Gun violence is on an uprise and this is no secret. From schools and offices to recreational and places of worship, mass shootings have left many traumatized and in fear of what can happen next. Teenagers have found access to their parents’ weapons, and adults can easily access one themselves. They are made in mass production, widely distributed and easy to hide. The problem is with how easily people can get their hands on these fatal weapons. Gun laws were made to help citizens feel safe, instead, they have had the reverse effect and are the cause of the concern.
The term “weapons of mass destruction” has existed for almost 90 years. The definition of the term is any weapon with the capability to inflict death and destruction extensively and indiscriminately. Guns can be identified as weapons of mass destruction, especially due to all the recent massacres happening around the world. A survey recently held in the United States revealed the recent statistics for the use and accessibility of these weapons. 287,400 prisoners possessed a firearm during their offense. Among those prisoners, 56% had either stolen the weapons, found them during the scene of the crime or purchased them from underground markets. 25% accessed the firearms from family, friends or as a gift. As the statistic reveals, gaining access to these deadly weapons is not difficult.
A gun can cause fatal injuries even in the hands of someone weak and unskilled like a child. The current availability of firearms facilitates robbery and the incursion of people who cannot defend themselves against a gun. The United States has the 28th highest deaths from gun violence, much larger than any other developed country. Why doesn’t the United States just ban guns altogether? The answer is the second amendment. It states ‘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.’ This prevents the government from being able to ban these weapons altogether in the United States. Therefore the only valid solution is to make alternative gun control solutions.
A possible solution could be mandatory classes. When a legal gun is purchased, the individual is required to go over the basics of gun safety, including passing a test before being given the firearm. Another possible solution is to run background checks. Background checks are needed for many other recreational reasons, so why not for guns? The reason why a lot of these alternatives are not more relevant is due to the fact that they are inconvenient, but if it means reducing gun violence, inconvenience is not an excuse. Canada’s gun buyback program was one of the recent successful solutions to decreasing the amount of unnecessary weapons on the streets. The program incentivised the public to return their firearms in exchange for money. Toronto police stated that they had received more than 2,700 unwanted guns through the buyback program, all of which will be destroyed to prevent further access.
Gun violence is an issue affecting communities, economies and social behaviours. Gun control initiatives have expanded, influencing the public to form opinions about further solutions. It is a controversial topic and the process of gun control laws may still challenge individuals rights and freedom, making it hard to compromise on just one solution. Meanwhile there are now certain parts of the world that have banned firearms. While eliminating guns from the equation is only a part of the issue, it is a start to something greater.