Gun Violence In Our World Today

Gun Violence Is Real, And People Don't Come Back

The conversations of gun violence, reform, and background checks always come with some form of one-sided opinions.

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Within the firearm realm, there lies a dangerous loophole within our federal gun laws. This loophole exempts unlicensed sellers from having to perform any background check whatsoever before they sell a firearm. With the growing rate of gun violence, many are left wondering why.

The conversations of gun violence, reform, and background checks always come with some form of one-sided opinions. Many of the opinions root from morals and not factual information causing tension when the issue is brought into any conversation. Citizens have the right to guns. Therefore, there should not be any background checks to keep citizens from expressing their rights. Opposing opinions are based on the issue of how important background checks are in preventing gun violence from Americans who suffer from mental illness. Recently in New Zealand, an act of terrorism using firearms occurred. With 72 hours Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that many of the citizens have already surrendered their firearms to local police stations and new reforms were already being passed. News left many Americas wondering why new gun reforms have not been passed and what can be done to prevent another act of violence.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is well known for voicing their opinion on gun rights. The NRA is highly effective in lobbying and campaigning against any legislative proposal for the control and restriction of firearms in the country. Members of the association believe that placing restrictions on firearms will not prevent violence but would benefit others in the high-risk situation. For example, the NRA believes that the only solution to firearm attacks, such as the Orlando shooting in 2016, is to address terrorism head-on, not take away the rights from law-abiding Americans to defend themselves.

The NRA has successfully placed barriers to prevent funding to support, research, and advocate gun control. They lobbied a law known as the Dickey Amendment that prohibits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to use research funding to perform studies on gun control. Before the reallocation law, the CDC found that gun ownership increased the risk of homicide in the home. Organizations like the NRA firmly believe in their second amendment rights. They will continue to protest and lobby against politicians who want to build restrictions on firearms.

According to a survey done by Quinnipiac University in 2018, 97% of Americans supported background checks, leaving many wondering why they are not required when purchasing a firearm. Groups, such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, advocate for more restriction on firearms. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is a group of diverse individuals that are part of different religious organizations, social justice organizations, and public health professionals. Their mission is to stop gun violence through the use of research, strategic engagement and effective political advocacy. Their main goal is stopping the NRA from promoting violence and creating a safer country for the next generations.

Yes, mental illness does appear in some mass killers, but research and evidence have suggested that violence by people who are mentally ill is rare. Those with serve mental illness are more likely to commit suicide using a firearm. Jeffrey Swanson, a psychiatrist professor at Duke University, studies violent behaviors and states that "People with personalities inclined to violence are usually obvious to their peers and coworkers and have a history of antisocial conduct, they often progress to deadly violence after committing smaller acts." People who are more inclined to perform acts of terror do not just start at committing gun homicide crimes but slowly work their way up.

Swanson conducted a study and found that 8.9% of people who reported having a gun in the home also said they engaged in violent behaviors. Anger is what drives people to commit crimes. States like California, Indiana, and Connecticut, have restricted perpetrators of less violent crimes, such as assault and battery, from buying guns. They have also temporarily taken firearms out of the hands of owners that have committed crimes until they can make a case in which they no longer pose a threat to their community.

With increasing numbers in gun violence, citizens of America want answers. Gun advocators and organizations will not stop protesting until they see an act of change in gun policy. While the opposing individuals and organizations will continue to fight for their second amendment right.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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2,044 Mass Shootings Have Followed Sandy Hook, Yet That's Still Not 'Enough' For Us To Take Action

With momentary sadness followed by disgusting ease, we are able to push these tragedies aside faster and faster as they become a foreseen reality.

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On December 14th, 2012, our country was in disbelief as 20 children and 6 adults lives were lost to a gunman who took their lives as well as his own at Sandy Hook Elementary school. On this day, each of us vowed that an event of this demeanor has no place in our world and that we would do everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.

Fast forward 7 years and mass shootings are popping up on the news day after day. As months roll on, it has become easier as a society to normalize these shootings, which is a red flag I never thought possible.

In June 2016, we witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in the United State's history at a nightclub in Orlando, leaving 50 dead on the scene. In between Sandy Hook and this shooting, there were 994 others. 994, let that sink in.

After Orlando, in October 2017, a shooting at a Las Vegas music festival saw 59 dead, becoming the new deadliest shooting in the U.S.

Most recently, a school shooting in Denver has left eight students injured and one 18 years old dead on May 7, 2019. This was preceded by a school shooting in North Carolina only days earlier, where 2 individuals lives were taken and 4 were injured.

As a citizen, it's easier to start distancing yourself from these overwhelmingly sad yet continuous occurrences, telling yourself that "this will be the last one" or that "maybe this will really make the laws change." Yet, no one and no place seems to be safe from these heartbreaking events.

From the most liberal places in California to the reddest southern states and all those in between, there is no pattern to these mass murders. No background or economic status has protected the thousands of innocent people from being taken from us way before their time.

About a month ago, I experienced the scare first hand at my school, the University of Michigan. We were told to go into hiding as police described suspects carrying concealed weapons on campus, with the news that there had been shots fired on the main campus. 4 hours into hiding, we were told that the alert was a false alarm, however, this day showed the disturbing reality of how anyone's life could change in a matter of milliseconds. Saddest of all was the overwhelming amount of times I heard "I knew it would happen here eventually" and "I always thought it would happen on a game day." No student should live in a world where they are expectant of a tragedy like this.

Mass killings of our countries people isn't a political issue. Mass killings of innocent children, teachers, friends, and loved ones should not be a fight between parties. After Sandy Hook, we said enough was enough. Years later, we're still turning on the news to see more lives taken, and the sentiment has been lost.

I've been fortunate enough to not have lost a friend, family member or peer in these 2,043 shootings. As someone who has gone through a false alarm, I can't imagine the reality of having to live on after a freak incident, especially one where you lose a loved one or a fellow community member.

2,044 mass shootings in 7 years, totaling 2,317 deaths and leaving over 8,000 injured. It's time we stand together, put aside our differences and work towards the only thing that should matter: never letting those with these cruel intentions have the opportunity to commit these crimes, and saving innocent lives in the memory of those we have already lost.

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