The way we keep in check the safety of our people has long been debated in our nation. I, for one, am on the fence on whether we should keep our rights to bear arms that are spoken about in the Second Amendment or to administer strict gun control reforms.
SCHOOL STATISTICAL DATA
Before, when students attended school, the expectation that they were in a protected environment was obvious. Now, there are legitimate concerns about their safety. Statistics in the Annual Death Totals from School Shootings, 1999 into 2019 chart from the Tribune Content Agency Graphics shows that there has been an exponential increase in school shootings in the U.S. When you take a quick look at the graphic chart, there is quite a bit of fluctuation in the numbers from year to year. However, once you perform some basic math to analyze the chart, it still supports the argument that casualties in our youth will continue to rise if firearms are still unchecked. Let us take the decade from 1999 to 2009. If we were to average the numbers from those years, we would have around 15.9 casualties every year. From 2010-2019, the average jumps up to 22.6 per year. That is a 42.1% increase in a single decade. Now, these numbers come from shootings that come from an educational location. Where our children are considered “safe”. Bottom line is : we need to be able to protect our children and students. We can not afford to have that number increase.
Firearms run deep in American culture. We have seen the memes, the movies, and have heard the tales of our country involving them. That being said, what would happen if firearms were to get outlawed? Huge backlash, of course. The big impact, though, will happen in the black market. Let us take a look at Canada, another high income country, where the black market for guns is flourishing. According to the broadcast transcript Black Market Guns : Where They’re Coming From and How They Get Into the Hands of Criminals, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders states that, “Gun violence is getting worse, there is more access to firearms.” Let us also take into account that Canada has strict gun laws. That is the main, big factor that contributes to the black market is expanding. Without those restrictions, there would not be a need to look for firearms illegally. One example I can give you is the Prohibition of Alcohol. That is the Eighteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The prohibition of alcohol definitely decreased consumption. There is not doubt about that. However, that is where the black market boomed into the spotlight. Firearms are engraved in the American culture that its considered a sport! Just imagine the backlash and boom of illegal firearms that is going to happen once gun reforms happen.
OTHER COUNTRIES WITH GUN REFORMS
There are other high income countries that have very strict gun law reforms have stalled the increase in mass shootings. Let us take Australia for example. First off, we should not compare the United States country and culture with its country counterparts. Culture plays a huge part in how people see life in general. However, it is hard to ignore the number this next article presents. In 1996, Australia established the National Firearms Agreement; nationwide gun law reform that controlled semi-automatic and fully automatic weapon ownership. Since its inception, there have been ZERO mass shootings events. Jacqueline Howard writes, “…one statistic is often cited : Australia has had zero mass shootings in two decades, while America faces frequent bloodshed.” There is no reason the U.S. can not get to that point. The population would feel more at ease knowing that the risks of mass shootings would drop.
SECOND AMENDMENT EXPRESSION
Everyone’s right to own firearms is a full expression of the Second Amendment. The primary reason for gun ownership is for protection. Protection from whatever that may be. Firearms are good to have in the right situation. The United States is set up in a way that overthrowing an oppressive government is possible, but only with the help of firearms. Let us take a peek at a country like China, for example. Within the past year, the people in Hong Kong have protested against the Chinese government. The riots have gotten a little violent, but nothing serious has happened. But what if the situation escalates? In the article The Fight for HONG KONG: Mass protests in Hong Kong Reveal a Clash Between the Territory’s Open Way of Life and an Increasingly Authoritarian Chinese Government, it states that, “Since then, China’s Communist Party has been gradually exerting more influence over Hong Kong. The pressure reflects a broader crackdown against dissent in China under the rule of President Xi Jinping since 2012.” Because of the communist government of China, the country can “get” away with treating their people poorly. That is also why China has very strict gun control laws. Since the people are not exposed to firearms that can be used against a tyrannical government, they are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to that aspect.
Now, with all of that being said, let us take a dive into the self-defense portion of firearms. There will always be situations when law-abiding citizens are put in situations that require them to act accordingly with weapons. 2.2 million Americans thought this way back in the 1990’s. In the article CDC Buried Data Supporting Defensive Use of Firearms, author Bob Adelmann states that information about self-defense with firearms was intentionally suppressed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reason behind this? To reduce awareness of gun use that would change public opinion opposed to gun right reforms. “Gary Kleck, a criminologist now retired from Florida State University, was likely astonished to learn that his controversial study, The National Self-Defense Survey, was accurate after all. He and FSU fellow professor Marc Gertz concluded, based on their carefully-crafted surveys conducted in 1993, that there were more than 2.2 million defensive gun uses (DGU) each year in the United States.”
At the end of the day, gun control will be much debated with passion and fury, as it is one of the most spoken and debated topics in the U.S. I, for one, am somewhat torn between both sides. There is great evidence and logical viewpoints on either face of the coin. In the gun control standpoint, it can not be disputed that firearm violence has increased exponentially in the last two decades and if other countries are doing it well, then so can we. The point of view of pro-gun arguments can be that protection will always be a top priority and that huge repercussions can occur. Those are some reasons why I hit both sides pretty equally. However, I would rather take the pro-gun route.