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Homicides in America

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      An issue which has been extremely important to me ever since I was old enough to become fully aware of it, is that of gun control in America. It’s no secret that our nation has a problem with gun violence and more so than any other country on the planet. Another thing that has become obvious over the past decade is that America is increasingly becoming a deeply divided place and the debate on guns highlights this divide. While I realize that our Second Amendment cannot be discarded, nor do I think it should, I firmly believe that something can be done to at least help our problem.

      In looking at the facts and data, firearms are used to carry out nearly three-fourths of homicides in America. In this country, we have four gun homicides per every 100,000 people; far more than any other industrialized nation in the world. According to the FBI, a mass killing is any killing spree in which there are four or more victims. Since 2006, we’ve had upwards of 200 mass killings in America, nearly 80% of which were committed using a firearm. The sad truth is, there are a great number of killings that go unreported on unrecorded by the government. Another sad truth is that, despite the increasing amounts of data that have made such events more predictable, nothing is being done to curb them.

      Previous legislation, such as the Brady Act, has done little to prevent gun violence. Background checks exist, but with several loopholes such as gun shows. My opinion is that, and I realize there are probably millions of people who disagree, there is effective legislation which can be passed to achieve lower numbers of the horrific gun violence which we have become accustomed to over the recent years. In the past ten years alone, we’ve seen far too many mass shootings than I believe to be acceptable to live with. These include: the Virginia Tech massacre in which a VT student killed 32 people, a shooting at a movie theatre in Aurora, CO in which a gunman killed 12 individuals who were simply taking in a movie, a gunman entering an elementary school in Newtown, CT and slaughtering 20 young children and 6 adults, and a shooting committed by a young man who entered a church in Charleston, SC and mercilessly executed 9 individuals who were attending their weekly Wednesday-night bible study.



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