Time for America to Grow Up | Teen Ink

Time for America to Grow Up

April 17, 2018
By ashyh BRONZE, Ho Chi Minh, Other
ashyh BRONZE, Ho Chi Minh, Other
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

On March 24th, 2018, March For Our Lives is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, and continuing throughout the US. This march is taking place because students and teachers alike don’t feel safe going to school. Since December, 2012, there have been 1,607 mass shootings, after Sandy Hook, where a teenager stormed in an elementary school and killed 20 elementary students, six adults, and finally, himself. These elementary students were nine years old and below. In 32 states in America, you don't need a permit to buy a gun from a dealer, and if you do buy a gun, it doesn’t need to be registered with the government (Elliott).

This in itself is half the problem. How does a country establish gun control if they don’t check the people buying the guns, and how many they buy? In the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the gunman managed to smuggle in 23 guns in the hotel room, and furthermore, he had 19 more guns in his two homes (Williams). Security needs to definitely be tightened if a man can bring 23 guns into a hotel without anybody noticing. In almost every mass shooting there is, the newspapers blame the gunman for being “emotionally unstable” or as having ‘mental problems’. If what they say is true, then why are gun dealers still selling millions of guns to people like this ? Unstable people who need tens of guns, which the dealer is almost happy to provide ?

The newspapers never seem to get tired of painting the gunman as the ‘victim’, but if they see that they are ‘victims’, why do they continue to sell guns without making background checks compulsory, which is a necessity ? Instead, gun shops are more focused on being able to sell more guns. One lady who ran a gunshop even commented on how all the mass shootings happening are good things, because they increase the sale of guns. A girl running a gun shop even commented that she “hate[ed] seeing the shootings happen, but it was definitely good for business” (Gun Nation). Another lady also proudly stated that if the government came to “take her guns, she wouldn’t go down without a fight” (Gun Nation), implying that she would kill or injure anybody who tells her that she couldn’t keep her guns.

Since December of 2012, over 1,846 people have died, and 6,459 people injured. These numbers only pertain to mass shootings since 2012, and do not include shootings before that, or the shootings to come if the government or the NRA doesn’t do something about gun control. I understand that people, especially parents or grandparents, feel to need to protect their children. However, vying to not put gun control into action is harming other innocent children, teenagers, parents, an important person in someone’s life. Just as the people who don’t support gun control want to protect their loved ones, the supporters of gun control want to protect their loved ones, by banning guns or by at least making background checks compulsory in all states.

Another problem is private sellers. Private sellers are gun dealers that aren’t registered in the government, and its alarming how much these businesses thrive. In 2016, a study showed that around 17.6 million gun owners did not have their firearm registered with the government, and these people had most likely gotten their firearm from private sellers, because a background check was not given to them (Chalabi).

Now, I understand that it is difficult to find and track down private sellers, but that doesn’t excuse the government for not doing anything about the public gun sellers in America that deal firearms to just about anybody who walks in their shop, gun license or no. Innocent people, and children, are dying almost everyday under the watch of the government, and I think this is not something to be proud of. While growing up, I had always loved to watch action movies. These movies almost always involved guns. Whether it was the good guy using them, or the bad guy. The older I got, the more I wondered about the use of guns: was it really a good thing? In movies, they always show the possession of a gun as being cool, something normal people wouldn’t have. I also thought about what it meant for people to have a gun. Would they use it to harm other people ? I had always thought that bad people who hurt other innocent people wouldn't have access to guns, but nowadays, more and more mass shootings are occurring, and I began to realise that even the bad people who want to hurt innocents have guns. I began to wonder why the government didn’t do anything about it. Why did the government let thousands of people die under their watch ? Why did they lock up the people if they ever get caught, instead of helping them, and getting rid of the tools used to kill all the people ? I understand that guns don’t hurt people, the person holding the gun does, but until people don’t do things like shoot up schools or restaurants because of their problems, inflicting their pain upon other people instead of seeking help, guns should be banned.

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