Do you want a safer future for both you and your family? Do you want America to actually be great again? Then help solve one of America’s biggest problems since it declared its independence in 1776: Guns. This topic is considered one of the most compelling questions that politicians have debated for centuries. But if you look closely at the recent events that have happened in the last decade, you could see that the problem is growing. For example, the Las Vegas shooting that has occurred on Oct 1 of 2017. On that fatal day, Stephen Craig Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527 others before committing suicide at a Jason Aldean concert on the Las Vegas strip.
After further investigation, police found that Stephen had carried dozens of firearms, including automatic weapons. This incident was recorded as one of the worst massacres in American history. By allowing Stephen the right to bear arms, also known as the 2nd Amendment, he has abused the power to unleash a disaster on his own species. Just a few weeks later, there was another massacre inside a Texas church, where 26 lives were taken. The guns that were used in both massacres were ones that have been bought legally at a gun store. Do you see the problem? If no action is taken soon, America will become a danger zone instead of a free country. This is why stricter gun laws should be enacted in the United States, as the American governments can benefit financially from the reduced number of gun-related incidents, stricter gun laws could prevent undesired casualties created from the violence and although it helps Americans feel safe in their own homes, guns are rarely used in self-defence to protect themselves anyway.
Money has rooted itself in many people’s daily lives. Money can be used to buy food for us to eat, or used to get from one place to another. But with guns in our lives, money can become a huge problem. Imagine if the numbers of gun violence increases, the U.S government would have to take out even more money from their tax revenue to pay for the problems related to gun violence. Tax revenue is the storage of money received from taxation, which can be used to spend on building schools or repairing roads. However, taking away money from the tax revenue can cause disruptions throughout the whole country, such as roads not being able to be fixed, causing unnecessary traffic or citizens having to pay more taxes to make up for the lost tax revenue. It’s a lose-lose situation. So if the U.S had stricter gun laws, than the stricter gun laws could greatly help the American government/people financially.
But how can enacting stricter gun laws help the American government/people financially? In 2010, according to the Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation (PIRE), gun violence has caused citizens of the U.S roughly $564. The U.S government, however, has been done a more powerful blow. According to the same research facility, the U.S government took away roughly $5.5 billion from the tax revenue to pay for gun-related violence. In the same year, the U.S government also used $4.7 billion in court costs, $1.4 billion in Medicare and Medicaid costs, $180 million in mental health care for victims, $224 million in insurance claims to process and $133 million for law enforcement and medic response to shooting injuries. In total, the U.S government used a whopping $12,137,000,000 ($12.137 billion) to cover damage created by gun violence. In the same year, there were 36,341 emergency room visits and 25,024 hospitalizations for gun injuries, which estimate an amount of $6.3 million. That’s a lot of cash, and all because of one, single, subject.
What about the other prospects of the United States? What if a school was destroyed in a gun shooting, but the government couldn’t afford to spend any more money to rebuild it because they had to use that money to pay for insurance or the medical care of the people injured in the shooting. By having stricter gun laws, the number of mass shootings would decrease because the possibility of having a gun would go down. Sure, there might still be gun shootings because the U.S cannot fully get rid of guns, but the number of shootings would decrease. With the number of shootings decreasing, the U.S government wouldn’t have to take out so much money from the tax revenue, therefore taxes in the United States would decrease to a reasonable price. By having lower taxes, people wouldn’t have to spend so much when they are buying things that they need/want, wouldn’t that be so much better?
While enacting stricter gun laws could help the citizens of America a lot in terms of safety, some people say that stricter gun laws shouldn’t be enacted because guns are used to make them feel safe in their own homes. Technically their point of view makes sense because having a weapon in possession to retaliate is comforting, giving you hope that you would survive whatever dangerous situation you are in. However, possessing a gun in a dangerous situation is similar to not possessing a gun at all, because guns are rarely used in self-defense anyway. In 2010, according to Procon.org, there were 230 justified homicides, where the person inflicting the incident was killed. However, the same site also states that every justified homicide had on average 36 criminal homicides.
Calculating the information, that’s about 8,280 criminal homicides for every 230 justified homicides. So even with a gun, 8,280 people died from a homicide attack, probably because before they could even get their firearm, they were shot dead. According to Ian Ayres, JD, Ph.D, and John J, Donohue, JD, Ph.D, Professors of Law at Yale Law School and Stantford Law School, “the presence of more guns can actually serve as a stimulus to burglary and theft.” So even if you did have a gun out, you could have provoked the felon to do worse things, such as hold a hostage. The point is that you are just feeding the flame by buying a gun, or in other words making the problem worse. You may think that having a gun out would allow you to have a chance to live to see tomorrow, but what if that means to endanger others in the process? If you won’t use your gun to protect yourself and to protect others, then why have a gun at all? So because guns are hardly used in self-defense anyways, therefore having stricter gun laws wouldn’t affect people’s safety as negatively as they think.
Now we come to the biggest problem that follows mass shootings: undesired deaths. No one likes them, especially people who are related or are very close to the inflicted. Stricter gun laws could prevent all of these undesired deaths because there would be fewer guns to cause them in the first place. In 2014, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11,009 out of 15,872 homicides in the U.S included a firearm. Then between the years 1993 and 2013, according to procon.org, there had been 464,033 total gun deaths, with 174,773 of those gun deaths being homicidal kills. All those deaths, yet still no further action was taken by the American government. According to David Frum, Daily Beast and CNN contributor, “about 200 Americans go to emergency rooms every day with gunshot wounds.” But if we look at the other side of the world, Switzerland is another story. With background checks and gun permits, Switzerland, in 2007, had 24 gun homicides. While comparing to the U.S, who in the same year, had 12,632 gun homicides.
According to Harvard professor David Hemenway, Ph.D, the more guns that were available, the more homicides there were. From this statement, wouldn’t having stricter gun laws reduce the number of homicides? With background checks and gun permits, people would still be able to buy guns, but the U.S government would at least be able to make sure nothing will go wrong. For example, the Columbine High School shooting massacre. On April 20, 1999, two seniors by the name of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris opened fire in their own school. On their two-man rampage, they killed 12 students, a teacher and injured 21 other people before committing suicide. This mass shooting was recorded one of the worst school incidents in American history. To make matters worse, the guns that were used in the attack(two shotguns and a rifle) was bought legally at the Tanner Gun Show in December 1998. Okay, so the U.S is saying that you can’t drink at the age of 20-21, but go right ahead and buy yourself a weapon capable of taking lives. If the U.S had enacted stricter gun laws, than the legal ownership of the guns used in the massacre could have been prevented instead of causing harm. Even a simple gun law such as age limits could stop the possibility of a child holding a gun.
Although it could cause disagreements in terms of a citizens safety, stricter gun laws should be enacted. No one in the world should feel unsafe, whether they are in their own home or in their country. But as humans, we have the will and the power to help solve problems such as these, even if you helping is only signing a petition to enact stricter gun laws in your city/state. Sure you could probably be putting your life in danger, but some risks are worth taking to gain a better outcome. So think about this: Would you rather have your future grandchild living his/her life freely and proudly as an American, or to no longer have a grandchild because of a single, lead bullet.
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