The Importance of Gun Control


2013 march on Washington against gun violence

Hannah Jaros, Staff Writer

Another mass shooting. Seventeen students were murdered right before school was about to end for the day. For them, it was just another typical day of school, but they didn’t know that it would be their last. Videos and photos have circulated the Internet since the shooting that showed in graphic detail the horror of the scene. Gunshots rang out as students screamed in terror, some huddled in the corner, praying for their lives.

Since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, there have been over 200 school shootings in which over 400 people have been killed, according to the New York Times. A place where students are expected to learn and feel safe is being targeted and turned into a war zone. In 2014, the total amount of gun-related incidents was 51,863; in 2017, it has increased by nearly 10,000 with 61,497 incidents. There is not a word strong enough to describe the level of anger and frustration that Americans are feeling at the United States government. It has been nearly 6 years since the Sandy Hook shooting, and the Republican Congress has refused to make a significant change to the regulation of guns. The polarization of the public on the issue of gun control has spanned across several decades, but gun control is needed now more than ever.

With its refusal to pass gun control laws, the US government is implying that it values the right of a person to carry a gun over human lives. Many gun owners seem to believe that laws will make it impossible to possess a gun, but that’s not the case. They fail to realize that gun control laws will make the background check and security process more thorough. There is no reason why an average citizen should have access to a semi-automatic rifle.

The American government’s connection with the National Rifle Association is what is likely preventing them from passing the gun laws. Members of Congress, particularly Republicans, receive too much campaign funding from the NRA. In 2016, the NRA contributed a combined total of $1,085,150 in campaign contributions. The members of the NRA bribe the Congresspeople to support their issue. Speaking out against gun violence would cause them to lose a significant amount of money towards their campaign when reelection season came around again.

When my friends and I were discussing the tragedy of the latest shooting, we found it upsetting that we had to clarify exactly which 2018 shooting we were talking about. Nevada, Texas, Florida, and many, many more, thoughts and prayers don’t seem to be enough. Gun control laws need to be implemented immediately if we want to continue to live our lives without having to worry about whether or not we’re going to be randomly shot. So while thoughts and prayers are nice, they don’t suffice anymore. The lives of American citizens, especially children, should always become before the right to bear arms.