Crusader Chronicle

Gun Regulations: One Student’s Plea

This+teenager+has+access+to+a+gun+in+her+father%27s+nightstand.+
This teenager has access to a gun in her father's nightstand.

This teenager has access to a gun in her father's nightstand.

This teenager has access to a gun in her father's nightstand.

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Recently, there was a school shooting in Parkland, Florida that took the lives of 17 teenagers. The victims were brothers, sisters, cousins, fathers, mothers, friends, etc. Parents should not have to worry about their child’s safety when they send them to school. Administration and faculty should not go to work and feel unsafe. This should not be a problem, but, sadly, it is. We need to regulate gun control laws because it will reduce gun deaths, it’ll lessen the gun culture, and reduce accidental injuries.

There were 464,033 total gun deaths between 1999 and 2013; 270,237 suicides (58.2 percent of total deaths); 174,773 homicides (37.7 percent); and 9,983 unintentional deaths (2.2 percent). Guns were the leading cause of death by homicide (66.6 percent of all homicides) and by suicide (52.2 percent of all suicides). Having gun regulations will lessen these horrible percentages. For example, Canada is a country which has gun regulations. Canada’s rate is about seven times lower than that of the United States (3.5 per 100,000 population). Presently, Canadian law classifies firearms into three categories: prohibited, restricted, and non-restricted. Prohibited firearms include military-grade assault weapons such as AK-47s and sawn-off rifles or shotguns. Handguns are generally classified as restricted weapons, while rifles and shotguns are usually non-restricted. The AR-15 rifles used by the San Bernardino suspects is classified as restricted. The United States needs to look at Canada as an example.

In the United States, there is something called a gun culture. It has been this way since people first migrated here. The United States houses plenty of gun shows and hunting ranges. It is a part of life, but it comes with its drawbacks. Kids can go to these gun shows and try to buy guns. Recently, there was a video published about a 13-year-old child going to the gas station and asking for things like cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. Of course, he was unable to attain these from the employees and adults around him. Yet, when this boy goes to the gun shop, he was able to obtain a gun immediately. This is sickening. A child should not be able to buy a gun that easily. This story alone should be able to change our societies views about gun control, but sadly it does not.

Finally, there are devastating accidents that come with guns. Approximately 50 percent of unintentional fatal shootings were self-inflicted; and most unintentional firearm deaths were caused by friends or family members.

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Physicians Alliance, states with the highest concentration of guns have nine times the amount of accidental gun deaths and “89 percent of unintentional shooting deaths of children occur in the home—and most of these deaths occur when children are playing with a loaded gun in their parents’ absence.”

The US General Accounting Office (GAO) estimated that 31 percent of total accidental shooting deaths could have been prevented by installing safety devices on guns. Having more safety features the guns and enforcing more control about guns will lessen the deaths or injuries of these people.

To fix this issue, we need to have more regulations. For example, Obama had a bill which had gun checks for people with mental illnesses. Trump revoked this bill last year and after the Florida shooting, he tweeted noting that Nikolas Cruz was mentally disturbed. If this bill wasn’t revoked maybe there wouldn’t be as many shootings today.

The year just started and we’ve already had one too many shootings. This Parkland Florida school shooting is very personal to me and it hits home. I am not saying to remove guns everywhere, I am saying that we need to have regulations. As a society, it should be impossible for anyone, for example a 13-year-old to a person who suffers with mental illness, to get a gun.

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Gun Regulations: One Student’s Plea