Gun Crime in America: What Will Be the Final Trigger?

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With the American Presidential elections occurring in just over a year, budding politicians will have to devise revolutionary manifestos to win over the enormity that is North America. Taking into consideration the country’s recent gun crimes that have baffled millions around the world, will anyone speculate on pulling the trigger on the current laws?

Recent studies have shown that 88.8 of every 100 American citizens own a gun and this is accepted by the law. Yemen follows with 54.8 out of every 100 owning firearms. In America, as long as you qualify with the criminal and mental health checks and you’re over the age of 18, a gun is all yours.

This societal acceptance and ease in which a person can access a gun has caused a horrifying multitude of problems, including the terrifying school shootings that are broadcasted to the world. Reports of school shootings go back as far as the 18th century but, as they are becoming so increasingly prevalent, only the worst now make it to global news.

The Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting, which took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in December 2012, can only be described as a massacre and provoked people to question Obama’s acceptance of guns in America. Elliot Rodger’s murderous rampage in May 2014 was attributed to his mental health but, what if he had no gun? What about the shootings that don’t make it to breaking news? In the autumn of 2014 alone, there were 11 school shootings in America but had little global recognition, due to these shootings becoming “the norm”.

The simplicity in which an individual can pull a trigger has caused other grave situations that America should evaluate with sincerity: in September which an individual can pull a trigger has caused other grave situation in 2014, a nine-year-old girl accidentally shot her instructor dead. There were 8855 US homicides in 2012 that were carried out by guns. Out of the 509 homicides in 2012 in Illinois, 86.25% involved firearms. We must consider what these numbers would be if guns weren’t legal: it’s nonsensical.

People around the globe are questioning why guns are still legal, accepted and even promoted in some states. It remains the sad truth that firearms, in the opinion of some, do bring positives, culture and economic value to America. Some civilians see gun-culture as a part of the family structure and deem firearm ownership necessary for safety; ‘more guns = less crime’.

Equally, there is an estimated revenue of $6 billion generated by the gun and ammunition industry. If Obama, or the future president, was to ban firearm ownership, it would undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on the economy. However, what price do you put on the lives of innocent people?

Undoubtedly, there are patriotism-fuelled arguments conflicting with the concern for safety in the US regarding the ownership of firearms. Whilst the background checks seem to justify allowing the “every man” to pull a trigger, the future of the American civilian safety lies in the hands of the law that currently welcomes this weaponry. It will take a courageous politician to suggest the abolishment of firearms but, with daily gun crime occurring, what will be the final shot?

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English and Spanish student: I talk, sing, write and moan far too much.

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