Limit gun ownership

The amount of guns circling throughout our country need to be significantly reduced

Taylor Bucklin

Given that the deadliest mass shooting in US history took place in 2017, and the Parkland shooting, in which 17 students and staff members were killed, happened only months later, gun control is being pushed more now than ever. Whether some types of guns should be legal or not in America and who is allowed to purchase them is up for debate, but there’s no doubt that something must be done. The amount of guns needs to be significantly reduced.

There are over 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States—enough to supply every man, woman and child in America with a gun and still have 66 million left over, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva found.

The study also revealed that America’s ratio of 120.5 guns for every 100 residents is the highest in the world, and well over twice the amount of the second highest ratio of 53.8 guns per 100 residents in Yemen.

America dominates the world’s civilian gun armory, but these numbers don’t even account for the number of illegal guns in the United States.

Though it’s impossible to tell how many illegal guns there are, a Duke University study found that over half a million guns are stolen in the United States every year.

These guns can be sold or passed on to whoever, whenever and wherever. Because laws and regulations differ throughout America, interstate firearm trafficking flourishes.

Not only are these high numbers of guns in the United States a danger to Americans, but to other countries as well, according to The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

The ATF found that nearly 80 percent of guns recovered from major crime scenes in Canada and Mexico came from America and were illegally sold across the borders.

This trafficking could be avoided if there weren’t so many guns in America. Even if most gun owners are registered and take efforts to keep their firearms safe, all illegal guns were once legal, but were somehow moved into the wrong hands.

Illegal firearm sales don’t require background or mental health checks, which is why in approximately 8 out of 10 cases, the gun used to commit a crime was not owned legally by the perpetrator, the University of Pittsburgh found.
This statistic has long been used by the NRA to defend their right to legally own guns, yet given the amount of gun violence that occurs in the United States, it supports the argument for gun control more.

Guns should not be illegal in America. Given the amount of unregistered guns in circulation and the amount of crime that results from it, making guns illegal as a whole would be an even greater compromise to safety as there would be no way for people to defend themselves against illegal gun holders if they were ever in a situation where they had to.
Instead, there should be a national limit to the amount of guns one can own, especially for handguns. Gun owners should be required to store their guns in a vault or gun safe when they are not in use. If a gun is stolen from a home or vehicle, the gun owner should have to pay a fine for not safely and properly securing their firearm.

The number of places one can buy a gun should also be significantly lowered. Gun shows in unsecured fairground buildings, for example. These shows don’t even require background checks, a crucial factor in the gun debate, which could immensely reduce the number of firearms falling into the wrong hands.

Guns are not the problem, but rather the person pulling the trigger. However, this does not mean that nothing should change about guns themselves. With the right changes made to gun laws, the everyday threat of gun violence would decrease significantly.