America’s got a problem, and it’s something we all need to work together to fix. Gun violence is at an all-time high in a nation with some of the most lenient gun laws in the world. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Orlando and now Vegas are some of the most well-known shootings in American history and yet little has been done to fix the problem. A problem that seems to repeat itself over and over. Even the excuses have been repeated, “It’s not guns, it’s people” or “People are going to find guns if they want to no matter what.”
Americans love their guns. With gun collectors and gun shows, citizens can generally buy as many guns that they want with no limit. Guns have been a staple in American history, it’s put into our Constitution as a right. However, modern day weaponry has surpassed what the founding fathers had in mind and probably could never even fathom. They had muskets, we have fully automatic assault rifles that can fire hundreds of rounds in minutes. It took 20 seconds to a minute for a musket to reload and shoot once. Now we can shoot a 30 round magazine and reload in that time with assault rifles.
America’s gun culture is absolutely ludicrous. What is more extraordinary is the political control the National Rifle Association (NRA) has. According to James Surowiecki of the New Yorker, the NRA has an annual operating budget of a quarter of a billion dollars. Gun control advocates are also extremely passionate about the issue. Surowiecki reports that gun supporters are four times as likely to support their issue in politics. They show up to vote, they write letters to their senators. The fact is that they are more consistently investing into the issue than gun control lobbyist do.
The best way to change the gun laws is to change the mindset. Most citizens who own guns live out in the countryside they use it for hunting in rural areas where everyone knows everyone and everyone owns a gun. To either hunt or perhaps protect themselves from natural predators. However, it appears that they support guns the most but our not surrounded by the violence it can cause.
In Chicago, my hometown, this excuse is made countless times and it makes me want to strangle someone. “Well, Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country and look at all that crime.” Over 60 percent of the guns come from another source outside the city and gun trafficking is just has big of an issue as the violence itself, either from Indiana or Wisconsin. Most of these purchases are made at gun shows across short borders.
Proposing a plan to educate Americans on gun violence and the issues around it such as gun trafficking would prove to be the most effective way in beginning to solve the issue. Something needs to be done. We’ve been talking and talking and letting the gun lobbyist have their way and nothing has changed, in fact it has gotten worse. The two worst mass shootings in American history happened in the last two years and it will only get worse.
The rest of the world is confused too because in out of all other developed countries the United States seems to have the most gun violence with the least amount of gun regulation. But other countries that have conducted usage of stricter gun control have seen a difference. Australia had it’s worst mass shooting in 1996 and shortly after banned all semi-automatic assault rifles and shot guns and in order to have a gun you must wait 28 days, pass a multitude of background checks and write explicitly the reason why you want to own a gun. Also there is no loopholes in the system that allows for people to bypass the checks such as gun shows here in the United States.
Something needs to be done. History keeps on repeating itself and we are failing to learn from the lessons of the past. It is happening again and because of politics we are either refusing to talk about it or divert the issue somewhere else. We has a nation was recognize this problem and join together to solve this.
Quinn Robinson-Duff is a staff writer for Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]