Gun Violence In America

Abstract:
In today's America, we are surrounded by guns. We see more school shootings, and terroristic attacks, like with the recent Tree of Life Jewish synagogue shooting that left 11 dead. What Americans should think about it is what life would be like with more guns and what life would be like with fewer guns. Let's look down the barrel of the gun.

 

barrel of the gun

Cowboys and Indians

Much of the older generations that grew up playing cowboys and Indians found pleasure and entertainment with weapons. Sports like clay shooting add to this culture. What we should try to think about instead is what if we didn't think of guns as fun? In reality, America has the biggest issues with guns out of all the developed countries, and this is not fun. Though the adrenaline rush from guns is exhilarating, there's a reason for that. Guns are dangerous. Guns can kill. A lot of propaganda over the centuries has glorified war and dumb heroism. While there are many wars that were fought to deny evil from growing, many wars of profit machines. This culture of idealizing guns as not the problem only hurts us. We cannot give our children guns and expect good to happen, and while we shouldn't have federal agencies go around and grab everyone's' gun away from them, there are important policy changes that would save hundreds of lives. Luca et al. "argue that the adoption of mandatory waiting periods for handgun purchases reduces gun homicides by about 17%." These are not small amounts of lives that can be saved and we should think long and hard about where our priorities lie. Do they lie clutching the trigger of a rifle, or do they lie on the ground in a pool of blood? These are the harsh realities we have to think about to understand others' perspectives. For those who have lost loved ones due to gun violence, many have become advocates for gun policy reform. Why is this? When people are affected by this issue, they see the bad side of guns. Not surprisingly, the bad side of guns is much more extreme than the moderately entertaining good side of guns. What would you do if your loved one lost their life by someone with access to a gun? What might you feel? What might you think afterward? We have to ask ourselves these questions first before we can ask others, and once we understand why we need gun reform we can be vocal and collectively agree to change the outdated policies. Is it all just a big game of cowboys and Indians or is it something that hits closer to home than a child's game? Many agree that something needs to change, however, we need to become more educated, and as always, continue to think differently.

 - WPD

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Citations:

  1. Luca M, Malhotra D, Poliquin C (2017) Handgun waiting periods reduce gun deaths. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114:12162–12165.

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