Gun culture in the United States of America has prevailed ever since the beginning of this country’s history. The Second Amendment, written in 1776, protects an individual’s rights to “bear arms” without punishment. Many problems with this law have arisen since 1776, such as a growing number of suicide, accidental, and mass-shooting related deaths. Because the Constitution is a living document, a change is vital for the safety of American citizens. More gun control laws would lead to less crime, violence, and casualties.
In 2016, there were 58,512 gun related incidents and out of those incidents 15,091 people died (Mission). There have been cases where children have found their parents gun, which they thought was a toy and unintentionally shot themselves or killed their siblings Out of the gun related deaths; fifty three percent of them are suicides, forty three percent are homicides, and four percent are accidents. Some states have a law where a person has to wait three to five business days to receive the gun that they have bought; the reason for this is because it prevents someone from acting out in violence.
In doing so, stopping them from doing something shortsighted. This is why there should be even more laws set in place, that which will stop a person from acting out in rage and buying a gun and using it to impair others around them. Some people believe that everyone should be able to have a gun and shoot it whenever they want. While the constitution gives you that right, it is a living document. If the United States can not make it to where they get rid of guns completely, then they should at least make it to where it is more controlled.
For example, Norway, a country with one of the lowest crime rates in the world, have laws set in place to prohibit the sale of automatic and powerful handguns all together. They also make it to where a weapons license is required to own a gun. On top of that, they have to have a written statement as to why the gun is wanted. Simon Tisdall, author of Norway’s Gun Laws Prove Easy to Ignore, says “Under the Firearm Weapons Act, only ‘sober and responsible’ persons over the age of 18 may obtain a gun licence. For handguns, the age requirement is 21.
In 2009, additional legislation was introduced, further tightening Norway’s gun laws” (Tisdall). If the United States would learn from Norway and adapt laws like these into their constitution, then maybe the United States could also have one of the lowest crime rates in the world. As discussed earlier, potential gun laws in the United States could prevent future gun deaths such as homicide and suicide. As well, stricter gun laws could also prevent mass murders and school shootings. A law that could be put into place and should be considered, is a law against high-capacity magazines.
High-capacity magazines were used in 62 mass shootings between 1982 and 2012. The use of high-capacity magazines rose the death rate to 63 percent and rose the injury rate to 156 percent. The Senior Vice President of Public Safety for ShotSpotter and former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agent, David H. Chipman, said that high-capacity magazines for guns, “turns a killer into a killing machine. ” Gang members are recognized for using high-capacity magazines to make up for their lack of accuracy. Gang members could use magazines holding 30 to 90 rounds.
Using high-capacity magazines maximizes the chances for harm. Some people argue that gun control laws may make others feel as if they are not safe, and they do not have a right to self-defense, but this is always a claim until they are the victims of a mass shooting. Their sense of safety could be invaded by a mass shooter and they could have a gun, but who is to say if they have their gun on them at the time? Or, what if they do not use their gun they have on their person? What is the point? A mass shooting or murder would not even be an issue if there were stricter gun laws. Also, guns are rarely used in self-defense.
Of the 29,618,300 violent crimes committed from 2007 to 2011, 0. 79 percent of 235,700 victims protected themselves with their firearm. In 2010, there were 230 homicides in which a person used a gun as a weapon to kill a felon or criminal; compared to 8,275 criminal gun homicides. That means that for every 36 criminal homicides, there was 1 “justifiable homicide. ” Also, 0. 12 percent of victims protected themselves with their firearms against 84,495,500 property criminals between 2007 and 2011 (“Gun Control. ”). Guns are not required to protect yourself, in most cases guns are not even used for self-defense.
Self-defense is not an excuse to not have gun laws. The facts are there, and they are truthful and eye-opening. Stricter gun laws need to be considered and set in place, there are no excuses. Guns have been killing people since they were invented, that is what they are made to do. Whether it be an accident, suicide, or homicide; guns are taking lives. The United States government needs laws set in place that limit who can own a gun. They also need to look at how other countries handle guns and get ideas from them. Guns with a high-capacity magazine should be outlawed because of how many lives that can be taken by them.