Gun Control

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Mehak Saini
Anthony Cashman
April 1, 2014
Essay 1.3

Imagine sitting at home one day, relaxing with your loved ones, watching your favorite TV show, all of a sudden you hear gun-shots, not intended towards you or any of your family members; a bullet accidentally pierces through the door and kills someone that had no part in that violent attack. They were as innocent as the many that have been victims of gun violence in The United States of America. The spread of handguns, and assault riffles in the country is growing every year, “More than 8.57 million guns were produced in 2012, up 31 percent from 6.54 million in 2011”(1), according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has been tracking the statistics since 1986. Gun control has been an issue the United States of America has been engaging in for an ample amount of years. It’s an issue that in today’s generation has become very relevant. Gun control has become an educational, safety, racial and political agenda. Controlling who has the ability or stability to own a gun has become very critical argument in both federal and state legislation. Guns are the easiest way to kill others or one-self. Everyone in public is vulnerable to the pulling of a trigger, while anyone who feels threatened may reach out for a gun in fear or self-defense. When people are angry, they act in ways they do not normally act. They may also strike out at others: "the correlation between any-gun prevalence and the overall murder rate is .67, while it is .84 between handgun prevalence and overall murder rate . . . " (Carter, G. L. 1997: 3). The control on who has the right to own a gun and/or an assault riffle has to be regulated by federal and state authorities.

2012 witnessed a great amount of mass shootings in the United States, many of which lead to great debates over gun control. These shootings were committed by individuals with questionable mental stability most of which did not own a gun themselves, yet they had access to it through a parent, friend or family member. The second amendment affords each citizen the right to bear arms. This posits a serious concern to public safety. Such tragedies shouldn’t occur for the federal and state law to take action. The common factor in all these incidents was mental health. More guns leads to more homicides, access to more guns for mentally ill individuals had only lead to deadlier mass attacks. James Homes (Aurora, Colorado theatre shooting, kills 12; 2012), Adam Lanza (Sunnybrook Elementary Mass Shooting, Kills 20; 2012), Aaron Alexis (Washington Navy Yard, Kills 13; 2012 ), Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech, Kills 32; 2007), Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (Columbine High School, Kill 13; 1999), all of them once upon a time struggled with mental issues, in the form of depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia, separation anxiety, Asperger-syndrome etc.… A survey by Mother Jones found that at least 38 of the 61 mass shooters in the past three decades; "displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings."(3). In 2012, there had also been an attack on 22 students in a Chinese elementary, however there was a key difference; the man only had a knife, and there were zero fatalities. The federal and state law officials need to enforce a ban on guns, from anyone that has immediate family members struggling with a mental illness. The first action, should require a “universal background check”, because around “40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without it” (4). When conducting background checks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) should examine not just the individual trying to attain a gun, but also the members of their family. Any immediate relation to an individual struggling with a mental issue should be refrained from ownership of this deadly weapon. I am not verbalizing, that every mentally unstable person, is capable of executing a mass...
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