Last week the college Republicans stated that “law abiding citizens deserve their guns” in response to the backlash after the Parkland shooting. The BU Democrats find it extremely disappointing that this is what they say to the kids who witnessed their peers being shot down at their local high school.
Everyone understands that only “law abiding” citizens should have guns, but it was never that simple to begin with. Discussions of gun control must take place, as this is the only way change can occur and people can stop dying.
Since we live in the good old United States of America, our gun culture has lead to a nation that makes up 31% of the entire world’s mass shootings (the highest in the world) and has gun homicide rates that are almost 30 times higher than other high-income countries (CNN). People in the U.S. also own almost half of all citizen owned guns universally. With this, combined with 1,600 mass shootings since Sandy Hook… it would be crazy for anyone to say that American does not have a gun problem.
There’s also the fact that guns lead to more suicides. Vox uses information from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health where in Indiana, 96.5 percent of all suicides from 1990-1997 were committed by firearm.
Some people say that the answer is to arm more law abiding citizens with guns to protect others, but how the hell would that work? You would have to assume that all gun owners are extremely skilled and are ready to defend themselves and others, but that is just not the case.
Also, how often do we hear people say, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”? Honestly, I think we’ve had enough of that at this point. You could also say that nukes don’t kill people, but we all feel so much safer when countries like North Korea don’t have them. If that’s true, then how well does the argument of people kill people hold up? Not well at all.
We also do not believe that the answer is to confiscate all guns, and that is probably a very unpopular belief, which is definitely off the table. So…what might be a sustainable idea to prevent high rates of gun violence in the future?
How about we look at Japan, a country that permits firearms but has significantly less gun related deaths. In order to obtain a gun in Japan is significantly more difficult than the United States. “If Japanese people want to own a gun, they must attend an all-day class, pass a written test, and achieve at least 95% accuracy during a shooting-range test”(businessinsider). They must also take mental health checks and background checks. Every three years the test must be retaken. Maybe the answer of ending gun violence can be through modeling gun reform in a way that is similar to Japan.The college republicans came up with a “conservative argument” to ending gun violence, but we have already seen this time and time again.
The conservative argument is what caused Sandy Hook. It caused Parkland. We are tired of this argument that only perpetuates mass shootings and the killing of children. Although there is a light at the end of the tunnel since more and more people are mobilizing to end the violence. The NRA can only pour so much money into Republican pockets… so watch out Washington. Praying and forgetting won’t be enough for long.Chloe is a senior anthropology major. She the communications coordinator for the BU Democrats, German club secretary, and is the Op/Ed Editor for The Voice.