Gun Violence: The Epidemic that Has Not Gone Away


The Boston Globe

Americans continue to call on the government to help end gun violence.

  Restaurants, stores, and movie theatres are all beginning to open up once again. While this return to normalcy should be an exciting time, it has made the risk of mass shootings and other forms of gun violence come to the forefront once again. 

  The Gun Violence Archive has reported that there have already been 156 mass shootings this year alone. If the United States keeps this same pace, there will be 511 mass shootings in 2021, more than any year from 2014-2019. 

  Within the past couple of days, there have been multiple mass shootings reported. A shooting at a birthday party in LaPlace, Louisiana left nine injured and two hospitalized; five people were shot and hospitalized in an incident in Shreveport, Louisiana; and a former sheriff’s office detective fatally shot his ex-wife and two others in Austin, Texas. 

  Currently, only 13 states and the District of Columbia require universal background checks for all sales and transfers of any class of firearm. Gun reform activists are pushing to make background checks required for all 50 states. 

  According to a Gallup poll from September/October 2020, 57% of Americans believe that the laws covering the sales of firearms should be made more strict. 

  Politicians have been making strides to try and rectify the issue of gun violence in the U.S. In a recent TikTok livestream with the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, she referred to gun violence as a “public health issue” adding, “There’s no reason anyone needs to have an assault weapon. There’s no reason that there shouldn’t be universal background checks to ensure guns don’t get in the hands of people who should not have those guns.”

  The Biden-Harris administration announced April 7, 2021 six actions that they will be taking to address gun violence throughout the country. The statement reads, “President Biden is reiterating his call for Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence…But this Administration will not wait for Congress to act to take its own steps – fully within the Administration’s authority and the Second Amendment – to save lives.”

  Republican lawmakers have already begun to push back on President Biden’s gun reform efforts. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida wrote an op-ed claiming that the President is dismantling the second amendment. Other second-amendment advocates fear that gun reform may be an infringement on their rights. 

  13,028 lives have already been lost this year at the hands of gun violence in America. Stricter gun laws are favored among a majority of Americans, and it is a necessary step in the right direction. To read more about how gun violence especially affects the younger generation in schools across America, click here