Responses to America’s mass shootings have become a heartbreakingly predictable cycle of mourning, prayers for victims and their family members, cries of outrage, calls for new gun laws, debate over the need for these laws, and not much else, at least, not until the next incident.
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The rate of gun violence in the United States is second to no other developed country. In fact, a study once reported that Americans are 25 times likelier to die from gun murder than citizens in other first-world countries. We can all take steps to reduce this toll greatly. But how?
First, we must acknowledge certain truths: The constitution dictates that citizens have the right to bear arms; that discussions about ending gun violence in the U.S. are never going to revolve around the complete elimination of guns; and that there are simply hundreds of millions of gun owners in the country. In light of this, it would be much better to focus the talk on mastering marksmanship or passing mental health and better gun control laws.
Gun violence in the United States has indeed quickly and shamefully escalated in recent years, which is all the more reason to implement the following steps to help put a stop to this problem.
- Make it more difficult for people to acquire guns.
Part of the reason why there’s an incredible number of gun owners in America is because the law has made it so easy for people to own firearms. Laws and policies should be put into effect so that owning a gun would have to entail much more rigorous requirements.
- Pass better gun laws.
Research has shown that the right-to-carry laws are partly responsible for the spikes in firearm-related crimes in recent years. Attention should instead be put on passing better laws, such as those that focus on extreme-risk protection orders or gun-violence restraining orders. Such laws permit law enforcement to confiscate guns of at-risk individuals or even petition the court to temporarily ban them from purchasing firearms.
- Pediatricians can help reduce gun violence, too.
Your children’s doctors can help educate you and your family about gun safety, especially when it comes to keeping guns out of your little one’s reach. In a recent study, it was shown that three-year-olds already had enough strength to pull the trigger. And right around the time that they start school, they will already be capable of firing a weapon. Because so many American parents are gun owners, it would be ideal for doctors to ask and start educating their young children about firearms. There is never a better time to educate about gun safety than when your little ones are most curious about their surroundings and the things they often see their guardians carrying.
Join STOP THE KILLING in our efforts to help finally put an end to the hauntingly familiar scenarios and cycles that surround mass shootings.