By Jason Innocent
When an 18-year-old shooter entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and killed 19 children and two adults, this incident reignited the national discussion on gun regulation. Over the years, gun control has been a political subject that has been highly debatable. In recent years, many Americans have used the issue to argue in favor of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and have rejected gun regulation as a practical means of reducing violence and crime using firearms. Nevertheless, the U.S. has passed legislation to limit the use of assault rifles and make it more difficult for citizens to possess firearms. However, politicians strongly disagree on whether these regulations are effective or whether the government should change and begin implementing stricter rules.
There are numerous regulations to control gun violence, gun-related crime, and mass shootings, but are they effective? In 2017, there were more than 350 mass shootings, and many well-known news outlets call this “the deadliest year for mass shootings in contemporary U.S. history” (Mark Abadi, n.d). Due to the high frequency of mass shootings, politicians advocate for gun control measures (Quinn, 2022). For instance, many proponents of the right to bear guns work to shift the focus away from the actual problem and onto other issues like mental diseases (Smith & Spiegler, 2020).However, supporters of tighter rules and gun control reform are pushing for both. When attempting to restrict the use of firearms, the Supreme Court has not been beneficial. The majority of Republicans support gun rights, while the majority of Democrats seek to support gun regulation (Burton et al., 2021). Besides, many Americans oppose passing rules that limit the Second Amendment, which safeguards the right of citizens to keep and carry guns, because they think doing so will endanger Americans’ freedom.
Politicians continue to argue passionately about gun regulation, which has also significantly influenced the results of several elections. Many Americans back candidates that share their views on the gun control issue and will enact laws that they support based on the candidate’s stance. Furthermore, a waiting period and background checks are required for handgun purchases under the 1993 federal Brady Bill (Carter & Mahoney, 2022). Therefore, deciding whether to support gun rights or regulation can be quite risky when seeking to win an election.
Republicans and Democrats continue to argue over whether harsher gun possession rules should be implemented. Without enforcing existing laws and enacting new ones to make it harder for potentially dangerous individuals to obtain guns, the growing trend in gun deaths will not stop. Therefore, the U.S. should instill a culture of gun safety and restrict easy access to dangerous weapons. I believe people should push stricter laws on gun control and intensify the push for accountability. In the case of a massive shooting in the elementary school, if stricter laws on gun control were enacted,such incidents would not occur. Besides, the lack of gun control laws makes the community unsafe, and people live in fear, not knowing when a shooting spree will happen. There was a friend’s brother who frequently purchased firearms. No background check was conducted, and nothing was present. He would take action, and when someone threw the gun, he would obtain another. This man got his guns stolen, but despite it being against the law, he still went out and bought more. He later shot his wife and children. It is almost as if the law did not prevent a violent criminal from getting a hold of a firearm.
Burton, A. L., Logan, M. W., Pickett, J. T., Cullen, F. T., Jonson, C. L., & Burton Jr, V. S. (2021). Gun owners and gun control: shared status, divergent opinions. Sociological inquiry, 91(2), 347-366.
Carter, C., & Mahoney, A. (2022). Employing a Repeated Time Series Design to Evaluate Waiting Periods on Firearm Homicide and Suicide Rates. Behavior and Social Issues, 1-12.
Mark Abadi, J. P. (n.d.). The 30 deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history include Buffalo and Uvalde. Business Insider. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://www.businessinsider.com/deadliest-mass-shootings-in-us-history-2017-10?r=US&IR=T
Smith, J., & Spiegler, J. (2020). Explaining gun deaths: Gun control, mental illness, and policymaking in the American states. Policy studies journal, 48(1), 235-256.
QUINN, G. (2022). Evolution and Electoral Implications of Congressional Gun Control Issue Framing: “From Crime Control to Mass Shootings”. journal of policy history, 34(3), 440-472. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0898030622000124