Caleb Lynch, Junior
With high tension and heavy hearts after the recent Nashville shooting, people are jumping to solve this issue of gun violence in the United States. With everyone having different opinions, there are two basic questions to be answered: more or less gun control? While there are many reasons and supported opinions on each side of the spectrum, I fall on the side that reduces gun control.
You would think that more gun control would reduce the amount of guns on the streets and stop them from getting into the wrong hands, but it tends to help the criminals instead. According to CRS Reports.gov, an estimated 0.8% of firearms used in crimes were obtained by theft, and 43.5% were obtained through illegal ways such as straw purchases and blackmarket sales. These gun laws will only harm law-abiding gun owners by making many guns illegal to buy, sell or own. Most gun owners have them for recreational shooting, hunting and self defense, and these laws put all of these things at risk, all while these laws will do nothing to the criminals who obtain their firearms illegally. A real-world example is the United Kingdom, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, while violent crime rates have remained steady or increased in many areas.
The way I see it, there is no way to get rid of this problem completely. With the flow of illegal firearms in the US already, no gun laws will prevent shootings. The current background checks will stop the criminals from getting their guns, but if they are committed to harming someone, they will obtain them another way or use a different weapon. The real crisis in this country is mental health. These people that want to do these things need to be treated. The person who pulls the trigger is what kills people. In 2019, there were 16,425 homicides using a vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The same year, 19,141 homicides were committed by firearm, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People use vehicles just the same but we don’t ban cars or restrict access. People kill people, so we need to help the people.