Garfield Senior High School

Gun laws: There is so much more we don’t know

Do we have to rely on gun shootings in schools worldwide in order to lead to stronger restrictions on firearms? I’m definitely not the only one asking myself this absurd question. In fact, I feel that the majority of people are asking themselves the same question due to the overwhelming rate of gun violence in schools lately.

According to the latest statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “there were more than 36,200 deaths from firearms in the United States in 2015, with guns killing more people than motor vehicle crashes.” In other words, this issue has become a public emergency that many officials don’t know how to prevent.

Every day in the United States, 100 people on average die from gun violence, suicides, and domestic violence. Mass shootings undoubtedly garner the most media attention compared to people who take their own lives with a gun, which actually amounts to nearly two-thirds of gun deaths in the U.S. each year, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Moreover, the journal JAMA Internal Medicine research also mentions that “strong firearm laws in a state were associated with lower rates of suicide by guns and lower suicide overall, suggesting that people did not just find another way to kill themselves.”

If we have more restrictions on guns, it’s likely suicide rates will decrease overall. To illustrate, David Hemenway, a professor of health policy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Inquiry Control Research Center, stated, “Many suicides are impulsive, and the urge to die fades away. Firearms are a swift and lethal method of suicide with a high case-fatality rate.”

Guns are weapons that could end someone’s life with a push of a trigger, especially if that person is not thinking straight. Thus, we should have much more gun control so that we could prevent this from happening.

We can all agree or disagree that stricter gun control laws would make a difference in the number of suicides and mass shootings around the world but we should all at least try to inform ourselves and be more aware that gun abuse is a public emergency that deserves much more attention from everyone, especially from policy makers and the public. Therefore, more regulations on firearms is what’s needed to help prevent these weapons from hurting others.