Twenty one thousand six hundred thirty seven by suicide. Twelve thousand two hundred two hundred forty six by homicide. Nine hundred eighty two by police brutally. That is the approximate number of gun related deaths each year. Two thirds of gun related deaths are through suicide. The likelihood of one committing suicide increases when one has possession of a firearm. Suicide by a firearm has a 85% success rate, suicide by any other way has a less than 5% success rate. Homicides are one third of the gun related deaths each year. America has a twenty times higher rate of homicide than any other higher income countries. Guns are the second leading causing among children in America. How many more people have to die before gun control is taken into effect?
February 14, 2018 at 2:18 PM, hundreds of students lives changed forever. Nikolas Cruz, 19, went into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire, killing seventeen innocent people. Seventeen people who had families to go home to. Seventeen innocent people who had a future ahead. Seventeen innocent people who didn’t know that day was going to be their last day. Seventeen innocent people’s families lives changed forever. Seventeen innocent people who never knew a bullet would be what took their life. Seventeen innocent people ranging from the ages of 14 to 49 lost their life in one of the most inhumane ways possible.
Student, Samantha Deitsch, 15, addressed the situation in a poem titled, MSD shooting poem: My experience. Deitsch indicates the day she turned 15, was also the day she lost her friends. She asks the question, [u]ntil gun policy changes how many more do I have to lose? (16). In reality, what has to change before gun policies go in affect? Another school shooting? Higher rise in suicide and homicide rates? More gun related deaths? What has to change? Deitsch also expresses how she was feeling when shots were being fired, I sat in a closet scared and confused/As our second amendment right were being abused./No one needs an AR-15/Unless it is to kill and injure over seventeen (17-20). Cruz bought the firearm legally.
He had no issue purchasing one due to the fact he was over the age of 18. If gun control laws were stricter, tragedies like this one can be prevented. Cruz was mentally ill and a history of violence. A video on Snapchat, indicates Cruz used a sharp object to cut his arm up and express his desire to purchase a firearm. When authorities arrived to his house, the choice not to hospitalize him was made. Along with self harm, Cruz suffered from depression, ADHD, and was believed to have autism. Extensive background checks along with checking the person’s mental stability should be conducted to ensure the person who is purchasing the gun is mentally fit and is able to handle a gun. One extra week of doing background checks, and mentally stability checks can save lives of others and even the one who wants to purchase the gun.
Noah Pozner, 6. Charlotte Bacon, 6. Lauren Rousseau, 30. Anne Marie Murphy, 52. Those name are among the four out of many victims whom were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. Shooter, Adam Lanza, was also mentally ill. Unlike Cruz, Lanza did not own the guns. Instead the guns were owned by his mother, Nancy Lanza. Mrs. Lanza was a fan of guns and took her son to the the range frequently. Therefore, Lanza had an early exposure to firearms and how to operate them. During earlier years, Lanza was bullied, shy, and a possible outcast. All reasons he was ruled as mentally ill. Another man who killed several due to him being mentally ill. Another thing mental illness can do to the human body.
Tragedy strikes often. But how much is too much? In 2003, the band, The Black Eyed Peas, wrote a song, Where is the Love? The rhetorical question makes society think about, where really is the love in all of this chaos? One verse that sticks out is, I think they all distracted by the drama and [a]ttracted to the trauma (The Black Eyed Peas). How many times has there been a shooting where it was top headline, then within a week it was old news? There was one in Las Vegas, Orlando, Manchester, Aurora, and Sutherland Springs. All of those shootings were tragedies, but no forgotten. It was the drama that distracted society at the time, trauma that attracts people to things. As time passes, things fade nothing is in the news for long, then it wouldn’t be new.
Suicide noun: the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally. Although one may be mentally unstable, and feel the desire to kill themselves it doesn’t mean life is worth ending. The phrase, Guns don’t kill people, people kill people is quickly disproven by the definition of suicide. One is truly in charge of their one life, and nothing else. Firearms is the leading cause in suicide rates, along with the highest success rates. Guns can kill people instantly and effortlessly. Guns can take lives as soon as the bullet hits. If one is mentally ill enough to be suicidal, more than likely one will strive to achieve the goal. Although, not everyone who is suicidal would be able to go through the recommended background check and mental fit check. It could save a life. Saving one life at a time.
Firearms, should not be ruled out completely. That would cause more of an outrage to people. However, firearms should be harder to posses. Firearms shouldn’t go out to every human over the age of 18 who deems fit. Firearms shouldn’t go out to people who are mentally unfit. Although the process of background checks and mental stability checks could be lengthy, unneeded, and tedious. Should a students biggest fear truly be what would I do if a school shooter came in? Should students and staff truly fear going to school because of what may happen throughout the day? The answer is obvious, it is a no. A student should not have to wonder what they would do in a school shooting. Students and staff shouldn’t be scared of what may happen throughout the day. The change starts with you. Speak up about gun control.
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