charleston. Roofe obtained his guns in 2015, even after admitting to having counts of felony drug possession which should have rendered him unqualified to purchase a firearm. (Lopez) Another example would be Devin P. Kelley, who shot and killed twenty six people who were at church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Kelley was removed from the Air Force in 2012 on account of domestic violence charges, none of which were put on his record for future background checks. If it had been he would have been rendered incapable of passing the standard feudal background check which is supposed to be administered by licensed gun dealers. (Lopez) By enforcing our laws and adding to them to eradicate loopholes, we can make a safer country.
On a large scale, what do we consider more important, innocent lives or our right to own an aggregate of lethal firearms? Gun violence is affecting today’s youth dramatically, and needs to be tamed. It is up to us to form a greater and safer future, not only for ourselves, but future generations as well. We must work together to lessen this crisis, and address all faces of gun violence and how it affects others. Working together towards a common goal of peace and safety, we together can make change happen. We have a right to life and the pursuit of happiness, so let’s fight for it.
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