Gun Violence Continues to Worsen as Candidates Debate Future Policies

By Larissa Ledo
On October 24, 2016

Photo courtesy of Chad R. Erdmann, Wikipedia

Gun control has always been a divisive topic, especially during this year’s election. Though the Second Amendment promises an American right for every citizen to own a gun in self-defense, self-defense is not the reason guns have become a problem. Many accidental casualties have been caused because someone owned a gun and used it the wrong way, or children have had accidents at home because their parents did not put their gun in a safe place. A study by The Washington Post revealed that 2015 saw a total of 59 firearm accidents by children younger than the age of three.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have very different views on gun control. Clinton believes the background check system should be expanded. Meanwhile, Trump does not believe that a more comprehensive background check would be necessary according to pns.org. In reference to people obtaining guns illegally, Trump admitted, “Very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check.”

There have been multiple instances where people who have previously been on a watch list have been able to purchase a gun – this is where background check should come in hand. Clinton proposes that if someone is or has been on the watch list, they should not have the right to have a gun. Trump, on the other hand, thinks being on a list should not stop them from having a gun; that American right should not and cannot be taken away. The one topic both candidates agree on is prohibiting the mentally ill to carry a gun. They both agree on expanding treatment options to keep guns away from their hands.

Another topic the candidates disagree on is the use of assault weapons, which were banned 12 years ago. Clinton upholds the ban on assault weapons, believing it would help to stop mass shootings. Trump is a strong upholder of the Second Amendment, supporting that if more people are equipped with guns they will be able to fend off criminals. Trump prioritizes prosecuting the criminals in order to clear the name of firearms and assault weapons.

While many people have been victims of mass shootings in Orlando, San Bernardino, Sandy Hook and so on, there are also police assaults to consider. The police, the people who are supposed to protect us and use their guns wisely, have also killed and injured the innocent. The fact that they are cops does not excuse their actions; I expect them to uphold their highest responsibilities.

Many have used social media as a way to express their opinions and feelings about gun violence, the easiest way to get their opinions out onto to public and media. Many videos about gun violence that would not be shown on television have been circulating on Facebook, and that is how this has become such an important issue. We all have the right to feel safe, whether that is owning a gun or not. The Second Amendment gives us all that right, but some are abusing it and causing us to live in fear instead.  

lledo@ramapo.edu

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