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Why Our Attitude On Guns Needs to Change

Caitlin Gorbett, Staff Writer

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We’ve all heard them before. Click, bang, pop! We see them in big glass cases in nearly every home we go into. For some people, in their own home. Most people love them. Not enough people are scared of them. I’m scared every day I walk into school that it’ll be the last time. I’m scared every time I see them at a friend’s house. I’m scared of people who think it’s safe to keep them in their homes.

 

Guns are a part of our everyday life, and it’s time to end this vicious cycle.

 

These days, the most we hear about them is in school shootings. Sandy Hook. 27 killed. Parkland. 17 killed. Santa Fe. 10 killed. We hear the massacres. Virginia Tech. 32 killed. Pulse. 49 killed. Las Vegas. 58 killed. My heart breaks every time I think about the pure power held in the shooters’ hands. It breaks every time I think about all of the people lost, all of the people who could’ve lived a life that they made for themselves: a life that was all their own.

 

We don’t realise the level of gun violence in our country. There have been over 1,600 mass shootings in America since Sandy Hook in 2012. We don’t realise the true amount of people we have lost on the other side of the barrel of a gun. Because guns are so easily accessible and readily available in homes, the risk of suicide has dramatically increased. A majority of gun deaths in our country are suicides. 96% of suicide attempts by guns are successful, as opposed to 5.1% by cutting and 7.4% by poison.

 

We all know someone who’s at least considered killing themselves. We may not know that we do, but we do. Parents, think about how it feels to know that because you might keep a gun in your house, your child’s risk of commiting suicide is dramatically increased. Students, think about it feels to know the same of your friends. Of yourselves.

 

This is why we need stricter gun control laws. To get a gun in Texas, you must be at least 18 years old, and must submit to a background check, which could be much more thorough than it is. Unfortunately, this is one of the stricter gun control policies in the country. In Vermont, you don’t even need a license for concealed or open carry. Australia cracked down on gun control in 1996 after 35 people were killed in the Port Arthur Massacre, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since. And here Americans are, fighting harder and harder against gun control after each massacre and school shooting.

 

I don’t understand a lot of the arguments against strict gun control. “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” What does that even mean? “Guns don’t kill people.” Then what are people using to shoot and kill people? A bow and arrow? How are all these people being killed by guns when guns don’t kill people? 38,658 people were killed with a gun in 2016. Are humans suddenly able to shoot people like Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man’s biological web shooters? Hint: the answer is no.

 

We need to end this toxic culture of the law is the law. The law changes. We had to change laws to have the right to own guns in the first place. They can change again. For the safety of us children, at least, they will change.

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Why Our Attitude On Guns Needs to Change