By Sarah Harris
Just over a year ago, I recall overhearing my mother on the phone to my grandmother. From the gasps and sighs that came out of my mother’s mouth, I could tell something bad had happened. Later, when I went on to ask her what had happened, she told me that a distant relative in America had come home to find her young son lying on the floor in a dead with a gun in his hand. It seemed clear that the young boy had found his parents gun in their personal possessions and whilst playing with it, had accidentally taken his own life.
A study done between 2012 and 2014, found that an estimated 5790 children in the States alone have to receive emergency medical treatment each year due to gun related injuries. Out of those 5790, nearly 1300 of those children sadly lose their lives.
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitutions reads, ‘a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ However, if this amendment were to in fact be infringed, perhaps those 5790 children who end up in hospital every year due to gun injuries would be alive.
The right to bear arms has become so ingrained within American society, that taking it away is guaranteed to cause riots and possibly even armed conflict. However, having such dangerous weapons available so freely is clearly doing more harm than good. In August 2015, The Washington Post reported that there was an average of one mass shooting in America every day. Would this still happen if guns weren’t easily available to the public? It’s understandable that people felt the need to keep guns in their homes in order to protect themselves.However with technology being so advanced and at home security being better than ever, why do people still feel the need to have such risky items in their house?
Usually after a mass shooting, such as the one that just took place in Florida, citizens spark outrage and demand for stricter gun control laws, yet this reaction only lasts temporarily until the next unfortunate incident. However, as the frequency of mass shootings and gun related injuries increases, people are becoming more concerned about the impact the weapons industry is having on society.
Perhaps a way to target this issue is to be stricter with gun control laws. If Americans feel that they need to own a gun in order to protect themselves, they should have to prove to authorities that they are in imminent danger or threat. Guns should also be banned in houses with children as it’s already been proven that this can have fatal results.
Another way the US could tackle the issue could be by dramatically reducing the number of guns that are being manufactured. The weapons industry is one of the largest industries in the world and the National Rifle Association (NRA) is one of the US government’s largest funding sources. Therefore, politicians are less inclined to ban the right to store guns in the home.
People should be able to feel safe in their home and out in public too, however it’s clear that having guns freely available to having the opposite effect. If people carry on putting pressure on the government to resolve the issue, instead of only talking about it after an event has already taken place, something will actually change.
Even if it takes something major to change the second amendment, the results it will have on a larger scale will be worth it. It’s crucial for the safety of the general public and the future generation, that a change is made.