OPINION: The Solution to Gun Violence in America

Steps can be taken to prevent gun violence without buybacks, or taking guns away from owners.

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OPINION: The Solution to Gun Violence in America

11,000 people died of violent crimes commited with firearms in 2017.

11,000 people died of violent crimes commited with firearms in 2017.

11,000 people died of violent crimes commited with firearms in 2017.

11,000 people died of violent crimes commited with firearms in 2017.

Justice Fauver, Staff Writer

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Gun violence is an extremely hot topic in the United States right now. With mass shootings seeming to become a societal norm, it is understandable that many people are upset about our country’s abundant firearm homicides. The most feasible solution to this issue is to make it much harder to illegally purchase a firearm.

On average, about 11,000 firearm homicides are committed each year. Of those deaths, approximately 4% are the result of mass shootings. This means that nearly 450 people die due to mass shootings each year. There is also a large controversy around rifles, despite them only making up another 4% of all firearm deaths on an annual basis.  Handguns are used in 70-80% of all firearm homicides. The problem lies within the use of firearms that are not legally purchased or are not bought from stores. An astounding 97% of all gun related homicides – excluding suicide – are purchased through alternate means; not being purchased via a gun store. The solution is not strengthening background checks, the solution is getting a background check at all (Huffington Post).

Uk police shot dead an a knife-weilding terrorist who killed two. Dominic Lipinski/AP

A more radical stance on gun control would be that guns should be banned altogether. This only creates more problems, which can be seen in the rise of UK crime rates. Ever since the ban of firearms in 1997, crime rates have skyrocketed, with BBC News reporting that, “Violent crime was up by 18%, robbery by 16% and sex offences by 14%.” And this was only between 2016 and 2017. This brings me to the next statistic, that “There was also a 23% increase in firearms offences – equalling a further 1,200 crimes”. This just goes to show that banning weapons is ineffective, and only puts more guns in the hands of criminals. 

There is no clear prevention to gun crimes or gun homicides. It is nearly impossible to prevent anything, but there are solutions and safety precautions that can be set in action. The first step is to hold gun owners accountable for crimes committed with firearms that they purchase. If you hold gun owners accountable for crimes committed with their guns, they will be less likely to sell to an untrustworthy person or sell it without a background check. 

Colt quit manufacturing AR-15 rifles in September of 2019.

The next step is to add a national firearms database. This would make it much easier to track a firearm back to its original owner, and according to the Huffington Post, “The absence of a national registry not only diffuses responsibility for gun ownership, it also makes tracing weapons used in homicides extremely difficult [to track]. When crimes are committed with guns, the ATF relies on low-tech gun store records and interviews to trace gun possession history.”

The amount of gun murders in the United States is alarming, and a solution needs to be reached. A national firearms database would help tremendously in decreasing the amount of firearm-related homicides.