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The United States Has a Gun Problem, and It’s Time to Address It

The United States has a gun problem — a problem that will likely only worsen with the decision of United States v. Rahimi.

After hearing arguments on Tuesday, the Supreme Court is set to decide whether governments can continue preventing those subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms.

In 2019, Zackey Rahimi had a restraining order filed against him in Texas after he physically assaulted his girlfriend and threatened to shoot her with one of the numerous firearms police later found in his apartment. Rahimi pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison for possessing firearms despite the ban on owning them while under a restraining order.

Given the current partisan makeup of the Supreme Court, the chances that domestic violence survivors’ lives will be prioritized over a citizen’s Second Amendment right looks slim to none, which is a true disgrace. This is despite the fact that more than 10 million adults suffer from domestic violence every year in the United States, according to Zonta International.

This case comes in the wake of the 2022 Supreme Court case, New York Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. A New York law had required citizens of the state to demonstrate a special need for self-protection in order to get a license to carry a concealed weapon outside the home. However, in a 6-3 opinion, the Supreme Court struck down the New York law, which was more than 100 years old.

As a result of this pro-gun decision and others like it, the public’s safety hangs in the balance more than ever before. The problem of gun violence cannot be solved by adding more guns to the equation and allowing anyone on the street with a “proper cause” to carry a deadly weapon.

If you don’t believe the United States has an alarming gun problem, look at the numbers and think about all of the lives that have been lost to senseless gun violence.

For instance, according to CNN, it only took the United States seven months to surpass 400 mass shootings in 2023. Comparatively, in 2019, it took nearly the entire calendar year to reach 400 mass shootings — a number that is still far too great and must be reduced with the help of federal lawmakers enacting stricter gun laws.

However, getting federal lawmakers to commit to doing the decent and common-sense act of protecting the public from gun violence is harder than it sounds. There has been a lack of congressional action in recent years, despite the last decade of mass shootings in the United States, beginning with the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

This mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., left 26 people dead and two injured. Of the victims, 20 were kindergarteners. The shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, used an M16 assault rifle — a weapon used in the military — to take the lives of innocent children whose parents thought they would be safe at school.

In response, Moms Demand Action was at the forefront of activism for gun reform across the country. States have since signed over 500 new gun safety measures into law, including protection orders, safe storage requirements and background checks.

However, these efforts are not enough when considering the epidemic of mass shooters, some of whom are now using their automatic weapons in hate crimes and targeting racial minorities, religious communities and the LGBTQ community.

For example, in 2018, a gunman killed 11 members of a Pittsburgh synagogue with an AR-15-style assault rifle. Then, in 2022, a gunman killed five people at an LGBTQ nightclub with a long rifle.

I am tired of turning on the television and seeing the faces of fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters whose lives have been taken too soon — and those of their loved ones who are left to grieve. Our society should not be numb to these atrocities, but they happen so often that it feels like a regular part of our routine, like waking up in the morning and going to class or work.

The Founding Fathers never intended for one’s right to bear arms to extend past the purpose of self-defense, yet it has manifested into a tool for hateful individuals to play the role of God. No one is safe until this gun problem is fixed.

Source : Bylorariat