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Face Off: Gun control is not the problem

Chandler Watson, Sports Co-Editor

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Due to recent events such as the shooting at a Las Vegas outdoor concert and a Florida high school, the talk of gun control has increased. The conversation of gun control isn’t one to be taken lightly, simply because there are anywhere from 270 to 310 million firearms within the United States at any given moment, according to pewresearch.org. This actually is an alarming percentage given that in 2016, according to the United States Census Bureau, there were 323 million people living in the United States.

Then, as of 2013, there were more than 75,000 injuries due to firearms and around 33,000 deaths due to a firearm related injury, according to BBC.com. And despite all of these red flags being thrown up concerning either gun control or gun violence, I am still against further gun control in the United States.

Now there is the route of it violating a Constitutional right, the Second Amendment for those who don’t know. In the amendment it clearly states, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

In fact, to infringe means to act so as to limit or undermine something, meaning it is utterly unconstitutional to limit the means of obtaining a firearm within the United States.

However, I will not go that route for I believe it has been beaten to death and no further progress will be made in that aspect of the argument.

So instead I would like to bring to light a different reasoning behind why these horrible mass murders have been occurring at an increasing rate in a relatively recent amount of years; the numbers have increased from eight deaths due to a mass shooting in 1982 to 63 deaths due to mass shootings in 2016, which can be seen on a chart on time.com.

Mind that, the United States federal government also implemented the federal assault weapons ban in 1994.

I argue that the causation of the increasing deaths due to the increasing amounts of mass shooting within the United States borders is due to a mental health issue. One thing that can affect someone’s mental health is, in fact, bullying.

According to ED.gov, there is an estimated 55.9 million high school students currently in the United States. And of those 55.9 million, 33 percent have admitted to being bullied, according to nveee.org. This means that 18.5 million students have come forward saying they have been bullied.

Some may question how bullying has an effect on mental health. According to bullyingstatistics.org, people who have been bullied are anywhere from two to nine times more likely to act upon suicidal thoughts than those who haven’t been bullied. A graph on afsp.org shows that since 2000, the suicide rate for those between the age of 15 and 24 has increased from 10 to 13.4.

This data, sadly, shows a large increase in those acting upon the suicidal thoughts that have entered their mind due to some form of mental illness. Alright, great statistic right? How does that even affect those getting shot in their schools or going to a concert? How does that affect the people who all they did wrong that day was walk out their door?

The bullying and mental illness aspect affects those people because 75 percent of those who have been the partaker in a mass shooting have also admitted to being severely bullied, shown on nobullying.com.

Therefore, I believe that the problems of this nation and violent firearms crimes concerning mass shootings is not a fault of there being a lack of strict gun laws, but that those who do decide to hurt innocent people in the worst case are those who suffer from a mental illness. This country does not offer sufficient mental health care and recognition. In order to truly end the cycle of gun violence, we need to attack the problem at the source and destigmatize mental illness.

And that is the problem that people need to be working on to fix.

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