Opinion: Gun Control


Protesters participate in a gun rally. Image sourced from Huffpost.com

Emma Haun, Staff Writer and Marketing Manager

In an attack orchestrated by the founder of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, on Sept. 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four fuel loaded U.S. commercial jets. Two of these planes were crashed into the World Trade Center, the third crashed into the Pentagon, and the final plane crashed into a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. On this horrific day, 2,977 people died and more than 6,000 others were injured. 

Luckily, the United States government was quick to undergo changes, such as more thorough airport security, to protect its citizens. These attacks also lead to the ongoing War on Terror.

Despite my thankfulness for the protection that the government provides, I often wonder why I fear death or injury by gun violence more than I fear a war that has been going on for the entirety of my life.

Perhaps these fears are due to the gut-wrenching numbers projected from gun violence in the United States.

As of Dec. 4, 2019, according to gunviolencearchive.org, there have been “36,305 deaths… and 27,315 total injuries due to gun violence in the United States this year.” 

When a person purchases a firearm, whether or not it is for their safety, they hold the power to end lives, including their own. According to gunviolencearchive.org, ⅔ of the 36,305 deaths were suicide, something that could’ve been avoided had background checks been paired with a mental check-up. 

Senior Allisza Dixon stated, “Although there are already background checks needed before purchasing guns, I think a mandatory mental assessment could cut down the percentage of gun violence. 

⅓ of those deaths, approximately 14,000, are related to homicide and other things. 

I feel as though living in a society where gun violence has become less of a shock, it has desensitized people to the horror of the situation while also making us more aware of our surroundings. 

I often find myself analyzing rooms for the quickest way out in case of an active shooter. Something that was considered paranoia in our parents’ high school days is something I consider routine in my daily life.

Dixon stated, “I don’t necessarily live in fear of gun violence because I am fortunate enough to live in a considerably safe place. I do however check for exits out of impulse in crowded areas.”

Whether you firmly believe it’s your right to own a gun or you’re participating in gun control rallies, it’s easy to see that there’s an issue with the number of deaths related to gun violence. If you want to see change, contact the U.S. House of Representatives at (202) 224-3121 to find your local representative.