Gun Control in Response to Mass Shootings

In the last few years, the US has seen a dramatic rise in mass shootings. School shootings are becoming more and more common, with gun threats being dealt with in the majority of schools across the country. In a 2022 article from NPR, it was stated that guns are the leading cause of children’s deaths in the US, jumping past auto related accidents to a whopping 30% in 2020. It’s an unfortunate reality in our country and one that is fairly common due the lack of gun control laws. 

In Lewiston, Maine, 18 people were victims of one of the deadliest mass shootings in 2023. The mass shooting occurred on October 25, 2023, killing 18 and injuring 13. After 2 days of searching, the police found the shooter dead. The gunman had access to assault rifles. Mass shootings don’t occur with pistols. So, is Maine going to take action to enforce stricter gun laws? As of right now, they aren’t.

In other countries, it is proven that when gun control laws are enforced, mass shooting rates decline. This has happened notably in the UK and in Australia. From a New York Times article, when a mass shooting occurred, they stepped in and controlled the issue. In the UK, they banned semi-automatic weapons and later many handguns. In Australia, they had mandatory gun buybacks. Mass shooting rates in both countries declined significantly.

So why is the US so hesitant to enforce similar laws? The simple answer is that people argue it infringes on their rights and gives the government too much power. Many people have guns in their homes because they feel safer with one. They need it for protection. However, if we look at the decrease in children’s auto related deaths, they have declined due to an increase in education and safety related to automobiles. This isn’t happening for guns. 

It is no secret that mass shootings are increasing dramatically each year, with the most recent in Maine, the government must step in and do something to combat this growing trend.

Lewiston police chief, David St. Pierre, addresses a news conference along with Maine Governor Janet Mills on October 27, 2023. Photo by Kevin Lamarque, Reuters; Featured on the New York Times.

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