Siena College's Student Newspaper


How Many Civilian Shootings Does There Need to be Before Gun Laws are Reformed

I just did a speech in one of my classes about mental illness and how mass shootings in America affect students. Although according to an academic journal, only three to five percent of students’ suffer from mental health because of being engaged in violent behavior; however, this does not take away the fact that the Gun Violence Archive recorded 283 mass shootings as of Sept 1. It is crazy to think that as of the 224th day of the year, an average of 1.15 mass shootings have happened per day in the United State alone. 

The United States is the only rich country in the world that has frequent mass shootings, according to The Economist, a British publication. That says something about our gun control. There should not be more shootings than days passed in the year. There should not be assault weapons, or in my opinion, any gun in any citizens hand. United States gun laws are so loose, basically anyone can get one legally. And America’s black market is thriving. In the rest of the world, it’s not so easy. 

In France, you have to get permission through the government to carry a handgun. And just to get a firearm, people have to be licensed for six months before receiving one, have a medical certificate, no felonies, and at least three shooting lessons with an instructor. 

In Germany, you cannot have any mental disabilities, no criminal convictions, a separate license for each firearm owned and to be a target shooter, you have to have a recorded 18 visits to a club within a year. As well, you cannot carry a concealed weapon unless you are provided a certain license that only go to people in severe danger. 

In America, all you need is a background check to prove you are not mentally disabled, a convicted criminal, dishonorably discharged from the military, and at least 18 years of age. 

America’s gun homicides are three times more than Israel’s and four over the United Kingdom’s, according to the Council of Foreign Relations. 

So all you need in America is a background check. No shooting lesson, no license of each weapons, and membership to a gun club. Even if that stops you, the black market won’t. According to Fox News, the majority of criminals obtained their guns through the black market. 

With the number of mass shootings rising in America, and the more people are dying just from going to school to get an education or to get groceries at Walmart. Shouldn’t this raise a red flag to the government and the people? Isn’t it time to do something about the black market and gun laws? Or are politicians too busy running for reelection to keep their big salary to care about mass shootings in America?

If one shooting a day is too little, then what number does it have to be before America realizes that despite what the second amendment says, civilians do not need guns in their procession? 

What’s the last straw? Because to me, we’ve already reached it.