Guns or peace of mind


The battle over firearm regulations continues, but change is nowhere in sight

In just this past year alone there have been 244 mass shootings in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The number of shootings, in general, this year though is in the thousands. In the wake of events like the Las Vegas shooting or the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, America was in a state of outrage and rightfully so.

With this in mind, you would think that change would have been immediate to prevent the loss of even more innocent lives. Instead, mass shootings are a trending topic on Twitter, tragedies are reduced to hashtags and people tweeting their thoughts and prayers and the division in America grows wider.

When these events transpire, the issues of gun control and mental health are brought up again and again and the conversation is never pretty.

Everyone has an opinion on everything these days, especially after tragedies such as mass shootings and the grief that is felt around the nation would lead you to believe that as a country, we would do everything in our power to prevent it from happening again but we don’t. There is only one nation in the world where these types of things occur on a nearly constant basis and that is the United States of America.

These acts of violence happen for a reason, and it certainly isn’t just about the lack of attention on mental health, it’s the guns.

I am fully aware that this country was founded with a set of key ideas that are still very present today, one of those ideas being the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment is an incredibly important and influential part of American history, and no one can deny that.

I’m not saying guns should be made entirely illegal because not only does that sound unrealistic but it would also lead to the breakdown of protection that some may find is essential to us in this day and age. However, I don’t see how at least opening up the conversation and taking a minute to look at our options could harm us.

After all of this destruction and devastation, would taking action not be the first thing on your mind day in and day out? Some people think that the solution lies in clear backpacks and thorough body searches but in reality, it is much simpler than that. A stricter system is what I think we need. We have seen it work in countries like Australia and Japan where their gun violence is next to nothing compared to the United States.

The number of yearly death rates due to gun violence in Australia is at an all-time low of 238 people, and Japan’s annual rate comes out to around ten people. Both of these countries have not banned guns altogether, but instead, they have found a way to incorporate a strict system that allows you to purchase a gun if you want one. There are extensive rules and regulations and it has paid off.

Of course, there are still incidents because there is absolutely no way that an entire country could avoid that but the numbers are still incredibly low especially considering that Australia has a population of around 24 million people and Japan has a population of 127 million people.

These two countries are the perfect example of a society that allows weapons but puts the safety of its citizens first. If we could put aside our differences for just a moment, changes that could save innocent lives could be made, and maybe we could finally put the devastating history of this countries gun violence behind us.