With the recent shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, gun control debates have once again taken the spotlight of politics. With every debate there are many arguments on the root cause of gun violence. Everyone is in a scramble to point their fingers on something, and unfortunately, not many are pointing it at guns. However, the gun is what allows people to commit the crime, and effortlessly kill numerous of people in mere seconds. So while other factors may have supported gun violence, our main focus should be the gun itself.
While people have fabricated many claims to explain gun violence, the two widely believed reasons are video games and mental illness. Pro-gun supporters say that violent video games affect the young generations’ brains, with President Trump stating, “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.” Pro-gun supporters also claim that majority of shooters have to be mentally ill people to be able to kill civilians. However, studies show that both reasons listed above have very little correlation to gun violence. A study conducted by Mental Health America states that 95-97% of gun violence is not caused by mentally ill people, who only have the same danger of participating in gun violence as anyone else. Andrew Przybylski, an experimental psychologist, conducted another research where his results showed that violent video games and aggressive behavior are not correlated, with video games only causing a slight annoyance at most.
One reason on the cause of gun violence, with convincing evidence, is the gun. Other countries, such as Australia and Switzerland have shown the effects of preventing the widespread sale of guns. After Australia’s worst mass shooting in 1996, the country enforced strict gun laws preventing private sale of guns. Switzerland also has gun laws preventing violent people from having access to guns. Both these countries have not endured a mass shooting since these laws were put out. Other countries than these two described above, such as New Zealand, have proven similar results.
With evidence showing guns as the main reason for mass shootings, it would be sensible if the US also enforce gun laws. However, the NRA (National Rifle Association), who feed off the power and money gained from gun sales, has restricted research on guns so that people will not have enough evidence to show the effect of guns in the US. The NRA promotes arguments against gun control such as the Second Amendment and personal security. These arguments are heavily outweighed by the destruction guns have caused in American societies, with it taking millions of lives already. However, the people have the power to change this situation. The NRA is beginning to crumble, so now is the time to overtake the greed of the NRA. Too many lives have been taken. Too many families have been shattered. Let us not allow more to be taken from us.
About the Author:
Hari Srinivasan is a 16 year old teen who is interested in stopping global problems for the prosperity of future generations. He attends the Quarry Lane School. His interests include astronomy, physics and biology, while also some interests in political issues such as gun control. His main passion is astronomy, and he perseveres to see what lies beyond our solar system.