Opinions

Gun Control

By Julia Tuck

I am 14 and I can fairly say that I am terrified when I hear the words “lock down” on the announcements. Sure, it may be a drill but in the world we live in today, anything could happen. With mass shootings in the United States and worldwide, it is clear that we are not safe. This is our frightening reality.

Guns have become a major problem over the years. From the massacre shooting in Sandy Hook in 2012 to the recent San Bernardino shooting. How many mass murders will it take for the United States government to realize that the world just isn’t safe when civilians have the right to bear arms?

The second amendment states that it is the “right of the people to keep and bear Arms, [and this] shall not be infringed.”

It can be argued that the right to “bear arms” was necessary during the time period in which the Constitution was created and during the American Revolution; however, America today is not the America of our founding fathers, and the law should reflect modern day America . Not everyone needs to “bear arms.” Instead, it has allowed mentally disoriented people to take part in shootings and steal the lives of many innocent people. When anyone has the right to have a gun, that weapon can slip into the hands of a troubled person who can then cause mass destruction and damage. Although some refute that the right to bear arms helps their family feel “safe and protected,” that is not entirely accurate.  Unfortunately, the ones with guns are the ones with household accidents. If guns made people feel “safe” why would they need them in the first place if they intend to not use them?

The National Rifle Association has so much power and it is the sad truth that their main focus is to make more money and sell more efficient and deadly firearms. The past 15 guns used recently in shootings were purchased legally, 8 out of the 15 had past criminal records and documented mental illness. These people were still able to obtain guns despite background checks.

Also, guns in the hands of civilians and even teens is a disaster waiting to happen. 2/3 of deaths by guns are suicides, many of which are adolescents. The legalization of guns to all is allowing troubled people to obtain guns and use them for inappropriate purposes. The suicide rate is steadily increasing due to the sale of guns.

The main issue really lies with obtaining guns. The security laws in obtaining a personal firearm needs to be amended. It is sad that in the 21st century the Second Amendment (ratified in 1791) has not been altered even after the number of gun massacres in the United States. With projections in the future with guns, it does not look very promising.

Americans needs to realize that this is a wake up call. Something needs to be done in the welfare of humanity because clearly guns are not being controlled in the United States. According to statistics, the United States has five times as many deaths by guns than other developed nations including Japan, Germany, and Spain. This is because civilians in the United States own 50% of the guns worldwide. If the United States government does not act fast, the gun epidemic plaguing America is only bound to get worse.