The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us …. Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS (CNN Staff). Emma Gonzalez, a student of Stoneman Douglas High School, said this after her school was attacked by an ex-student with an AR-15. The incident killed 17 student and teachers and leaving more than 12 people injured, making it one of the worst mass shootings ever (Pearce).
On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was made. It stated that “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” (Grey). After the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre in 1934, the National Firearms Act (NFA) was enacted. What the NFA was meant for was to apply taxes upon purchase of firearms like, shotguns, rifles, machine guns and weapons with silencers or mufflers, hoping that doing this would make it harder for people to be able to buy and own guns (Grey). However, buying a gun in the U.S is like walking into a store and buying a T-shirt. I went to America this summer and visited a store where they sold guns of all sorts; handguns, shotguns, hunting rifles, assault rifles, etc. After about 20-30 minutes of being there, I saw 3-4 people walking out the store with a gun in their bags. Compared to the 40 days of mental health checks, shooting practices, and criminal record checks that people in Japan have to take to be able to own a gun, 30 minutes is extremely fast (Zulbert).
In 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act required background checks on buyers before they are allowed to buy guns from dealers. This was called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) (Grey).
None of these things have stopped anything.
According to the Mother Jones magazine, in 2012, 513 people died and 494 were injured in a total of 62 mass shootings from the years 1982 to 2012. Out of the 142 weapons used by the shooters of the shootings, only 79% were purchased legally (“Mass Shootings in the United States”). Do these statistics show that those actions and plans have worked?
After the Sandy Hook shooting back in 2012, former President Obama called for a ban on assault weapons and tighter background checks and buyers before they purchase guns from gun dealers. However, the NRA (National Rifle Association) ignored these statements and said that this would go against the Second Amendment (Mass Shootings in the United States).
Going back to the issue of background checks, more than 59% of shooters from 185 mass shootings (1900-2017) have been or are diagnosed with some form of a mental illness. Only ? of the 59% of shooters had received help or treatment for their illnesses (Duwe). If the background checks were enough and were doing the things that they were supposed to do, these shooters shouldn’t have laid their hands on the firearms in the first place.
Based on the evidence stated above, it is reasonable to say that tougher laws should be made in order to prevent these mass shootings from happening. Rigorous background checks are also needed to make sure buyers are fully eligible to own a firearm. Disarming America wouldn’t be an option because it is people’s right to be able to own guns, but these people should have stable mental health and credible backgrounds. Until then, these tragic events will keep happening.