Gun violence is violence committed with the use of firearms. Recently, gun violence has been popping up on the news more and more. In 2019, there have been 256 mass shootings in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Some of the recent ones include shootings in Dayton, El Paso, San Francisco, and Virginia Beach. There have also been shootings in schools and according to CNN, there have been 22 school shootings in 2019 alone. They have taken place across the country in elementary, middle, and high schools. Without a doubt, gun violence is everywhere and these rates are escalating.
Starting from 2015, shootings have been increasing and the number of deaths as well. Gun violence has become an occurrence in the lives of many Americans and people live in fear of the next shooting. Concerts, festivals, schools, and malls have turned into places of threat. Gun violence has definitely become a national health crisis and the Alliance for Gun Responsibility agrees.
Based on Everytown Research, 100 Americans are killed with guns every day. Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides and 85 percent of gun suicide attempts end in deaths. The other one-third are homicides. The United States homicide rates are 25 times that of other countries and they are prevalent in racially segregated cities.
Unfortunately, gun violence has become an epidemic and has affected many families. On the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, there is a story about Edgar, a victim of gun violence. He was just 13 years old when he was killed. Edgar was with his friend when his friend found a gun in his grandfather’s bedroom. He tried to play with it and unintentionally ended up shooting Edgar in the face and chest. Edgar’s grandmother states, “Before Edgar was killed, I didn’t realize gun owners could be so negligent about child safety. I was astounded to learn that eight children are unintentionally shot every day in America.” Many people are shot unintentionally because of guns and it is a tragedy.
Anyone can be affected and Amnesty International claims that gun violence is a human rights issue. States should take action to protect people from gun violence and control how individuals own and use firearms. Gun violence affects the right to health and education, but the United States lacks measures in preventing this. There is not one solution to preventing gun violence, but first they should recognize gun violence as a threat.
The United States needs to take action, just like how the kids in Parkland did. Many students protested for gun reform and believe that stricter gun control can keep them safe. They created the March for Our Lives and they are doing something to make a difference. Now, it is the states’ turn to do the same. The UN has set up international guidelines that states can use to control gun violence. They can prohibit any possession of firearms without a licence, register all firearms, and unlicensed possession should be treated as a criminal offence.
Gun violence is a critical issue and there needs to be action to prevent it from escalating.
Sharon Pak, Grade 12
Crescenta Valley High School