Gunning down our nation’s violent epidemic

Gun control, or as I like to call it, mass murder prevention, is once again the feature issue of American debate.

By now we have all heard of, or maybe even seen, the horrific video of the shooting of two journalists, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, during a live TV interview.

This incident is not an isolated incident. These people are not the outliers.

Instead, this shooting is part of a series of events that share one common characteristic; a strong pattern of gun violence.

Statistics show that the United States experiences, on average, one mass shooting per day.

According to the Washington Post, a shooting involving four or more deaths happens almost every single day.

As a nation, we account for 31 percent of the world’s mass shooting, and make up only five percent of the world’s population.

According to this statistic, for every 100,000 people in our country nearly 37 of them will die from gun violence.

At the end of the day, there is a direct correlation between gun violence and the mass amounts of guns circulating our country.

There are approximately 300 million privately owned guns compared to the four million owned by law enforcement agencies.

Statistics show that states with the highest gun ownership rate also have a 114 percent higher gun murder rate.

An Emory University study found that for every gun used for self-defense in a home, there were “four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.”

At what point do we as a country decide that it is time for gun control?

There seems to also be this perennial argument that gun control does not work, because criminals are criminals, and they inherently disobey the law.

But let us pretend that there is an example where gun control laws were effective, say for instance in Australia.

There is more to the land down under than just Steve Irwin, the Hemsworth brothers, and Iggy Azalea.

In 1996, they too faced tragedy when Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 people.

The day would forever be known as the Port Arthur Massacre.

Something strange happened thereafter; politicians sought change to ensure that something like this would never happen again. 20 years later, the country has seen a dramatic reduction in gun violence, the rate of gun involved homicides has dropped nearly 50 percent, and they have experienced zero gun massacres.

What seems to be so commonly misunderstood, or perhaps even purposefully ignored, about gun control legislation is its intention to keep the American people safe.

As a country, we need to stop hiding behind our ignorance and face the facts.

It is nearly impossible to round up all of the guns in this country, there are simply too many in circulation. We need effective legislation.

Background checks. Assault weapon bans. That is all anyone is asking for.

Nobody needs an assault weapon to hunt for food. I cannot begin to think of any reason somebody would ever need one.

In the past 10 years, we have seen example after example of why gun control is necessary: the Virginia Tech shooting, the Sandy Hook shooting, and the Charleston shooting, just to name a few.

Do we really have to wait for another gun-related violence to make a change?