Gun violence in the United States


Dominic Centner, Writer

On November 19, 2022, a gunman opened fire in Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing 5 and injuring 25 others. Many things can be blamed for this, one in particular the prevalence in gun violence in the United States. 

Gun violence is a very concerning problem in the U.S and needs to be taken more seriously than it is currently. There is a mass shooting every day. Most do not receive widespread coverage, but at least every month there is one that makes the national news headlines. 

Many people wonder: Why are there so many mass shootings? This is because of the availability of guns, and loose gun control. For example, states with high gun ownership are more likely to have family fire incidents in a study shown by Brady.

If we were to have federal bipartisan gun control, it would be more effective than state laws. 

California is currently ranked number one in the United States for gun law strength. Their gun violence rate is 8.5, which is better than average. The average for gun violence is around 13 gun deaths per 100k residents. 

The worst state for gun law strength and gun violence is Mississippi, averaging 28.6 gun deaths per 100k residents. Their gun law strength is 3, the worst of all states. 

Although California has the strongest gun laws, they still have a lot of gun violence. They will save lives, no doubt, but the problem is states can rely on multiple federal laws to help with their own gun violence — but the federal laws themselves are very weak. 

This could be fixed in some ways with more policies about buying a gun, like enacting the Extreme Risk Law, expanding Brady Background Checks, passing AB 876, and banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines. There are also ghost guns, which are untraceable and unregulated firearms that are bought and built without a background check. They can be bought by anyone – even minors or people who legally aren’t allowed to have one. Ghost guns are being used more than ever before. President Biden has taken administrative action against it, but more needs to be done.

After hearing about all these laws and looking them up, you should (hopefully) be thinking that this is a great idea. It could stop future gun violence. It could put in laws that can save people’s lives. So then why aren’t these laws put into place everywhere in the United States?

The ruling cause is that no one can agree on gun control. Gun control is a political debate, with democrats voting in favor of tighter gun control and republicans for looser gun control. Congress is politically divided, making it very hard for any gun control laws to pass because everyone at the table has a different opinion. 

However, this doesn’t mean we can’t pass a single law or rule into place. In 2022, President Biden signed into place the Bipartisan for Safer Communities Act, defined as an act to “protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of gun violence across our country.” This bill will enhance background checks for anyone under the age of 21, support state red flag laws, disarm domestic abusers, and provide safety in schools via funding.

If these laws and bills were put into place everywhere, it could reduce the number of mass shootings happening. If you would like to learn more about gun violence or what you can do about it, you can learn more here

Gun violence is a very real issue in the United States, and these laws may help curb the high numbers we’ve been seeing about it.