Gun control has been an American issue for many years and nobody has been able to come to a full agreement on how this issue should be resolved. The second amendment grants Americans the right to bear arms, but when does one bear too much arms? This is a question many American politicians and citizens ask themselves as it is clear that gun violence has become a normal thing in America. Studies show that from 1982, there have been at least 62 mass shootings.
While 25 of these shootings have taken place since 2006, 7 of them took place in 2012 alone(Kim, 2013). It is no secret that with the rise in gun violence, the safety of America is in jeopardy. We now live in a world where places we would expect to be the safest have now become an easy target for mass shooters to take away lives without any form of remorse or care for the consequences that they will eventually face for their actions.
It is high time for America to do something about this before gun violence continues to become an American trend. In 1994, a law was passed banning semi automatic weapons from having two or more military features and placed a 10 year ban on the selling of these weapons and large ammunition. But what the law did not do was ban the sale of semiautomatic weapons that were manufactured before 1994 and because of this, 20 year old Adam Lanza was able to get a hold of a semi automatic weapon. He used this weapon to shoot 20 children and 6 educators dead while he also killed his mother who was the rightful owner of the gun in 2012.
This Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre opened up the topic of gun control again in the national world at large.
But although many politicians push for tougher gun control laws, firearm sales have continued to blossom and in 2012 alone, Americans purchased a record number of firearms and the demand for firearms continues to increase daily(Kim,2013) . The increase of firearms has led to some of America’s deadliest shootings such as the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On February 14, 2018 19 year old Nikola Cruz went to the high school campus, pulled the fire alarm, and started shooting students as they were leaving their classrooms. This shooting killed 17 students and injured over a dozen other students(Chuck,Johnson,and Siemaszko, 2018). After the shooting, these students decided that enough is enough and they need to take a stand for tougher gun control laws. These young students decided to take on the NRA(National Rifle Association) in a heated battle with the topic of gun control and although these students did not get the results that they wanted, they were seen as heroes for stepping out of their hallways and into the real world to express their opinion.
The constant rise of gun violence not only affects people physically and emotionally, but it also affects people economically. Even those who have not experienced gun violence firsthand still suffer the consequences that the entire nation suffers leaving many in desolation. Due to unnecessary gun violence in America, the economy finds itself in a tough position. Studies show that each year, gun violence has cost the American economy $229 billion, including $8.6 billion in direct expenses such as medical care and emergencies. While many believe that gun violence may not affect them because of the area in which they live in.But what they fail to understand is that each year they pay taxes, that money also goes towards paying for the medical care of those who are on Medicaid and they continuously take out more taxes to fund the use of law enforcement, jails, prisons, and criminal justice systems(Singletary, 2018).
Through the years, it has been hard for both the Democratic and Republican parties to come to a full agreement on the issue of gun violence and how to solve it. Each party has their own separate agenda when it comes to the issues of this regard. The Democratic party does not want to override the Second Amendment because they understand that is an American right, but they want to focus on strengthening their background check system and reinstating the assault weapon ban so that guns do not fall into the hands of those who are responsible and break the law. Former President Barack Obama is in full support of stricter gun laws but also does not intend to override the Second Amendment. Obama made his intentions clear with this following statement.
“We’re a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves. I believe is that we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We’ve done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we’ve got more to do when it comes to enforcement.” (“Republican Views: On The Issue”,2015). This shows that the Democratic party is all about safety and making sure that shooting tragedies do not take place in America.
The Republicans on the other hand had a different view concerning gun control. The Republicans believe wholeheartedly in the Second Amendment and believe that government regulation of firearms is unconstitutional. This simply means that gun laws would infringe upon the undeniable right given through the Second Amendment. Republicans’ stance on guns has always been the idea that it is never about the gun but the person who is holding the gun. Senator Lindsey Graham after the Sandy Hook shooting expressed his opinion on the idea of gun control. “I just don’t know what government can do to fix this, I don’t think that an assault weapons ban fixes the problem, because you’ve got 24 million guns out there already.” (“Republican Views: On The Issue”,2013).
It is clear that throughout the branches of government the issue has not been resolved by any means. With the executive branch looking to strengthen background check systems, Congress still being unable to come up with a bill for the president, and the Supreme Court not showing any signs of wanting to take up any more of these cases(Totenberg,2018), we could be potentially looking at another 2 years in which mass shootings may still occur because of failure to react early. Although a topic like this can be very tough to tackle, the number one idea that should be on everyone’s agenda is the idea of a safe and whole environment, where everyone can be able to go out and have fun without fearing for their lives because of a firearm being in the hands of someone irresponsible.