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Let's Fight Gun Violence Before It's Too Late

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There has never been a shortage of violence in society for as long as humans have existed. It predates back to a time even before civilization with some religion such as Christianity having recorded incidents. The bible has several documented historical passages depicting a cycle of violence towards one another for various reasons. Millenniums later the situation has not changed as we are still killing each other. It would be right to say that the society we live in has become more dangerous than ever before. The result is due to access to more dangerous weapons such as guns compared to spears and arrows. Guns are very lethal and should be handled with great care to prevent accidental or intentional misuse.

American society is plagued by gun-related violence daily as evident by all the media reports of police and mass shootings in the streets. These shootings have become too frequent to ignore and turn a blind eye to as they are on the rise in some cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles where crime seems to thrive. It has caused the community to form movements such as ‘Black lives matters’, where some folks of the African-American community feel that the shootings are racially charged. There have been cases where race may have played a part in the events leading to a suspect’s death, but that’s not always the case. Police officers have also been a target of these crimes of violence as they try to perform their duties as officers of the law to protect the public. Whether committed by criminals or police, one thing is sure; we as a society need to get the situation under control before it runs the nation to the ground.

The documentary ‘Hard-Wire: Law of The Gun’ was released in February 2016, when police shootings were happening all over the country. Although some shots may have been justified, some of them raise cause for concern. Statistics showed that at least one in every ten suspects gunned down, he/she was unarmed. This information could not have been revealed at a better time as it coincided with the demonstrations that called for justice for those victims. It gave substance to the cases made by swinging the public opinion of how the police used lethal force unnecessarily. Such documentations are very instrumental in swaying the public and raising awareness. They show detailed chronological order of even such as a suspect being shot in the back while running from the police. Reports later revealed that the suspect had a weapon in which he opened fire on the police despite the evidence suggesting otherwise. Whether then or now, shooting is a sensitive matter that needs to be handled in a delicate manner lest it causes unrest in the community.

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The case of Officer Hernandez, who shot a suspect in the back, which is against all protocol, is viewed as a denial for justice by the family of the deceased when he is not charged. The other perspective through which the case is the angle is that it was a racially charged crime against the black community. The filming crew follows an officer around to see how they operate and try to learn the events that can lead to shooting by the police. He is constantly afraid and worries that he might not make it back to his family at the end of the day, as is every other officer out there. The truth of the matter is such thoughts can cloud your judgment and make one paranoid of his surroundings. A suspect caught running in the middle of the road by a dashboard camera is shot after the officer spots an item which he claims was a knife. He is later seen shooting the suspect to death even after he hits the ground and is not a threat anymore. Shootings, where such strong evidence is presented, leads us to think whether there was more to it than meets the eye.

Meanwhile, in countries such as Scotland, cases of a police shooting are sporadic. The police force on that side of the world believes in the preservation of all lives and only results in shooting as a last resort. The video shows how the handle suspects in different situations with different weapons such as knives and flammable liquids. They explain that the key to handling a situation better is by talking down the suspect to help deescalate.

While in the United States, it may be a little difficult to deescalate some situation, statistics show that one in every five suspects gunned down has a history of mental illness. When an officer is not well equipped to recognize the symptoms of diseases such as schizophrenia, they may be forced to use lethal force unnecessarily. The crew follows the officers responding to a complaint by the neighbors threatening to harm them. When they arrive, they try to talk him down but to no avail, which causes them to fall back and come up with a new plan of action. They later gain entrance after successively convincing the suspect to put down the machete he was holding and manage to bring him without firing a single shot. The de-escalation technique may not be efficient in every situation, but it should be the first option when dealing with a suspect.

In conclusion, we are all human and as such flawed by design. Therefore, when faced with stressful situations, we act based on instincts and self-preservation. We can sometimes see one thing but due to adrenaline and other factors end up relating it to another. For instance, when a suspect in a crime-infested neighborhood tries to reach for a phone in his/her pocket without the authorization of the office, he/she may result in excessive force such as shooting. Nonetheless, society is doomed unless they tackle gun violence head-on before it’s too late.

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Let’s Fight Gun Violence Before It’s Too Late. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2023, from
“Let’s Fight Gun Violence Before It’s Too Late.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
Let’s Fight Gun Violence Before It’s Too Late. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Oct. 2023].
Let’s Fight Gun Violence Before It’s Too Late [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2023 Oct 3]. Available from:
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