The Graves and MEMORIAmS Left Behind Alexa Vivona

Gun violence, is it psychologically driven from a trauma? Is it driven by a radical religious belief? If it was possible to go deep into the brain of a person who has committed these acts of murder that has taken and changed lives, would it be worth it? The Child Welfare League believes that most of the people that commit gun crimes suffer from some form of untreated mental illness or have suffered a childhood trauma themselves. What exactly was it that sent them into a rage? Do they have a cause they’re trying to uphold involving their own personal beliefs? What really does make a human being think that killing is the answer to the problems they have with the world? Their answer may be that others need to suffer because they are suffering within themselves.

If it was possible to go deep into the brain of a person who has committed these acts of murder that has taken and changed lives, would it be worth it?
Jacob Remaley and his Family (Credit: Dana Mehalic Remaley & Daily Mail)

Many families are affected by guns and the dangerous people that may carry them. More than 25% of children witness gun violence in their daily lives. The ATF (The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) in America denies less than one percent of people who apply to own a gun. For many people this is a black and white subject, there are two clearly definitive sides, pro-gun and anti-gun. In Pennsylvania on 30th of December 2016, Jacob Remaley, 14 year old boy, killed his mother and eight year old brother in cold blood. Not only will Jacob’s life change forever, but so will the many people that knew him. If his father is able forgive his eldest child for murdering the person who brought him into this world and his little brother who barely got a chance to live his life and have dreams of his own, that alone will take great strength for him as a human being. Guns can protect people, but they also bring harm and alter the lives of family and friends when they lose a loved one. In this particular case however, Mr. Remaley now has to deal with not only the loss of his wife and young son, but the loss of his eldest son. Many people may say “Oh, it’s the father’s fault in the first place when he showed his sons the gun”. But on the other hand Mr. Remaley taught his children about guns but allowed them to be educated instead of fearing the weapon itself. For the people on the outside of the Remaley family’s household, is it better for a person to fear guns and choose not learn about them? Or rather for someone be educated about guns and how to use them and have an understanding.

Names of the San Bernadino shooting victims (Credit: The Los Angeles Times) and a man crying outside The Pulse Nightclub vigil (Credit CBS News).

Many people are affected by guns and they can shape their views of the world in many ways. There have been many catastrophic instances where guns were involved in the murder of innocent human beings. Many people who are part of The NRA (The National Rifle Association) are opposed to more strict gun laws in America today. This is because many people feel that if you prohibit gun use in any form in America, then it will make the conflict worse. The NRA is more of a right wing political organization and they want to “defend our second amendment freedoms”. By “Defending our Second Amendment freedoms” at the cost of lives, about 33,736 each year to be exact, is it worth it? Many mass shootings have occurred over the past two years in America. In San Bernadino California 14 people were killed and 21 injured with firearms in 2015. This act was committed by a husband and wife who were aligned with the Terrorist group ISIS. In June 2016, 49 people were killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, leaving 53 wounded. These are two examples of what guns can do and who is able to control the situation even thousands of miles away. So if you were to answer this question, who is the true villain? Is it the people who sympathize with a terrorist regime? Is it the person themselves? These people were affiliated the terrorist group ISIS. ISIS is commonly referred to the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant or as ISIL. This group is a radical Sunni Islamic group. This was also not only a terroristic act, but an anti-LGBTQ hate crime as well. This night club in Orlando happened to be a gay club, a safe haven for those in the LGBTQ community, and it was destroyed with a quick pull of a trigger.

Statistics of Civilan Gun Ownership in America (Credit: Occupy.com)
This night club in Orlando happened to be a gay club, a safe haven for those in the LGBTQ community, and it was destroyed with a quick pull of a trigger.

Throughout America, many people may not know the system in which to to buy and own a gun is flawed. The National Instant Background Check System, or the NICS, is the system used to give background checks to the people wanting to own a firearm. When one goes to a gun show however, this is not always a requirement. Though it is clearly flawed, it makes it easy for dangerous people to get a hold of weapons and commit acts of murder. This issue also shows a generational divide, Many older adults may believe that when the gun rights issue is spoken, it means that their ability to own a weapon is taken away. These conservatives may believe owning a gun is a right, not only a privilege.

The state of California (Credit: Pintrest.com) and its cities and the Canadian flag (Credit: The Toronto Public Library).

Many other countries have much stricter gun laws than America. California, the state with the most strict gun laws in America, had a shooting in San Bernardino. The shooters were still able to commit the act of murder legally by obtaining guns. However, in other countries, gun rights aren’t as huge of a controversy. For example, in Canada, AR-15 rifles - which were used in the San Bernardino, California shooting are restricted. Many other types of firearms are restricted in Canada as well, including Military grade weapons and handguns.. Showing a country that is right above us countries who has stricter gun laws in America. This shines a light and can open eyes to many people in our country who not only believe in protecting the second amendment but the people of our country on how lenient America is with the law.

Everytown For Gun Saftey Logo, Everytown Statistic, (Credit: Everytown.org) and an Everytown rally in D.C. (Credit The New York Times)

As for many of the people that survive these types of attacks or are the loved ones left behind they are apart of something bigger than themselves. What we need to do is make America safe again. The gun issue is more than just another issue; it affects people from all walks of life. There is one particular group, Everytown for Gun Safety, who share their stories of lost loved ones do to gun violence. The group leaders raise awareness of these weapons and the harm they cause in America today. One of the groups beliefs that it is also an important part of protecting second amendment rights. The National Instant Background Check System, or the NICS, is the system used to give background checks to the people wanting to own a firearm. When one goes to a gun show however, this is not always a requirement. There are always two sides to every story and each side is going to tell it differently, because it will coincide with what their personal beliefs are on this notable issue in particular. There are many factors to the “Gun issue” in America today and many of these factors clash together because there is not enough realization from one side or the other on how to solve this problem. Guns divide our nation even today in 2017. What will it take to unify the nation?

Guns divide our nation even today in 2017. What will it take to unify the nation?

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