We Need Stricter Gun Laws: Persuasive Essay

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Gun Control: Stronger Laws Needed to Prevent Loss of Life

When watching the news, it’s becoming all too common to hear the phrases “active shooter” and “mass casualty”. These types of events such as school and nightclub shootings are becoming a norm and leave many questions about how and why these types of events take place. While the media broadcasts round-the-clock coverage of some of these incidents, there are many more that aren’t televised. Stronger gun control laws tend to come to the forefront and become a popular political topic after a major loss of life incident happens but tend to fade until the next. As American citizens, we have a Second Amendment right to bear arms however as a country I strongly believe we need to enact stronger gun control laws to try and prevent the senseless loss of life in the future.

Enacting stricter gun control laws would help put restrictions in place not only on who can access weapons but what type of weapons and ammo would be available for actual purchase and use. A major area of concern that has been debated heavily is the possession and use of assault weapons. The Las Vegas shooting that occurred in 2017 took the lives of 58 people and wounded over 500 more (Parents of Massacre). This incident was conducted with an AR-15 that had been modified to increase firepower as a primary weapon of choice amongst a variety of other severely lethal weapons made for mass casualty (Bragg). Statistically out of all the mass casualty shootings that have taken place in the United States, a handgun was the most commonly used weapon. After the federal ban on assault rifles expired that was put into place by President Clinton, the use of this type of weapon increased significantly within the last five years and has had a significant contribution to the increasing deadliness of mass shootings (Noriega and Owen).

The anniversary of this shooting each year sparks a conversation surrounding legislation and gun control. Even after the mass shooting that took place, Nevada currently does not have a ban on assault weapons, is an open carry state, and has no waiting period on a gun purchase (Gontcharova). Just recently within the past few hours, the famous musician and rapper Eminem released a surprise album which is a strong cry for gun control. A music video for the song “Darkness” was released with the new album which depicts a reenactment of the Vegas shooting from the point of view of the shooter along with various other references to mass shooting events that have taken place over recent years (Holcombe). This is a verbal and visual outcry to our lawmakers to put forth these necessary stricter regulations.

New York State sprang into action in 2013 and signed into law the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE) to regulate gun control. One of the major regulations is the ban on assault weapons. These new laws also put forth restrictions on ammunition and a ban on instant background checks (Bragg). While the SAFE Act has put important gun control policies in place, it also has been met with resistance and viewed by some as anti-gun legislation, a violation of the Second Amendment, and unconstitutional. Currently, new amendments to the law are in the process of being passed to enact further restrictions, however, the fight against these laws is taking place as well.

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Florida is another state who has seen multiple mass shooting events and more lenient gun laws. Currently, Florida does not have an assault weapon ban, has a waiting period of three days for the purchase of a firearm, and does not require a background check for private sales (Gontcharova). The Florida Senate is working on passing legislation to close what they call the “gun show loophole” regarding regulations around private sales. These new laws would require photo identification for a firearm purchase along with an extensive, notarized questionnaire form completed by the seller, and a background check (Mower). Similar to New York State, Florida is seeing resistance to these new proposed regulations. Pro-gun activists consider these new proposals a violation of their Second Amendment rights. Lawmakers across the nation are divided on the importance of protecting gun rights under the Constitution versus gun control and regulations to protect the citizens of this country (Gramlich and Schaeffer).

Mental health is always brought into question when a mass shooting occurs. While most people who commit a mass shooting show signs beforehand of a form of mental distress, most who are diagnosed with a clinical mental disorder don’t commit violent crimes against others (Akpan). When trying to figure out the “why” of a specific violent event it’s more complicated than one reasonable answer. A study just recently released by the Department of Justice surrounding all mass shooting attacks that have occurred in the United States shows that all shooters had four things in common with each other. While some of the specific commonalities revolve around personal injustices, and traumatic incidents that took place during childhood, one common item that sticks out amongst them all is the easy access to a gun or firearm (Noriega and Owen). This study also concluded that nearly seventy percent of mass casualty shooters were suicidal prior to committing the act and that for people who committed mass shootings in schools, the percentage was higher (Noriega and Owen).

Another factor that is popularly discussed when mass shootings occur is the influence violent video games have on the person or persons committing the violent acts. In 1999, two teenagers named Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris conducted a school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado killing 13 people and wounding over 20 more. At that time, violent video games were widely blamed for influencing them to commit the shooting however this was never proven to be a major factor (Columbine Shooting). Video games that are violent in nature are commonly played all over the world in mostly all countries. Profits from these video game sales are higher in Japan than in the United States and sales in Britain are equal to sales in the United States. For 1 victim in Japan killed in a homicide-related death, 111 Americans are killed in a gun-related homicide (Klaas). In the United States, the homicide rate involving guns is 73 times higher than in Britain. How can this be possible? The significant difference between these three countries is the access to guns and gun control laws (Klaas). While Britain and Japan have stricter regulations and limited access, the United States is the opposite. Also, states that have higher ownership of guns and more lenient gun laws also have a higher rate of violent mass casualty events than states with stricter gun control laws (Understanding Gun Violence).

Lawmakers have put forth legislation to try and improve gun control across the United States. A proposal was given to enact universal background checks for every gun purchase whether it be a private sale or licensed dealer and would close any private sale loophole that still exists. This bill has an approval rate of 92 percent with American citizens and an 89 percent approval rate with Republicans. This proposal was approved by the Democratic majority House but blocked in the Republican majority Senate (Klaas).

Gun control reform is a widely debated topic across the United States however it is a necessity in order to make America a safer place. While Second Amendment rights are important to protect, it’s also crucial to try and prevent gun-related deaths by enacting stronger laws and restrictions. Regulations regarding weapons of war like assault rifles that are easily accessible to American civilians are critical to the safety of our nation. Studies have proven that the reduction in gun-related deaths in other countries has been linked to stricter gun regulation. While mental health and violent video game exposure are a concern, it’s not the main culprit surrounding the gun-related homicide. The easy accessibility to these weapons is the common denominator. While gun control reform and restrictions might not eliminate gun-related deaths completely, they can significantly reduce senseless loss of life in the future.

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We Need Stricter Gun Laws: Persuasive Essay. (2023, August 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/we-need-stricter-gun-laws-persuasive-essay/
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