Specialisation: Mass Shootings

Gun Control in America and Mass Shootings

Description

Mass shootings in the US are increasing, prompting discussions around gun control. On May 24, 19 children and two teachers lost their lives at the hands of a shooter at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Ten days earlier, in a similar incident, ten black people lost their lives in a racially motivated mass shooting in a grocery store in Buffalo, NY (Ogasa, 2022). On Monday 4th, July, seven individuals were shot dead in a mass shooting at a parade in Illinois. According to CDC data, approximately 40,000 individuals in America die from firearms annually. Although a small number of yearly firearm deaths link to the mass shooting, such eventualities attract vast public and media attention across the nation. This prompts conversations around legislative interventions for how better to restrict gun violence (Schildkraut et al., 2017). The issue of gun control and mass shootings impacts mental health. By participating in policy formulation, healthcare providers and leaders can collaborate with experts to determine the problem, identify the core risk factors, design evidence-based policies and programs, and promote effective implementation and evaluation. Through participation by healthcare providers and leaders, it is possible to develop effective and holistic policies that will help save lives and make gun violence a rare-case scenario. The healthcare system concerns itself with reducing and preventing injury, disease, and death and enhancing community health (Goldlist, 2019); instituting proper policies will be critical in achieving such an end.

Gun control and mass shootings impact the aspect of mental health. Keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill persons is necessary, providing grounds for balancing gun rights and gun control. Thus, the participation of healthcare providers and leaders in policy formulation will help them institute legislation that increases the government budget for improving mental health screening and treatment and enhancing gun violence prevention (Honberg, 2020). Therefore, improving the mental health system in the US can help prevent deaths associated with mass shootings.

My position on the issue

I believe a total gun ban in the US will help prevent mass shootings. Research indicates that a complete gun ban in Japan and Australia has restricted mass shootings. Similarly, the US requires drastic measures away from the current approach, which seeks to balance the gun rights of the public and their adverse impact on public members. An economic benefit prevails with a total gun ban. This is because the healthcare facility will spend limited resources on treating the injured. Mass shootings result in property destruction. Therefore, the total ban will prevent such damages, saving institutions the expense of reconstruction. The government will also allocate the budget to gun control policies in other priority areas. Losing people to gun violence results in the loss of productive individuals now and in the future, adversely affecting the country’s economy. The affected families also suffer financial loss treating the injured. With the total gun ban, they will not suffer such losses. The injured persons never attend work until they recuperate, resulting in economic loss. Thus, the total gun ban will be economically gainful.

Gun control presents an ethical debate. Gun control proponents are right to protect against loss of lives by restricting the number of persons carrying guns. Gun control advocates seek to maintain the values of life, family, and the desire to feel and stay safe. It is an ethical practice for policymakers to develop legislation that helps achieve a safe environment for all Americans. Exposing people to a mass shooting is more harmful than denying those wishing to own guns their rights (DeGrazia & Hunt, 2016). Therefore, policies must target saving the lives of citizens instead of focusing too much on the rights of gun holders.

What I can do and how

I would benchmark the current US policies against other developed countries towards establishing the trends in mass shootings concerning the existing laws. This would offer a clear picture of what policies effectively eliminate mass shootings. I will use the statistics to campaign against non-working policies and help policymakers design and implement alternative policies that will help the country stop the increasing number of mass shooting cases.

Concisely, gun control policies are a critical approach to restricting mass shootings. Such policies must engage health experts and their leaders to shape a comprehensive approach toward ensuring no guns fall into the hands of the mentally ill. Increased government spending on the mental health care system will be instrumental in ensuring that guns do not fall into the hands of the wrong people. However, borrowing from nations that have managed to eliminate the problem of mass shootings, the American government must consider a total gun ban. Such an approach will harbor economic, ethical, and practical benefits for the country.

References

DeGrazia, D., & Hunt, L. H. (2016). The rights-based case for gun control. Debating Gun Control, 213-228. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190251253.003.0014

Goldlist, G. I. (2019). Gun control: A health issue, a legal issue, or both. Canadian Medical Association Journal191(34), E948-E948. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.72602

Honberg, R. S. (2020). Mental illness and gun violence: Research and policy options. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics48(S4), 137-141. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073110520979414

Schildkraut, J., Elsass, H. J., & Meredith, K. (2017). Mass shootings and the media: Why all events are not created equal. Journal of Crime and Justice41(3), 223-243. https://doi.org/10.1080/0735648x.2017.1284689

Ogasa, N. (2022, May 26). Mass shootings and gun violence in the United States are increasing. Science News. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gun-violence-mass-shootings-increase-united-states-data-uvalde-buffalo