Guns have not been the easiest topic to talk about. In fact, it’s one of the more hot button issues in today’s America. Many people have lost their lives to guns because of that some have even advocated the amending of the second amendment altogether. However, some believe that going to such extreme measures may not be necessary for society as a whole.
The argument to take extreme measures in gun control typically begin with the school shootings statistics that are reported. The statistics that are reported however, need to be broken down from its broader form into actual incidents of school shootings that have led to injury or worse, death. In a recent National Public Radio (NPR) report, it has been reported that 161 of the 240 reported school shootings never actually happened and 126 of the 161 were actually misrepresented or could not be confirmed. Furthermore, the NPR report stated that only 11 shootings of the 240 reported had in fact actually happened and were confirmed.
What needs to be understood here is that reports of school shootings are counted when any firearm goes off on school grounds. Which in some cases may seem reasonable, until the fact that a man committing suicide using a gun in an abandoned school parking lot can also be considered a school shooting. It needs to be remembered that in many cases, school shootings don’t even result in injury and the mass shootings are actually very rare.
Other arguments begin with the statistic that about 96 people die from gun violence a day in the United States. Although this statistic is true to some degree, there is more to this statistic than meets the eye. A study by the Brady Campaign found that of these 96 people, 59 commit suicide using a gun, one is killed by accident, one dies from legal intervention, and another one dies from an unknown intent. These statistics do not fall under gun violence and cannot be labeled as such. In fact, only 34 people die a day from actual gun homicide which is much smaller number than 96.
Some may say that gun crime has been rising to alarming rates, but many times, what is not being considered is the guns that are used in protection or prevention of crimes. There are many instances where crimes are actually prevented using a firearm. There are those who hold legal permits to conceal and carry a weapon and there are times when even the presence of such a weapon has deterred crime from occuring in the first place.
Americans care deeply about their Second Amendment rights and many are not willing to give up their guns in any way shape or form. It is important to remember here that most gun owners are lawful owners and do not have any malicious intent with their firearms. The Second Amendment states that “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,” and many believe that this needs to remain true.
There is still much contention around the interpretation of the Second Amendment. Some say that they are for more strictly interpreting the second amendment and others are for a more broader interpretation. Government intervention in the laws around the Second Amendment is a continuous point of battle across the aisle. Some push for a gun ban while others simply push for more strict regulation. Whatever the case, it is still highly believed that the right to bear arms should be protected.
It is still a national tragedy when we think about the deaths that have occurred because of guns. Whether guns were used maliciously, violently, or in protection and prevention, those that have lost their lives or have lost their loved ones are due the justice they deserve. However, for some that doesn’t mean guns should be banned completely. To some, guns should be a right that always needs protecting in our Commonwealth.
Jude Choi, Grade 10
John Marshall High School