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Guns in America

How Restrictions On The Gun Market Will Increase Safety In The U.S.

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A brunette woman with her sunglasses on her head while wearing a jacket and standing next to a girl with dark hair in a building.
Boston, MA

I absolutely believe it is the right of a person to carry a gun. The second amendment in our constitution says so. However, it is not as black and white as the mainstream media and the proponents and opponents of gun control would like to have us think.

In 1791, the right to bear arms was instituted as a means of self-protection and allowed our militia to defend a free state. In our current society, the right to carry has gone so far as to allow young, unstable, mentally ill people to purchase assault rifles, unlimited ammunition magazine rounds, and bump fire stocks which enhance guns to shoot more bullets at a faster pace.

This was not the intention of our forefathers and some fine-tuning of the second amendment is desperately needed. Opponents of gun control and gun owners fear that any level of gun control is equivalent to taking their guns away, which is not the case. They can still have their guns with common sense restrictions.

Proponents of control are simply seeking to have restrictions put on the purchases of the types of guns, the type and amount of ammunition, and to implement closely monitored background checks for age, criminal records, and mental health statuses for the safety of our citizens.

Our nation is severely politically divided after the recent presidential election. It seems that this situation has clearly propelled certain conversations into unresolvable political debates. With the mass shooting tragedies in Parkland, Florida, Las Vegas, Columbine, and Sandy Hook, to name a few, there has been little progress in trying to regulate gun purchases.

The frantic pleas on social media for gun control after mass shootings seem to lose steam over time, when the shock of the story wears off. People get riled up initially and then nothing happens. No law makers seem to want to take the issue and work on it in such a divisive political climate.

I firmly believe that we have a mental health related gun crisis that has been overlooked for decades. I remember years ago, we had a man in our neighborhood who was known to simply sit on his back steps with a gun and just hang out like that for hours. We all thought he was strange, but never spoke to him or went near his property, and he never bothered us.

Until one day, we read in the paper that he was arrested for a woman’s murder after he met her for a job interview, kidnapped her, and then her body was found at the bottom of a nearby lake. He is still in prison today.

There is no clarity about the correlation between mental health and the ability to purchase a gun. I understand that somebody’s gun cannot be taken away just because they are odd, but there definitely needs to be more thought put into it and more forceful legislative action before the next mass shooting occurs.

I am a licensed funeral director and embalmer. I hold an insurance agent’s license for life, accident, and health insurance. There are rigorous examinations to obtain both licenses, as well as yearly license fees, continuing education requirements, and a licensure board which oversees the licenses as meeting those requirements.

In short, it is appalling, at best, that there is no such regulatory board in place to oversee the licensure, training, testing, conduct, and discipline of those holding gun licenses, and that the gun owners are simply not under any type of behavioral scrutiny at all.

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Guns in America

Guns in America – Voices 75

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“I’m in support of gun control in America, but there’s a lot of disagreement as to what that means.”
Colorado Springs, CO
I’m in support of gun control in America, but there’s a lot of disagreement as to what that means. Do I support a complete weapons ban? No. That is not only unreasonable, but also unconstitutional.

Do I support stricter enforcement of existing gun laws? Yes. Do I support more restrictions on gun ownership? That depends on the specific restriction.

According to our constitution, ‘A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ All rights have some reasonable limits, including gun ownership.

Gun ownership is not a natural right; it is an insurance policy to protect rights from infringement. Do I believe an armed citizen uprising could overthrow a modern military? I highly doubt it, but I do not know what the future holds.

I grew up in a gun-owning family. Our community was very conservative and had a large military presence, so guns were common. Many incidents shaped my views on guns.

A friend of a friend killed herself at around 14 using her father’s gun. Her father was a member of the Army Special Forces, and he raised his children to understand the rules of gun safety. They were entrusted with the combination to the gun safe in case they needed to defend their home while he was deployed.

My father was the typical law-abiding gun owner until he wasn’t. His mental health deteriorated quickly during my parents’ divorce, and he became a danger to himself and others.

At his therapist’s request, he handed his guns over to his brother, so he could not harm anyone. If my father had been unable to afford a therapist, he probably would have kept his guns, and who knows what would have happened.

The high rate of gun ownership is the only possible cause of this problem. Everywhere in the world violent video games are sold, mental health issues exist, and teenagers bully each other.

