Regulating guns, regulating violence
Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
The recent shooting in Las Vegas is no longer considered new in USA. It has become a part of the daily life of people there, one that of course, should not have been. In fact, in the wake of Las Vegas shooting, different statistics started circulating the newspapers, pointing out how the lack of gun regulations has led to numerous loss of lives.
The USA has six times as many gun related homicides as Canada and nearly 16 times more than Germany. This is because, while America has about 4.4% of the world’s population, it has a demographic of 42% civilians who own guns.
Ever since the Sandy Hook mass shooting, when a gunman walked into a school in 2012, there have been atleast 1518 mass shootings with atleast 1715 people being killed and 6089 wounded. This statistics have been mentioned in the Gun Violence Archive. On an average, there is one mass shooting for each day in America.
Every time there is a mass shooting, the gun rights lobby state that it is wrong to politicize a tragedy, that it is not the right time to talk about gun regulation. But that is where the question arises, when exactly is the right time to stop the loss of lives? Mass shootings are nothing less than a man-made disaster with a weapon of destruction on their hands, just a trigger away.
Various studies conducted in the United States have also pointed out that states with the most guns tend to have more instances of gun related homicide. On the other hand, states with tighter gun control laws have fewer gun related deaths. A 2016 review of 130 studies in 10 countries found that legal restrictions over guns tend to lead to a drastic drop in gun violence.
Politicians are in a continuous debate about the regulation of guns. On one side, they argue that the right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment. Moreover, they state that most of the gun policies are not really effective. On the other side are politicians who call for policies that would regulate guns and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, individual states cannot be considered to be the best examples for bringing in regulations. Chicago claims to be a state with best gun regulation and yet that has not done anything to reduce gun related violence there. Restricting the rights of law abiding citizens in no way stops violent criminals from who already break laws in the first place to their hands on a gun.
The victims of gun violence do not need a semantics on which state is best when it terms to controlling guns. Rather, what they require are effective implementation of the existing regulations as well as recognizing the fact that not everyone owns a gun for self-defense.
A system of checks and balance is required to maximize the security of citizen and minimize the misuse of guns. These could include age limits for gun purchases and background check for to ensure that guns do not fall in the hands of criminally charged people or people with severe mental health issues. If gun ownership is a right, then proper use of the same is a duty.
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