For most people, owning a gun makes them feel protected and secure. A gun is a very effective weapon since it is fast, long range and it causes much more damage as compared to the other weapons. It is no wonder that throughout history, armies which were well equipped and had superior firearms always came out victorious in any war. Wars were always won in the gun factories and not necessarily in the battlefield. But a gun is the most dangerous weapon that any individual can ever own. Gun violence has been on the strife, not only in America but in other parts of the world. There has been a proliferation of fire arms in the market, and this has greatly increased cases of gun violence.
Gun violence and Loss of Lives
No words can capture the pain that was written on the faces of people worldwide in 14th December, 2012. A 20 year old man stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton and shot 20 children and six staff members using his 223 caliber automatic rifle. This is after he had shot and killed his mother. Eventually, he committed suicide by shooting himself. More recently a British member of parliament, Jo Cox, was fatally shot by a 52 year old man just after giving an address to people in her area. The list is endless. I could continue for days without exhausting victims that have been robbed of their lives. Gun violence is not only confined to mass killings or assassinations of prominent figures. I am very sure that many of us can tell a story of several people that you know who have lost their lives due to gun violence. It could be your teacher, your friend, your kid, your parent or even a sibling. You could be walking home and suddenly you encounter armed robbers. You could be driving, then you get in the middle of a crossfire between police and criminal. You could be going about your normal routine, and then someone from nowhere comes and shoots you just like it happened in the elementary school. Gun violence has become something that slowly eats into our community and robs us of many lives in broad daylight.
Your Right to own a gun
Owning a gun is not bad. On the contrary, it is the constitutional right of an American to own a gun. The second amendment clearly states that your rights and privileges to posses arms shall not be infringed. However, gun ownership comes with a lot of responsibility. Unfortunately, many people cannot bear such a responsibility. As human beings, we are faced with several challenges which we have to cope with in order to survive. Since we are all different, we respond differently to difficulties. Some people are calm and composed and would look for peaceful ways to solve our issues. Others will resort to violence. For instance if someone is fired from his job he might harbor feelings of pain, betrayal and revenge to the point of shooting his boss. This can happen to anyone, even if you have never had thoughts of murder.
Could owning a gun be a major contributor in gun violence?
Gun ownership has been directly linked to suicide and homicide. There have been several cases where accidental death by gun have occurred. For instance it once happened in Mexico that a 4 year boy was somehow able to get his father’s pistol which was well locked in a safe. As the father tried to snatch the gun away from him, the boy accidentally pulled the trigger and instantly killed his father. Gun violence is that bad. Gun ownership has also been linked to crimes of passion. This usually occurs when there is domestic violence between partners. One of the partners gets angry and shoots his or her spouse. May be not because he wanted to but probably because emotions had taken over him. Whether he had intended to shoot or not, that is still a life that is lost to gun violence.
Implications of gun violence on the economy
Gun violence not only impacts us through loss of lives, but also leads to economic losses. A lot of resources are put into use in the event that someone, or people, are shot. It all starts with costs incurred for the ambulance. Then the hospital, the police, the courts and even the prisons which the murderer is finally detained into. Moreover, the activities of the area around the crime scene come into a halt. If the crime scene is a mall, it has to be closed down to allow for collection of evidence. This leads to mass economic losses.Moreover, gun violence can lead to psychological trauma. Imagine a child witnessing someone getting shot on the streets. Or imagine it is you who has witnessed such a scene. The harrowing image will never be totally erased from your head. It can lead to fear, anxiety and depression. It can even make a child feel like gun violence is a normal thing, which can make him/her opt for gun violence when older. Psychological trauma due to gun violence can be reduced or better yet phased out by employing the services of a professional counselor who would be able to advise you accordingly.
What can the government do to stop gun violence?
It is time for all of us to stand up and say “NO” to gun violence. We have to face the harsh reality that guns have gone out of control and we therefore need to come up with effective strategies to reduce gun violence. But how do we do it? We can come up with solid gun control laws. Many people believe that gun control laws try to infringe on their rights to own firearms. However, gun control laws are made to help reduce the potential effects of gun violence. We register our cars, planes and boats. Why not also register our pistols, rifles and revolvers with the seriousness we register other items? We should also consider thorough background checks for people who are purchasing guns. Background checks have become an activity that is just for formality, and that is probably why many fire arms have landed in wrong hands.
What you can do
But someone may be asking, “What can I do at an individual level to help reduce gun violence?” LoveApparel+ is a site that allows you to make change happen in the world with a simple act of purchasing organic apparel. You can purchase the organic apparel or give your donation to help decrease the levels of gun violence in the world.