It cannot be disputed that 2015 was one of America’s most violent years in terms of mass gun violence. Annually, 32,514 people die from gun violence, 2,400 of those being children (bradycampaign.org). By October 1st, 274 people had been murdered by gun violence. This is even more disturbing because at that point in the year there had only been 274 days (washingtonpost.com).
Throughout the horrors and tragedies of these shootings, one issue seems to be persisting: gun control. Whether Democrat or Republican, both sides agree that something must be done. We cannot allow any more innocent lives to be taken by something that easily could have been prevented. But unfortunately, the argument for gun control and the need for it is blindsided by mental health. The American people have made poor metal health the scapegoat for the reality of unsafe weapons in our country. Sure, mental health is a leading cause of mass shootings, but that doesn’t disregard the fact that mentally unstable people and their parents can purchase, use, and own guns. I see the gun control concept not as a removal of guns in your possession, but making it harder for those desiring guns to purchase and misuse them. Similarly, I believe that all automatic weapons should not be allowed for purchase. Elizabeth Warren states, “We lose eight children and teenagers to gun violence every day. If a mysterious virus suddenly started killing eight of our children every day, America would mobilize teams of doctors and public health officials. We would move heaven and earth until we found a way to protect our children. But not with gun violence.” We need to have a national conversation about Gun Control, not mental health, not the Bill of Rights, but gun control.