Gun Control: Why Do We Keep Having to Have This Discussion?

By: Jay Pade, Contributor

Hardly a month goes by where gun control laws are not center stage after a mass shooting. As a result, many Americans have become almost desensitized to the countless lives being senselessly lost to mentally unhinged Americans operating automatic weapons. President Trump is unwilling to categorize these attacks as acts of terror, instead citing them as “acts committed by mentally unstable people” which is a fine scapegoat for all intents and purposes… Except for the fact he signed a bill that helps the mentally ill acquire firearms – House Joint Resolution 40.

Consequently, the decision to regulate firearms must be dealt with on a state to state basis. I am sure too many would say: “why do we need gun control? I’m not crazy! I have 2nd amendment rights which you can’t take that away from me” etc. etc. That argument is usually accompanied by a rant about a “police-state” and the “government taking my guns”.

There is an unmistakably strong gun culture in America. In fact, American citizens have over 80% more guns than other developed countries citizens. This is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself until things start to add up – when you hear about the 273 mass shootings the US had this year. Of course, it’s equally important to note that more than half of the gun deaths are suicide. Still, being able to decrease the more than 11,000 deaths due to homicides would be no small feat for the future of our nation.

Banning bump stocks, contrary to what some believe, will not do much since they are easy enough to be made at home. No, if we want to put even a dent in gun violence, it lies in regulation. For reference, let us take a look a Japan:

In Japan, to legally own a gun you must take an all-day test including a mental, drug, and written test, followed by a rigorous background check for either extremism or criminal history. Local law enforcement must also know the location of both the ammo and the gun upon the inspection of every weapon. Finally, the gun owner must retake the exam every 3 years. The result? The US had 11,200 homicides this year while the Japanese had only 12 gun-related homicides. The numbers speak for themselves.

I understand that given the diversity of the American population it is hardly fair to compare us to Japan. However, it is still prudent to remember that in a country where the federal government has made it easy for the mentally ill to procure firearms if the Japanese gun regulation system is implemented in the context of the US, the result would be saved lives, plain and simple.

The arguments about gun deregulation do nothing but waste time and lives. The hysteria that exists of mass confiscation of guns is frankly Hollywood logic. We cannot kid ourselves anymore. The horror and death that this terrorism has caused will not end unless people take steps to stop it.

Generation Z is forced to grow up in the world where terrorism has become so common we are becoming almost numb to it. Yet it has never been so possible to spread information quickly and effectively as it has been for a lot of our lives. In our hands are the tools to mitigate if not completely end the gun violence that plagues the US.

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