By Rob McDaniel
Within the last three months, there have been four gun-related acts of violence in the U.S. A high school student was critically wounded in Baltimore, Md., two people were fatally injured and nine others wounded in a shooting in New York City, six Sikh worshipers were killed at a Wisconsin temple before the suspect took his own life, 12 people were killed in Aurora, Co. and 58 were seriously wounded before the suspect surrendered to police.
These shootings are tragic and the numbers are staggering. However, people are much more than just numbers. Every one of those numbers is a person who won’t be coming home to their loved ones tonight for dinner. These people were part of someone’s family, they had hopes and dreams that will never be met, all because of senseless acts of violence.
Currently, gun control laws require each person purchasing a gun to have a criminal background check ran before being allowed to purchase the weapon. Recent events, though, have made it abundantly clear this system of control is flawed.
According to data released in December 2011 by the Center for Disease Control’s National Vital Statistics Report, approximately 17,826 people died of some sort of violent crime, which totaled to 0.7 percent of total deaths the year of the study.
These numbers may seem low, but they place America as one of the most violent nations in the world.
A study released in June by economist Richard Florida and Zara Matheson at the Martin Prosperity Institute found that “firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun-control legislation. Though the sample sizes are small, we find substantial negative correlations between firearm deaths and states that ban assault weapons, require trigger locks and mandate safe storage requirements for guns.”
With that said, I am a gun owner and I support the Second Amendment, which guarantees citizens “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.” However, I see that gun control legislation needs to be made stricter.
I don’t have the answer to solving the problem of gun-related violence. I think it’s a major issue that needs more attention and less politicizing. I don’t believe taking away our Second Amendment rights will solve the problem, though.
Generally, the people who are going to commit a gun-related act of violence will find a way to acquire a gun whether guns are banned or not. I think as a society we need to concentrate on solving this problem while still allowing citizens their right to bear arms.
Until we stop politicizing the issue, stop looking at victims of these tragedies as numbers and get serious about gun-related violence as a whole, it’s only going to continue to get worse.