National / Opinion & Editorial / Politics

Gun violence may be here to stay

Students embrace after leaving campus, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. after two teens were shot Friday at Independence High School in the Phoenix suburb.   Two 15-year-old girls were shot once at the school, but it was not clear what led up to their deaths, Glendale Officer Tracey Breeden told reporters. Authorities were not looking for anyone else, and a gun was found near the bodies, she said. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Students embrace after leaving campus, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. after two teens were shot Friday at Independence High School in the Phoenix suburb. Two 15-year-old girls were shot once at the school, but it was not clear what led up to their deaths, Glendale Officer Tracey Breeden told reporters. Authorities were not looking for anyone else, and a gun was found near the bodies, she said. (AP Photo/Matt York)

An editorial by Justin Bell

Gun violence in the United States has become a polarizing debate over the years. From our schools to our movie theaters, gun violence has reached the American populace in places where we deem the safest.

In 2013 alone, gun violence attributed to 84,258 non-fatal injuries, 11,208 homicides, 21,175 suicides, 505 deaths due to accidental discharges, and 281 deaths due to “undetermined intent.” If the numbers were added up correctly that would equate to 117,427 incidents related to gun violence and 33,169 deaths related to gun violence.

These astronomical numbers have caused many lawmakers to call for gun control laws to be implemented into our system, with stiffer background checks and even mental health screenings. President Obama has even announced new actions to reduce gun violence by increased funding for mental health and enhanced background checks for potential new gun owners.

Gun violence in the United States has been an ever-lasting battle for some decades now. Unfortunately, the numbers are steadily increasing as guns are becoming widely available in the market and also on the streets.

The Congressional Research Service estimated there were about 310 million firearms in the U.S., and that’s not including the weapons owned by the military or law enforcement. That’s a staggering number as there is an estimated 306 million people in the U.S. And that number continues to increase. As we endure more mass shootings, like what happened recently in San Bernardino, California that left 14 dead and 21 wounded, the cry for gun control laws has become more evident.

Gun policy in the U.S. has been revised plenty of times and there have been many attempts at the local and state level to ban handguns, but those have been overturned by the Supreme Court. The Second Amendment of our constitution, which grants us the right to bear arms, usually stonewalls a lot of these potential laws against the sale and use of privately owned guns.

Gun violence is a hot topic in our beloved country. As we see more and more deaths result from the use of gun violence, one can only think when it all will end. But the truth of the matter is that guns are here to stay. It’s an unfortunate realization, but it is reality. America was built upon guns as it states in our Constitution. It will surely make a hot debate for the upcoming election, as it will definitely be one of the focal points the candidates will have to address to sway the country in their favor.

Gun control will always be a two-sided coin. There will always be people who vote for it and people who vote against it. Unfortunately, there will never be equal ground when it comes to gun control. It’s a sad world, but gun violence is a subject that will always remain a hot topic. It’s not really feasible to think of a world without guns. And as long as there are guns in the world, gun violence will continue to happen. But, maybe in the future we can strengthen the laws that allow people to buy guns and make it a little harder for them to do so.

Maybe.