According to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as “4 or more people being injured or killed,” there have been 277 mass shootings since the beginning of 2017. The question that this violence calls into attention is clear. Could common sense gun control measures curb this number and are such measures passable in the Unites States Congress?
One of the reasons gun control is so heavily debated is because many argue that it simply does not and cannot work. Their logic is that criminals will use gun violence as an answer regardless of what the legislation says. Furthermore, they feel as though the legislation would only infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens.
Dallas Taylor, a University of Southern Mississippi sophomore sports coaching major, affirmed this side of the gun control debate.
“I don’t agree with it. I don’t think it will change anything,” said Taylor. If people want to kill people, they will get guns, whether it is legally or illegally.”
Fortunately, the data produces the opposite assertion. “Evidence from 130 studies in 10 countries suggests that in certain nations the simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths. Laws restricting the purchase of (e.g., background checks) and access to (e.g., safer storage) firearms are also associated with lower rates of intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively,” said an “Epidemiological Reviews” study.
The United States has more firearms than any other nation on this planet. “The Small Arms” international survey found that the United States has more guns per capita than any country in the world. The survey found that in 2007, there were 88.8 guns per 100 people. The Congressional Research Service’s studies found that the American people own more than 300 million guns. Additionally, The United States has more deaths by guns than any other developed nation in the world. According to United Nations data compiled by The Guardian, the United States had more gun-related homicides per capita than any developed country in the world. In 2012, the United States lead the developed world with 29.7 gun related homicides per one million people.
With all this in mind, it is clearer than ever that the United States has a problem with gun violence. Unfortunately, gun control legislation seems more like a distant dream than a possible reality for the American people, and the forces working against legislation can seem insurmountable. It is politically unpopular for many politicians to propose any sort of gun control legislation. The National Rifle Association is one of the most indomitable lobbying forces in Washington. They contribute millions of dollars in campaign donations to ensure that gun control is politically kept off the table.
In regard to the NRA’s lobbying power in Washington, Elizabeth Warren questioned her congressional colleagues on the senate floor on Oct. 8, 2015.