A month after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas and the racist mass shooting in Buffalo New York, President Biden signed off on gun safety legislation. This bill includes incentives for states to pass “red-flag” laws that let groups petition courts to remove weapons from people that are deemed dangerous to others or themselves. The bill also expands on an existing law that prohibits people with domestic abuse convictions from owning guns, to include dating partners and not just spouses. Finally, the bill expands background checks on people ages 18-21 who want to purchase guns. The National Rifle Association opposes this bill. They believe that “This legislation can be abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures being adopted by state and local politicians.” Furthermore, those who are against gun control argue we should arm teachers and put things such as metal detectors in schools to make them safer.
The opposing side of this issue argues that we need stricter gun control laws instead. They argue, why spend money arming and training already overworked teachers, when we could implement laws that make it harder to get a gun. When Missouri repealed its gun permit law, it saw a 25% increase in gun related killings, showing that legislation can be effective in reducing deaths. Putting a stop to the obstruction of taxpayer funded research into gun related injuries and deaths would be another important measure.
Research shows that more guns do not stop crime. Guns kill more children each year than auto accidents. More children die by gunfire compared to on duty police officers and active military members. Because of these reasons, many are saying guns are a public health crisis that should be addressed as so. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration researches automobile deaths and seat belt usage to create safer roads. A similar strategy could be used to reduce gun related deaths.