Filed under Columns, Opinions

D.C. shooting should promote fierce debate on gun control

A recently published study from the American Journal of Medicine has concluded that more guns do not contribute to the development of a safer nation.

In addition to disproving the popular myth that more guns make nations safer, the study showed that countries with higher gun ownership rates also had the highest rate of gun-related deaths, according to The Guardian.

Some of the most compelling data was revealed by a study that examined the number of gun-related deaths per 100,000 people in different countries.

According to the study, the U.S. had 10.2 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people.

In stark contrast, Japan had 0.06 gun-related deaths for the same sample size, according to the study.

The issue of firearm-related deaths and gun control is even more important following the Washington Naval Yard shooting on Monday.

According to CBS News, suspected Washington Naval Yard shooter Aaron Alexis killed 12 people and wounded eight others.

After Alexis died in a shootout with police, the Los Angeles Times reported that he had a history of mental problems.

This news should help initiate a debate about gun control and mental health in our country.

While some may call for the repeal or restriction of the Second Amendment following this tragedy, it’s clear their arguments are ill-advised.

Most gun owners in America are responsible. Depriving them of their constitutional right because of one man’s actions is unfair.

It is painful, however, to see a culture that advertises and promotes guns. Some believe more guns are needed in the wake of such tragedies.

As the AJM study showed, though, the widespread availability of guns does not lead to a safer nation.

In the wake of shooting tragedies at Sandy Hook, Aurora, Colo., and Columbine, responsible gun ownership should be promoted.

It also seems that many individuals who commit such heinous crimes are mentally unbalanced.

Talking about sensitive mental issues and discussing solutions could help prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

In the wake of the Washington Naval Yard tragedy, there will likely be two camps of people who wish to vocalize their opinions.

Some may call for further restrictions of the Second Amendment and others may promote further gun ownership for protection.

Neither of these proposals alone can solve the epidemic in this country, as the issue of gun-related deaths is a complex issue, to say the least.

Without a gun, it would be difficult for a mentally unstable person to kill others.

The restriction of available guns, however, can deprive citizens of their lawful right to bear arms.

Whether it’s in the family living room, dorm room or break room, friends should console each other and look for signs of any mental instability.

At the end of the day, however, no one will be able to give the 12 individuals who perished in the Washington Naval Yard their lives back.

The real tragedy lies there.

Shane Newell is a junior journalism major and the opinions editor at the Daily 49er.

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