by Kyle Evers | Columnist
One of the biggest talking points of our era is gun reform.
It’s a huge issue in the upcoming election but more than that, it is a huge issue on the minds of every college student, parent and young adult around the country. With mass shooting events sadly becoming more the norm than the exception, the big question is how do we proceed from here? The logical place to start is, of course, with the second amendment of the United States Constitution which states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This is, of course, the main argument for many gun owners and the main point of contention between owners and reformers. Where exactly is the line of infringement?
According to CNN, there were 39,773 gun deaths in the year 2017, which is an increase of more than 10,000 from 1999 in which 28,874 people died. And according to NPR, the US has the 31st highest rate of gun deaths in the world. By no means is this all due to mass shootings however. Over 18,000 firearm deaths were suicide by gun and over 7,000 were firearm homicides as reported by CNN. Herein lies a sticking point to many arguments. The reason that gun reform is now such a hot topic is because of mass shootings. Now to clarify, according to the FBI, the definition of a mass shooting is that four or more people were killed and or injured during a single shooting incident.
According to the Washington Post, there have been 64 deaths in 2019 due to mass shootings. However, the overall gun related deaths is over 10,000 not including suicide by firearm. The point is that gun violence has been happening for years but the sensationalism of mass shootings is causing a huge conversation around the topic-one that in reality should have been started a long time ago.
So what is the answer? Universal background checks? The government implementing a mandatory buy back program? Many would consider these government overreach. How do we end the violence?
The answer starts with the heart. At the end of the day, we live in a fallen world, a world full of sin and imperfect people. So yes-universal background checks may help to stem the flow.
They provide a much needed filter for the firearm market. According to NPR, studies show that a 1995 law in Connecticut requiring background checks led to a 40% decline in firearm related homicides. But the idea that a mandatory gun buyback program will help is ridiculous. We need to implement programs that work with current gun owners to solve this issue. And the truth is we will never come close to stopping every terrible event.
Above all, we need to focus on the root of the issue, the sin and evil that is present in our everyday lives. The only way we are going to really make change starts with our prayers and our willingness to fight the good fight in the spiritual war for our souls and the souls of people around the globe.