Does America Have a Gun Problem?
Short answer, yes. America has a gun problem. Just last week on November 26th 2021 a shooting occurred at a school in Michigan, Oxford. This makes this the 29th shooting in just the year 2021. School shootings have started to rise ever since the shooting at Columbine High school, where a dozen students and a teacher were killed in 1999. A dozen kids went to school to learn, have a good time, and then go back home to see their family at the end of the day but never returned.
Since this incident at Columbine High School, there have been 231 fatal school shootings since, each one causing injuries and deaths. A total of 304 people have died from school shootings from 1999-2021. It’s scary in which the rate of shootings have increased dramatically in the U.S drastically from 3 incidents in 2000 to 40 in 2020. Kids and parents are starting to question the safety of schools and what they’re doing to prevent shootings from happening.
Though school shootings were what opened up peoples eyes to our gun problem, it’s not just school where people die at the hand of a gun. From 2016-2021 there have been 99,591 deaths and 197,222 injuries involving guns.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in America and guns have a 60% hold on the leading cause of suicide. All these suicide stories from guns aren’t talked about as much as the bigger gun violence but people are dying all the time by the bullet from a gun at their own hand.
America has such a high rate of gun violence that in 2016 the American Journal of Medicine found that Americans are 25 times more likely to die from gun homicide than any other wealthy country.
Many people feel that it should be harder to possess a gun; it should be as hard to get a gun as it is to get a car. Moreover, this means that people possessing a gun would need to take a training course and obtain a license that includes a registration of all purchases.
President Barack Obama once asked in an interview “If we can set it up so you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same thing for our guns?” Having a gun know the owner may not solve all the gun problems, but it can stop suicides and homicides where the assaulter is using someone else’s gun.
Another way this problem could be solved is holding the parents and school accountable. In the most recent shooting in Michigan, the parents knew that their child had access to a firearm and stated that they didn’t believe their son would harm anyone. Also, the school had witnessed things that were disturbing and should’ve been questioned. It was stated that the shooter (Crumbley) had been drawing disturbing drawings, looking at bullets, and wrote things like “help me,” “the thoughts won’t stop.”
Lastly, we could start to hold the manufacturer liable for the incidents at the hand of the guns they produced. This would incentivize manufacturers to make their guns safer.