In American political debates, gun control is one of the most controversial issues, alongside gay rights and abortion rights. The right to bear arms is a fundamental aspect of American society, but the question is often raised as to the extent which gun control can be applied and whether or not gun control is an effective means to reduce overall gun violence.
A solution to the problem of guns in the United States
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, a twenty year old, fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This incident is reported as the second deadliest mass shooting by a single person in American history since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. Senator Joe Lieberman told Fox News,
“The strongest conceivable gun control laws won’t stop all acts of violence. But, also, to acknowledge that the stronger our gun control laws are, the fewer acts of violence including mass violence that will happen in our society.”
Senator Lieberman is correct, the stronger control laws regarding gun violence there are, the lesser violence there will be, but that depends on what kind of reigns are being tightened, and on which areas. Gun laws vary by state, and a mass shooting can happen anywhere. People are killed by gun violence far too often, and each time a tragedy strikes, people are baffled and wreck their brains trying to find a solution to end such violence. Guns that are purchased for safety and self-defense should be emitted, but background checks should be run when anybody is purchasing a gun so that a weapon does not fall into the wrong hands.
The right solution fo gun control
The key is not to find solutions, but the right solution. Guns that are purchased for safety and self-defense should be emitted, but background checks should be run when anybody is purchasing a gun so that a weapon does not fall into the wrong hands.
Gun control has been an issue in America for years (since the Constitution was written), and bills and laws have been passed attempting to create a stop to violence. Unfortunately, bills will not solve everything. The right to bear arms is the second amendment, and purchasing a gun to keep in the house for protection and a hunting rifle for leisure purposes have been common practices since the 11th and 12th century.
Ownership for the right reason
Nowadays, guns are being purchased and owned for the wrong reasons completely. Perhaps a good way to start is not allowing the seriously mentally ill patients to be able to purchase guns. According to the Washing Post, Senator Mark Begich declared an immediate change in gun control immediately after the Newton shooting in Connecticut. “Begich has signed on a co-sponsor of a bill, drafted in consultation with the NRA, that would change the way mental illness is reported in the background check system- a measure that critics say could make firearms more easily available to the mentally ill.”
Background checks are severely important because any citizen could purchase a gun, but the buyers may not know the reason why, and a store could be selling a gun to the next mass murderer without even knowing it. This is important because in order to stop gun violence in the world, we must first take a look at the people who are purchasing and owning guns, and their purposes for doing so.
The executive director of the National Rifle Association once said, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” It is easy to blame others in time of tragedy and need. This statement also generalizes people as being negative, one-track minded killers, which is completely false. People were born with both good and bad intentions, but when those bad intentions lead to a crime scene, we must ask ourselves who these people are who think it is acceptable to commit murder or genocide. We all strive to live in a harmonious world and although we may never reach the point of residing in a utopian society, we don’t want to live in a place we are ashamed to call home.
Mental health institutions
Perhaps another step America should take regarding gun control is spending more money on opening up more mental health institutions so that the mentally ill could be treated. According to The Independent,
“mentally ill people are five times more likely to be victims of murder than general population.”
When a mentally ill patient is diagnosed with depressed, anxiety, schizophrenia or any other disorder, their brains don’t function the way the general human mind would work. Their judgment is clouded and their thoughts are baffled, and some schizophrenics may not even be able to tell their own thoughts from the voices inside their head, ordering them around as if they were slaves.
A good way to not only treat mentally ill patients, but keep them away from weapons of destruction and murder that they may not even comprehend, is to make sure they are housed in facilities or clinics that are able to care after them the way they need.
It is important to keep everybody safe and feeling secure, especially while they are attending school for most of the day on weekdays, but how far is too far? According to the New York Times, a school in Missouri trains its teachers and faculty members to carry weapons in order to arm themselves. Sherri Roy, a parent who has four children at the school states
“If I didn’t know anything about guns, if I wasn’t raised with it, I’m sure I would be more uncomfortable. But in this area, guns are pretty much a normal, everyday part of your life.”
Schools may not be the best place to have firearms because not all students may be comfortable with having guns on campus, or perhaps they may be emotionally triggered or have feelings of anxiety while other students could feel safe and relaxed, similar to how Roy had felt upon hearing the news. Different areas and states are used to a different approach to life, so if Missouri’s schools are truly comfortable with this option of practice regarding their gun control, then by all means, they should be able to carry on.
The future of gun control in the United States
All in all, gun violence is a very serious matter that should not be taken lightly. Gun control and bills passed are also a helpful action to the end of violence. Each and every person will have their own say and view about the way gun control is run, but at the end of the day, it is important to realize we all come together in wanting to live happily and peaceful with one another, and as long as the bills and laws passed are aimed towards peace and safety, there shouldn’t be any reasons prevailing us from falling asleep at night.
Eligon, John (14 April 2013). New York Times. Retrieved from:
Hamburger, Tom (5 April 2013). Washington Post. Retrieved from:
Kim, Susanna (17 December 2012). ABC News. Retrieved from:
Laurance, Jeremy (6 March 2013). The Independent. Retrieved from: