Gun control is not the answer

Do you know how many mass shootings there have been in 2018? 307. Yes, 307 mass shootings in the year 2018. That is close to one shooting per day throughout the year. Now more than ever, the topic of gun control has never been more relevant. The United States have various gun laws depending on the state, making it easier for shootings to take place and for guns to be purchased certain states. As horrible as gun violence is, I believe that there should not be more gun control laws because gun laws are ineffective, it will not lower gun violence rates, and the people are the problem, not the guns.

The first gun control law was created in 1934, and since then, numerous laws have been placed. However, they have been proven ineffective. In February 28, 1994, the United States Congress created the Brady Handgun Prevention Act, also known as the Brady Bill. In the bill, it commands federal background checks on gun buyers, but “around 40% of all gun sales in the U.S. are estimated to be private transactions that don’t require background checks(Leonard, 2016).” The research shows that although there are many laws placed by the government to regulate purchasing guns, there are always loopholes that are available that will bypass all procedures that are set in place. There are many underground connections that “allo[w] people to buy guns from unlicensed dealers” at places like gun shows and private areas(Leonard, 2016). These lines above clearly show the broken relationship between gun laws and its effectiveness. In addition to the Brady Bill, Chicago has one of the strictest gun laws in the United States. The laws include a waiting period, a 16-hour training period, and much more. However, they have had “over 4,000 gun-related crimes” in 2016. The Brady Bill and Chicago’s spike in gun-related crimes supports that gun laws are unsuccessful.

Not only are gun laws inefficient, they will not lower gun violence rates. Gun laws in Washington D.C. is “among the strictest in the nation.” In 1976, they placed a law that allowed, specifically, authorities to conceal weapons, but that lead to a spike in gun-related crimes throughout the city. The homicide rate almost doubled since the start of the ban, and rose to 454 by 1993. With the intention of lowering the crime rates by this ban, they achieved the opposite goal of increasing crime. Furthermore, a study from Harvard gives an example of Luxembourg, a country in Europe, that has put a complete ban on handguns and very little ownership of guns. Yet, they managed to have a “murder rate nine times higher than Germany in 2002.” In both Washington D.C. and Luxemburg, they input laws to get the result of lowered gun-related crime rates. But much to their dismay, the results were what they wanted to end. They were not successful with new gun laws and violence involving a gun has grown more than ever before. These lines have described that we cannot ensure the protection of our citizens with laws because they have been proven useless.

Lastly, guns are not the reason behind these tragedies, it is the people. People who follow through with these awful tragedies are those who suffer from mental illnesses. Mental illnesses can range from a smaller amygdala, the part of the brain that controls your emotion, to schizophrenia, a mental illness that affects the ability to think, feel, and behave correctly.

According to a study by the King’s College London, they found that prisoners have “significantly smaller amounts of grey matter[…]associated with processing empathy, moral reasoning, and “self-conscious” emotions.” Just like the people who commit crimes such as killing, they do not have the brain ability to know what is right and wrong. Therefore, when they kill using a gun, they do not understand what they’re doing is morally incorrect. In addition, the person may have experienced some type of trauma growing up. The way they grow up influences the way they face obstacles and challenges in life. As adults, they begin to act upon impulse and behave in violent ways. The government doesn’t do enough to check the mental state of each individual. If the government thoroughly checked each person, there could be a decrease in gun-related accidents.

However, some believe that placing more gun control laws will toughen the process of obtaining a gun, leading to less gun violence. The JAMA(Journal of the American Medical Association) Network, conducted a study that researched the relation between firearm laws and fatalities over the fifty states. The authors, who all achieved the MD, concluded that states that have the highest legislative strength had “lower overall firearm fatality rate than those in the lowest quartile.” From their research, it shows that creating more gun laws shows a drastic change in relation to gun violence rates. While the research clearly shows the impact of gun control laws, toughening the process of obtaining guns will not lower the rates of gun violence as a whole.

To close, I believe that there should not be gun control. It has been proven ineffective, it will not lower gun-related violence, and the guns are not the real problem. Guns are tools like cars and medicine, both of which kill many people each year. It is not necessary to place more restrictions on something when everyday things also kill close to the same amount. Gun control is a very controversial topic and there is no correct answer to this problem.I believe we should not place more gun control laws, but my heart goes out to the victims of these horrific tragedies.