On February 18, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, which resulted in over 17 casualties. Moreover, investigators say that the rifle still had 180 rounds in it before the shooter trashed it and blended in with the other students in the massacre, which means the situation could have been worse. The fact that you only have to be 18 in most states to purchase a shotgun or a rifle is horrifying. The year before, another individual opened fire at Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay, resulting in 59 deaths and over 400 injuries, making it one of the deadliest mass shooting in history. Of the 372 shootings that occurred in the US in 2015, 64 of them were at schools. The use of guns is getting out of hand, and therefore, gun control should not only be maintained, but also should be increased and enforced nationally.
Instead of looking back at these events as tragedies, we must act by increasing security at schools and enforcing stronger gun control. Although condolences are needed, action is mandatory. Because the government is doing little to enforce gun control, some gun owners are taking advantage of this time when the government is at its weakest. The current process of acquiring a gun in California requires one to be 21 or older, having a visa/green card, no major offenses, and proof of residency. Additionally, the nation should enforce gun control for guns because they are not toys to play with. Not only should they check the background of the gun purchaser (for now private gun dealers don’t need to do a background check on the purchase), but they should perform a psychological test. CFIX, Central Florida Intelligence Exchange, found that 11 out of 14 mass shooters (between 2011 and 2013) had a history of mental illness, meaning that nearly 80% of the shootings would’ve been prevented if such test was implemented in the process of purchasing a gun. If we enforce the prohibition of guns, it may help deter some gunmen.
Others may say the possession of guns by civilians will deter gunmen, but that is impractical. How would adding more guns eliminate crazy gunmen? What if the guns lay in the wrong hands, like children? One may say that there are incidents where armed civilians have stopped gunmen, but the statistics of this happening are ever so small. According to the U.S. Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics, it was revealed that less than 0.9% of people defended themselves with a gun from 2007 to 2011. Guns aren’t being used in the way they were once used and the mass shooting rates are unbearable; thus, gun violence needs to stop before it gets uncontrollable.
Although banning guns may conflict with the Second Amendment, everything comes at a price, and saving future generations and minimizing the danger of another mass shooting should be our priority. As seen in the graph below, the number of days between mass shootings have been decreasing ever so quickly. We need to raise awareness to others, such as the government, about the danger of possessing disastrous guns.
Because the situation will worsen without any action, America should rethink the consequences of less regulated access to guns in this country.