Stricter gun laws are not enough to stop mass shootings

Is Gun Legislation enough to put an end to mass shootings?

There have been a long string of mass shootings in the past several months, most recently the shooting at the Oregon High School. However the one shooting everyone will never forget is the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary; 20 of the murdered victims were children. This shooting really brought the debate of gun violence to the center of the table. After these types of shootings the one question that always comes up is whether we should have stricter gun laws in place. This issue is broken into two points. First point is maintaining our rights and ensuring our safety. The issue is about the balance between Americans’ right to bear arms – as it is stated in the Second Amendment and the desire that we all share to live safely without the threat of being harmed by gun violence. Senator Feinstein has been a huge backer of assault weapon bans and extreme gun restriction measures. Former Mayor Bloomberg says we need controls over the sale of weapons and assault weapons and they do not belong on our street. According to the 2011 Small Arms Survey there are 89 guns for every 100 citizens; that amounts to roughly 270 million guns owned nationwide.

That amounts to roughly 270 million guns owned nationwide, far and away the highest gun ownership rate in the world. Mitchell Rycus, a University of Michigan professor emeritus who studies violence and terrorism, agrees: “We’ve been a gun-toting society for hundreds of years,” he said. But the focus on guns is misplaced. “The point,” Rycus said in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle entitled Can We Do Anything to Prevent Massacres?, “is that America needs to look harder into the mental instability that often marks a mass killer, and to figure out how to address it.”

Gun-rights advocates, such as The National Rifle Association, claim that killings are caused by mentally deranged individuals, not by guns and people need to be able to protect themselves from mass murderers. Without this protection, there would be way more violence. The issue is about mental health and not recognizing the symptoms of unhinged individuals. The question that remains is “are states with stricter gun laws safer than those without.”?

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by Katie Kieffer

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