There have already been 294 mass shootings in America in 2015 thus far. These shootings have claimed the lives of 380 people and injured many more.
Unfortunately, in America, mass shootings of this magnitude occur almost every other month. On October 1st, 2015, a student gunman at Umpqua Community College in Oregon entered the school with multiple handguns and opened fire on the students and teachers, killing ten and injuring nine.
Subsequent to the attack at Umpqua, President Obama spoke on the issue of gun violence, expressing his concern with our inaction in preventing these recurring tragedies.
America is the only advanced nation in the world without strict gun laws, despite the recurrent mass shootings. On the day of the Oregon shooting, Obama addressed the matter in his speech by asking the nation, “There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America. So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer?”
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there were 29.7 gun homicides per million people in the US in 2012 (compared to only 5.1 per million in Canada, and 1.4 per million in Australia.) If America has more guns and a higher rate of gun violence than any other country, how does gun ownership make citizens safer?
Obama wants to bring forth many new regulations. Through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, states would be able to identify mental health issues of the people through background checks, ultimately helping diminish the many liability issues with lesser restricted abilities to buy guns. As Obama stated simply, “It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun.”
Many pro-gun advocates argue that the most gun violence occurs with the use of illegal weapons. However, studies show that states with the most strict gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. Obama asserts that citizens, who argue that gun laws do not work, or will only make it harder for good citizens to get their hands on guns, are not supported in their claims by evidence.
What Obama iterates is his dissatisfaction with America’s handling of the situation. After a single mass shooting in Great Britain, Parliament completely reformed its gun control laws, dramatically reducing the amount of mass shootings and gun violence. Similar outlawing has been enacted in several other countries as well, so why is it that America is unable to follow the precedents in their footsteps? Obama holds American society responsible for mass shootings because of our inactivity. He knows he cannot change the country on his own and needs widespread support to precipitate change.
Many pro-gun citizens hold strong to the second amendment of the constitution that states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” But as America advances, changes must be made to accommodate the country’s need for safety. Because most people in America fear terrorist attacks, Obama reveals how many people had been killed from terrorist attacks in the last decade versus those killed from gun violence. While 24 Americans have been killed by terrorism in the last decade, a staggering 280,024 people have been killed by gun violence in our country.
Obama pleads the citizens of America to help propel the changes that need to be made in America. He addresses the upcoming election, “American people, individually, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, when you decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination as to whether this cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor in your decision.”