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Gun Control

By Samantha Grywalsky and Makaio Carter

A drawing of gun control protesters. 

What About Stricter Gun Control?

In America, a staggering amount of crimes are committed with the assistance of deadly, and often military grade weaponry. Whether it’s a brutal, malevolent murder, or one of the dozen and a half senseless, bloody school shootings that have the entire nation in shock three months into 2018, guns are owned by 42% of Americans, yet 67% of all homicides committed by the use of a firearm. In America, the process to get a gun can take a mere three days, and background checks can take only minutes, allowing basically anybody without too severe of a criminal history to get a gun on demand. In Japan, where violent crime rate in relation to guns is significantly lower, the process to achieve the title of a gun owner can take up to around four months full of interviewing, inspecting, and learning. Due to that, the aforementioned crime rate relation to a gun control issue is substantially low compared to here in America. With that knowledge and comparison, should gun control strictness be increased? The answer: definitely. Many people try to argue their second amendment rights; despite the fact that the only goal of gun control advocates is to bring an end to the NRA’s blatant disregard for sensible gun regulation. In short- the time to do something about gun violence, was yesterday.

According to Aaron Smith in “This Is How Easy It Is to Buy Guns in America” in 2015 in America, the process to earn the title ‘Gun Owner’ can take just about a week (1). The process is simple; one walks in, takes an exam, then waits as the store as they call the FBI and NICS and complete a background check (which is completed in a matter of minutes)(2). Due to such a quick, simple, non-thorough information process this is, less than 1% of the 100 million or so gun seekers were told that they couldn’t purchase their wanted firearm (3). After finishing up the background check, the buyer must attend a handful of classes and pass with a mere 80%. In addition, if the exam taker fails their final gun safety exam, they have unlimited retakes in most states and gun courses. Once finished, all that is left is paying for the weapon and picking out what gun one wants. This process is so easy, and painfully simple. It makes just about anybody over eighteen, and in some cases twenty-one, to be able to go out and purchase their new AR-15, or a semi-automatic AK-47. Why is it so easy? An everyday US citizen should never have access to military grade weapons. The process should include waiting periods of at least 6 months, levels and more tests, an age limit of 21 to even apply, a written statement explaining the reason they feel they deserve to have the privilege of owning a gun, in addition to gun check-ups, limited test retakes, and more. Gun privilege should only be granted to those who have earned it, deserved it, and are safe to have it. Due to the lack of reassurance on whether or not one should own that new rifle, according to the the article “Gun Violence” written by the National Institute of Justice, 8% of the total crimes in 2011 were due to gun violence, higher than any other crime rate in the country (1). On page two it specifies how there were a total of almost 500,000 victims of a shooting, a couple thousand of those being innocent lives within a massacre. All could be prevented simply by just hardening the way to get that next rifle or pistol. The opposition claims “It will be impossible to eliminate gun violence, so banning guns will do nothing,” and “Murderers will always find a way to kill.” That is exactly what should be done. Make them get creative, make it hard. Doing everything in one’s ability to reduce the chances of another innocent child being slaughtered while trying to receive an education is not a waste of time. If even one life is saved, that is worth more than all the guns in the world.

In Japan, the process is much more difficult, and due to that, there happens to be an average of less than ten gun deaths a year, while America averages close to 30,000 deaths every single year (The Trace 1). According to Karl Denzer in “Opinion: Behold the Four Month Process of Buying a Gun in Japan” published by The Washington Post, Japan’s regulations are extreme—and effective. To receive approval for ownership of a weapon in Japan, it can take up to four months of inspections, interviews, reviews, checks, and tests. After requesting to buy a firearm, one must attend a one-day class held by the local police department that is only held once a month (meaning if the meeting is missed, one has to wait until next month to attend it before advancing in the process). The next step was to visit a mental hospital for a full examination and in depth presentation to help record how the aspiring gun owner handles certain situations. Afterwards, their next step is to go to the local police station where designated police officers ask a series of questions ranging from "Why do you want to own a gun?" to "How was your childhood growing up?" The answers were recorded and analyzed with other information for the next couple days, where they would receive a letter on if they can move on or not. From there, a call has to be placed to the local police department to enroll into the next possible gun-range class where one will learn how to handle their designated firearm. After passing the exams, things will become silent in the next couple of days because the policemen have to do the next job. It is common for policemen to stop by the future gunowners work or home to talk to neighbors and coworkers, asking them questions like "How do they react to bad situations?" and "Do you ever hear screaming coming from their home?" If the officers do not hear anything alarming, then the future firearm owner will be notified that they can complete the process, where the National Police Agency can take up to two months of inspecting to send one their license needed to purchase the wanted firearm. Due to such a long, time consuming sequence of events to achieve the "Gun Owner" title, Japan has minimized gun deaths to the smallest amount possible for a country. So if that is the case, why does America not take after Japan?

America is capitalist centered and the big wigs in office believe that the Bill of Rights should never be changed, pretending like things are still the same as they were in 1791 where it took an entire minute to shoot off two rounds of gunpowder from a single barrelled musket, compared to how the AR-15 used in the Florida school shooting (legally purchased and used by a local teenager) can fire off about 180 bullets a minute, not including the options to make or purchase additional weaponry add ons such as bump stocks. America cannot continue as it is now, with the NRA determining the safety of children in schools, innocent bystanders cannot continue to be killed by some high schooler or wannabe gang banger with access to a glock, nor should people be massacred at concerts, theaters, clubs, elementary schools, playgrounds, churches, restaurants, malls, and every other location of the hundreds of cold-blooded, barbaric mass shootings that sweep the nation each year. We cannot allow inanimate pieces of metal to be valued more than human lives. If we had a minute of silence for every gun violence victim murdered in 2017, we would be silent for 259.15 hours, or approximately 10 days. American youth will not stand for any longer, no more thoughts and prayers. The end is now.

Works Cited

Denzer, Karl. “Opinion | Behold the Four-Month Process of Buying a Gun in Japan.” The Washington

Post, WP Company, 5 Oct. 2017,

“Gun Deaths Increased in 2017, Gun Violence Archive Data Show.” The Trace,

“Gun Violence.” National Institute of Justice,

Smith, Aaron. “This Is How Easy It Is to Buy Guns in America.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network,

19 June 2015,

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