A Student’s Perspective on Gun Control.
Guest Contributor, Jade Robinson (’20)
After the recent tragedy in Florida, we need to ask legislatures that if not now, then when? When will our legislature overpower the lobbyists and the NRA and create change in this nation’s gun control policy?
When my British family members came to the United States, their jaws dropped when we mentioned going to a shooting range for fun. In England, shooting ranges , like the ones in the United States, do not exist. In fact, the U.S. is the only industrialized country that has experienced multiple devastating mass shootings and extremely high firearm mortality rates; also, the U.S has passed no major federal legislation addressing this issue. Compared to other industrialized nations, America has a major unaddressed gun violence issue.
Recent research examined state change in policies over a 15 year time period and compared this to the firearm mortality rate in each respective state. This study found that as state gun control legislation strengthened, the firearm mortality rate decreased. Six out of the nine states included in the study had a negative correlation with their increase in gun control laws lowering the firearm mortality rate within the state. The stricter gun control laws, the less people will die from firearms.
Nevada, last year, attempted to change their gun control by narrowly voting to pass a bill to allow stricter background control checks. This law was not enacted, due to the Nevada attorney general ruling the bill unenforceable. As of 2017, Nevada does not have an assault weapons ban, does not ban large capacity ammunition firearms, does not ban 50 caliber rifles, does not have a waiting period between receiving a permit and purchasing a firearm, and does not have restrictions on multiple purchases of firearms. Nevada is also an open carry state, meaning that one can carry a firearm anywhere, anytime.
(This news should frighten you. This news should scare you. You should be angry, and now is the time to convince your local legislature to do something about gun control. If you are not angry yet, think about the victims.)
Teachers were killed as they tried to help students hide in classrooms. Young, college-bound, high school students with bright futures were slain, mercilessly. The assistant football coach at Douglas High School in Florida threw himself in front of students to protect them and died from his multiple bullet wounds. These poor innocent people only represent a fraction of the people who die from gun violence alone. In 2017 alone, 552 children were injured or killed due to gun violence. This number should shock you. The innocent victims who died should anger you.
My research is the beginning of more research that needs to be done in order to influence legislation that change needs to occur. I understand the 2nd amendment right argument, however, does your reasoning for your “need” of magazines for your firearm justify the tragedies that have occurred in 2017 alone? Those who argue against gun control legislation use the 2nd amendment to support their beliefs, because the 2nd amendment has been codified in the United States Constitution since the founding of our nation. Therefore, the right to bear arms is a fundamental right and all Americans should be able to exercise this right without interference from the federal or state governments. The proponents against gun legislation also argue, instead of infringing on their constitutional right, legislatures should pass mental health reform. Most mass shootings suspects are sometimes mentally ill or suffering from extreme social isolation. Society needs mental health reform. I am here to give other information to help them understand my position – that both mentally ill and gun legislation are needed in order to prevent further mass shootings from occurring.
(Call your legislatures. Voice your opinion. The time to talk about gun control is now.)
Jade Robinson is currently a 1L at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University where she received her bachelors degrees in Criminal Justice and Political Studies.