The Daily Gamecock

Column: There needs to be more gun regulation

Gun violence in the United States has gotten out of hand. With the number of deaths due to guns rising every year, this needs to be taken seriously by creating stricter gun laws.

In 2023 alone, there has been a total of 140 mass shootings as of April 5, according to the Gun Violence Archive. A mass shooting in the U.S. is defined as one where four or more people are injured or killed — not including the shooter.  

The U.S. has seen 13 mass murders, which is when three or more people have died in one specified area without a cooling-off period. America has also seen 17 school shootings this year, according to The Washington Post. 

This number isn't something that should be this high. People shouldn't have to worry about getting shot when they go into the grocery store or learn about math. 

America has more guns than anywhere else and the highest rate of homicide by guns in the developed world, according to the Council of Foreign Relations. 

“Research across the board, whether you're looking at it on a national or class national level, or you're even looking at it as an individual or household level, where there are more guns, there’s more death,” Ashley Mancik, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, said.  

Limiting gun sales or just limiting the type of guns being sold is something that lawmakers need to start thinking about. 

These guns are often being bought legally. Ten of the deadliest shootings in the last decade were done with guns that were bought legally, according to ABC News. There needs to be some sort of regulation on buying guns. 

There needs to be a background check. Do they have a history of violence or severe mental health problems? 

There needs to be a waiting period. The Uvalde shooter bought his guns days before he killed 19 kids.  

There needs to be a restriction on what type of gun is being bought. What kind of use does someone have for an AR-15 or AK-47? 

These guns have up to 100 rounds that can eviscerate an entire crowd, and the bullet itself can blow apart a skull, according to a study done by The Washington Post. They aren't needed for hunting. They aren't needed for protecting yourself. So why do regular citizens need these guns? The answer is simple: They don't. 

There needs to be fewer guns in circulation in order to reduce the number of deaths by guns. 

"About 50 or 60% or so of all homicides stem from some sort of confrontation or argument," Mancik said. "(If) you're carrying a gun and you pull out the gun, you're more likely going to turn lethal right? So if you sort of remove that from the situation, then as a result, you should see less gun violence." 

In the past couple of years, America has seen an upward trend of gun violence. In 2015, there were 383 mass shootings, and ever since then, it's been rising at a steady rate until the year 2020, when mass shootings jumped to 610,193 more than the year prior, according to the Gun Violence Archive. 

This is after years of being a relatively safe place to be. 

“In the bigger picture, we’re so much safer today than we were in the past,” Mancik said. “Now, we’re starting to see numbers that are starting to rise and start to come closer to what we saw in the early 1990s when we were at the peak (of violence).” 

Gun violence and the possibility of gun reform need to be talked about seriously. When addressing gun reform, it's not about getting rid of the second amendment and banning all kinds of guns. It's restricting the types of guns no one needs and creating a more complete process when buying guns. 

People are dying every single day from guns. Kids are going to school plagued with the thought that they might not make it out alive. 

College students were born into this post-Columbine and post-9/11 world, where violence and school shootings are a reality they have to deal with because the people making decisions keep on picking guns over lives. 

The right to guns shouldn’t mean the right to automatic weapons or to be able to go into a store and leave the same day with a gun. 

Guns kill people, and there needs to be legislation that restricts gun sales. If America maintains the trend that it's seen in the past four years, then it could double the number of mass shootings per year. 

Are legislators okay with that? Are they okay with 9-year-olds dying in their classrooms? They shouldn't be. Call your representatives and call your senators, because if we continue at the rate that we are at, America is in deep trouble.   


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