More gun control is needed right now

Protesters march to protest the recent spike in gun murders in America in Washington D.C..

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Protesters march to protest the recent spike in gun murders in America in Washington D.C..

307 mass shootings only in the United States up until 2018. Nearly 11,000 people in the U.S. are killed in firearm assaults per year. Worldwide gun deaths are reaching 250,000 yearly. How many more deaths must occur until we take action? How many more innocent lives have to be lost?
We live in one of the most dangerous countries in the world as far as gun violence. According to PBS, half of all gun-related deaths in 2016 occurred in six nations — Brazil, the United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Guatemala. We come in second. Compared to other developed countries, the U.S. has more guns as well as mass shootings and gun deaths, including homicide, suicide, and accidents.

BBC News says that just in 2018, 113 people have been killed or injured in United States schools. By this measure, 2018 has been the worst year for deaths and injuries caused by guns, and it is going to get more if we don’t start implementing new, stricter laws now.

The five highest casualty mass shootings in American history all have one thing in common: semi-automatic weapons that allowed the shooters to fire at crowds of people without having to reload. Research shows that focusing on reducing large-capacity magazines might be the most effective way to reduce gun-inflicted deaths or injuries. Simply put, gunmen are less deadly when they have to reload.

Keeping guns away from children should be another focus for Congress. Currently, you have to be 21 years old to be able to purchase semi-automatic weapons. However, two mass shootings have been committed since 2009 by men under the age of 21. Expanding existing age limits to all guns might be more effective, since young people are far more likely to commit homicide than older people. Keeping guns out of the hands of young shooters is difficult, there is no doubt about it. But age limits in general have been proven to help a little, so it might be good to give a new law a try. We also need to require gun owners to securely store firearms in a locked area with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock. The Washington Post says that nearly 2 million minors in the United States live in homes where guns are easy to access. A study also found that 40 percent of teens who committed suicide had easy access to a gun in their own home.

Here is a general fact: the more guns there are, the more deaths there will be. The United States should institute a buyback program. In the 1990s, Australia spent nearly $500 million to buy back around 600,000 guns from their citizens. Harvard researchers found out that the gun homicide rate dropped at least 42 percent. The United States should also be able to limit the number of guns people can buy at one time.

The last thing we can do is to strengthen background checks. About 42 percent of people who obtained guns didn’t go through background checks. When our states go beyond federal laws and requires all gun sales to go through a background check, we will have fewer gun deaths.

New laws can be implemented to decrease the number of innocent lives we lose per year due to guns. We need to start taking action NOW!