What separates America from the rest of the developed world is the sheer number of guns out there. Strict enforcement of existing gun laws, gun locking requirements, and owner liability laws could curb the problem.

America needs a less abrasive, more open public dialogue about guns for anything to change. I have friends on both sides of the issue, and the overlap in opinions between the two groups is striking. While they are in agreement that some gun control is necessary, each side has misconceptions about the intentions of the other.

We can also change the way the media covers mass shootings. We are in the midst of a nationwide school shooting chain.

The media dwells on school shooters in a way that encourages other potential shooters to act. They become famous and their motives are analyzed on national television, which almost provides a sense of justification to some.

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Guns in America

Guns in America – Voices 74

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“People have a right to life. A gun can very easily steal that right.”
Middletown, NJ
I am in support for gun control because I feel something as strong and lethal as a gun must be accountable. It cannot be ignored anymore.

It is not a human right to carry a gun. People have a right to life. A gun can very easily steal that right.

While it was written in the constitution and the second amendment- it was written in a different time. Back then, people had muskets. It would have taken longer to reset them and put in a new bullet, and those were primarily used for hunting or in lieu of lacking a militia.

Now they can be discharged and reloaded much quicker. When you consider the time, it’s not the same. When you consider the constitution- it does not apply to the weapons we have today.

I can understand if you feel safer depending on your area. If you’re in a high crime area, like in a major city, you have more threat available than you would in a suburb.

I don’t feel that owning a gun in a suburb would make you safer- there is more risk in the household. That equals to more danger than safety.

The Sandy shooting made me more cynical. It gave me no hope that gun reform would be in our future. If someone can shoot up a school, and nothing is done to change it, it makes me feel that nothing would ever be changed.

It makes me feel that we are not protected, even as much as I want people to feel safe. Especially little kids who have no real concept of danger, or someone wanting to harm them.

The main problem is availability. A problem is that using a gun to kill is accomplished so much quicker than with a knife. They are not as lethal, as quick, nor do they give you the same body count.

When given both options, the gun will take targets down faster. The availability of a gun makes it so much easier.

Obviously, there is more to be discussed behind it, whether it’s because of anger management or mental handicaps- or being pushed to a certain edge. But it’s hard to tackle such an issue, and I guess every person would have their own process to get them.

With guns there should be more processes if you want to prove you can handle a gun, have the right mental state, or the ability to dismantle one if there was ever a time to. I hope that with all our generations, something can be done. Whether it’s helping someone’s mentality or doing some kind of gun reform or checks and balances- here’s hoping we can make the number of shootings a little less in 2019.

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Guns in America

Guns in America – Voices 72

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“Statistically, gun violence is more likely occur when guns are on the premises.”
New York City, NY
While I cannot necessarily bolster the conception that gun violence in the U.S. is directly tied to a single ‘root cause,’ I would not hesitate to suggest that many of the causes of gun violence are well-defined. I feel inclined to first dismiss two theories I believe to be little more than distractions some people choose to use in the ‘gun debate’ and while I will exclude a deep statistical analysis from my response, I’d encourage anybody reading this to do a simple Google search on the subjects, respectively.

Gun violence is in no way directly linked to entertainment, specifically video games and television. The research has been conducted and this myth from the 1980s has been thoroughly crossed out. If anything video games can act as an outlet for an otherwise troubled and aggressive person.

On the other side of the political spectrum is a myth that gun violence is a product of an entitled cis white male population. While there have been many white men who have committed mass shootings, gun violence is a significant problem in the black community, not to mention the fact that (once again) not every mass shooter is white or male.

The foremost issue facing the United States is the sheer number of firearms within the country. Statistically, gun violence is more likely occur when guns are on the premises. While this may seem obvious, one would be surprised at the number of people who simply do not realize this.

This, however, is a difficult issue to deal with. While more stringent background checks will certainly help the issue, other methods like gun buy backs have routinely failed.

Another problem, while too extensive in scope for me to cover here, is the crime rate among impoverished communities. This is a pertinent issue in the black community, but I believe that we can observe it’s effects on gun violence amongst whites as well. Consider some of the stereotypical perpetrators of gun violence, black men in street gangs and white men in neo-fascist organizations, both of which tend to coagulate in impoverished areas.

Yes, what I am getting at here is only the tip of the iceberg and I certainly believe some statistics would be vital to making a more thorough argument. Gun violence is not rooted in a single cause but will require a more careful and conscientious approach.

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