As gun culture grows, so does its number of casualties

One would think that that any open-minded person would feel sympathy towards innocent people being brutally murdered. When a society reaches the point of viewing regular instances of gun-related deaths as the norm, it is time for that society to change.

Somehow, the United States has failed to come to the same conclusion regarding gun control policies. No matter what argument is put forth to address this controversial issue, it is undeniable that in order for gun-related deaths to decrease, the United States’ gun laws need to be drastically changed. Case in point, a 9-year-old girl handling an Uzi submachine gun at an Arizona gun range on Aug. 25 accidentally shot and killed her instructor.

If gun laws were changed, the incident might have been avoided. Our country's reluctance to place a formal restriction on children operating guns speaks volumes to the toxic gun culture in the U.S. that results in thousands of senseless deaths each year. For example, if an age restriction were put into place, a 9-year-old child would not have caused the death of a 39-year-old man. This is only one type of change that could mitigate the scourge of gun-related deaths, yet people are still somehow opposed.

One major argument used against those who are in favor of stricter gun control involves a major misconception of the constitution. To paraphrase the Second Amendment, it is stated that the people of the U.S. will always have the right to bear arms. Yes, changing the laws in relation to gun control would be a direct infraction to the United States Constitution. If we correctly remember the ideas behind this document, however, this opposing argument would be nullified. Inherent in the Constitution is America’s ability to amend it, allowing the document to change as our society grows. Therefore, the modification of our laws in response to the increasing violence is living proof of the Constitution doing exactly what it was created for.

Other countries around the world have already addressed the problem of gun violence. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, research shows that when the number of people who own firearms decreases, the number of homicides caused by firearms decreases as well. Even with these empirical facts in mind, there is still extreme controversy and opposition around the idea of changing the laws of gun control.

The U.S. needs to move away from the deeply-rooted idea that true freedom coincides with gun rights. There is an obvious issue with gun violence in this country and the only way to begin to solve this problem is to revise the laws. Doing so would not be an infringement upon our freedom, nor would it be a violation of the Constitution. Our laws were created to keep our society safe and structured. Changing the gun laws would simply be an extension of those ideals––a necessary extension to keep this country and its people safe.