By Conor Byrne
The Aurora shooting this summer took the lives of twelve innocent people and injured an additional forty-eight. Yet the twelve deaths that shook the US is a miniscule fraction of the death toll our country suffers every year. Between 9,000 and 10,000 people are murdered in the U.S. each year due to guns, or the equivalent of two and a quarter Aurora shootings a day.
The gun that James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, used was an assault rifle that contained a 100 round drum magazine, which enabled Holmes to shoot 70 people within a couple of minutes. Why would anybody need a gun with such capability? Even just limiting the ammunition a clip can hold would significantly limit the damage done in such massacres as the Aurora shooting.
Federal law states that anyone wishing to purchase a firearm must pass a background check. However, the seller of the firearm, who’s usually just trying to make a profit, is the one who gets to decide whether or not the buyer is responsible enough to carry a firearm. It is also legal for people with convictions of misdemeanors, domestic violence history, and drug abuse to buy any military style weapon that they desire. Inconceivably, private sellers of guns need no background check, meaning that just about any person can have whatever gun.
Those that are against strict gun control maintain that less gun control would allow people to protect themselves and stop mass shootings. However, only 3.5% of people who have had guns in self-defense situations were able to use their guns. Usually, when a perpetrator sees that a victim has a gun, the perpetrator shoots the victim out of sheer panic. Also, ninety-nine percent of home robberies occur when the house is empty, as such having a gun would do little to stop burglars.
The fact is that more than 30,000 deaths are caused by guns in the US, and the economic toll of guns is an estimated $100 billion annually. We have seven times more murders, and 20 times more gun-caused murders, than do other developed countries. This unfathomably high figure can be stopped by implementing stricter gun control and by keeping guns out of the hands of untrustworthy people, not by loosening gun control.