Why Congress should take steps to curve gun violence


Brionna McCall is the University News editor for the 2022-23 The Hornet Tribune staff. She is a 21-year-old senior from Auburn, Alabama whose major is communications. She hopes to pursue her concentration of print journalism after graduation in May.

Brionna McCall, University News Reporter/Writer

We are now five weeks into 2023, and the U.S. has experienced more mass shootings than people can count on their fingers. It appears that Congress is not ready to take the necessary steps to reduce the statistics.
According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), there have been nearly 40 mass shootings in the U.S. from Jan. 1-24. There were 273 mass shootings in 2014, 336 mass shootings in 2015, 383 mass shootings in 2016, 348 mass shootings in 2017, 336 mass shootings in 2018, 417 mass shootings in 2019, 610 mass shootings in 2020, 690 mass shootings in 2021 and 647 mass shootings in 2022.
Gun violence has been a major problem in the country for years — mass shootings, accidental shootings, suicides by gun, murder-suicides and much more, and Congress recently decided to make it easier for people to access guns.
A few states, including Alabama, allow its citizens to carry a concealed handgun without a state permit. A state permit, which requires a background check, is a way to deter gun violence.
According to Giffords Law Center, 41,000 Americans die from gun violence every year with an average of more than 110 per day. Nationally, there are a total of 40,620 gun deaths. 23,891 (59%) are suicide, 15,343 (38%) are homicide gun deaths, 547 (1.3%) are police shootings, 492 (1.2%) are unintentional shootings and 347 (0.9%) are undetermined intent.
Gun violence should not be a political issue, it is a public health issue. People argue that citizens need guns for protection and the Second Amendment to the Constitution gives them the right to bear arms, which is valid.
Though people in the U.S. have the right to bear arms and protect themselves, there should still be extra steps to purchasing a gun other than just being able to buy one. A background check and proper “concealed carry” training should be a necessity before someone can purchase and carry a gun. Gun violence is not inevitable, but background checks may prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands so easily.
Americans should not have to live in fear of getting shot every day. Some parents send their children to school worried if they will make it back home. According to Sandy Hook Promise, the U.S. has had 2,032 school shootings since 1970 and the numbers are increasing day-by-day.
The Black community should not have to live in fear of getting shot because they are a target of hate crimes. Gun violence reduces the life expectancy of Black Americans by four years, and Black Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to die from gun violence and 14 times more likely than white Americans to be wounded according to Brady United.
It is not normal in other countries to have so many shootings in just a few days let alone a full year. Shootings have become normalized in the U.S. and the fact that Congress is not doing enough to help reduce the violence is revolting. There is no reason that people cannot have a good time without it turning into a traumatic experience. Innocent lives are taken away by gun violence every single day in the U.S.
As stated by World Population Review, the U.S. ranks second in the countries with the highest total gun deaths in 2019 with 37,038 deaths, right beneath Brazil with 49,436 deaths.
These victims are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, friends and the list goes on. There should not be a tragic shooting in the news headlines daily.
When there is a law enacted that will cause more gun violence and it seems pointless to try to get it repealed, it is always an option to start with the community.
Montgomery has a department called the Office of Violence Prevention. The goal is to reduce the risk of violence in the community whether it is homicides, domestic violence and much more through programs that aim to address community needs and implement voice intervention.
Anyone in the community can report any type of violence, especially gun violence, to the department and the Violence Prevention Director reports it directly to the Chief of Staff.
Getting involved in these types of programs can make a change in communities, because the more people work together to make changes, the better.