Within the last month, there have been 45 reported mass shootings and 147 mass shootings since the beginning of 2021; that is more than one mass shooting per day.
In 2020, there were 610 recorded mass shootings, and many speculate this number would be higher if it were not for quarantine.
How many deaths will be enough for gun control?
It is no secret the U.S. is controlled by money; wealthy organizations and corporations can heavily influence political candidates, which is why gun control has remained a long-debated topic.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) and likeminded groups have donated more than $43.8 million since 1989 to political candidates and parties, particularly to the Republican party.
We live in a country where money is more significant than human lives.
Many people argue that the Second Amendment affords them the right to bear arms, which is true, but there are a few key points to keep in mind.
Firstly, the Constitution says, “A well-regulated militia,” meaning there needs to be some form of regulation. Secondly, the Founding Fathers could have never predicted the weapons we have available to use today, particularly AR-15 style weapons.
Many right-leaning people argue that guns are needed for self-defense; however, this is rarely the case. Only 0.79% of violent crime victims from 2007-2011 protected themselves with the use or threat of a firearm.
According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, 86% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents favor stricter gun laws, compared to 31% of their Republican counterparts.
It is important to note that 34% of voters are registered as independents, 33% as Democrats, and 29% as Republicans. Meaning, the majority of registered voters favor stricter gun laws.
Stricter gun laws include: mental health screenings, background checks, bans on assault weapons and bans on high-capacity magazines.
If a majority of Americans favor gun control and we are consistently having mass shootings, why has our government done nothing about it?
Again, it comes back to money but also to federalism—a two-tier government system consisting of state and federal government.
States can enact their own gun laws. For example, Red Gun Laws have been enacted in several states, Indiana being one. Under this law, law enforcement can legally seize one’s guns when exigent circumstances are present, and the safety of the public may be in jeopardy.
However, these laws are not always constructive. Despite Indiana enacting Red Gun Laws, there was still a mass shooting in Indianapolis.
Another issue with states passing their own gun laws is that someone can lawfully purchase a firearm in another state, and then use it in a different state.
Additionally, if someone purchases a gun from a private seller, then they can legally evade federal background checks.
There are many loopholes for obtaining guns. Many people contend it is more difficult to obtain your driver’s license than it is to purchase a lethal weapon.
There is no indication that mass shootings will stop anytime soon. It is our elected officials’ job to protect their constituents. We need gun control.