Staff Ed: The benefits of nationwide gun control outweigh any costs to personal freedom

Carly Riggs, Opinion Editor

Every day in America, 93 people are killed with guns according to the National Vital Statistics System of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). These lives are lost as a direct result of a firearm in the hands of a criminal, police officer or any civilian able to carry a weapon. The complete removal of all firearms is not the solution to this problem, but the removal of some semi-automatic weapons, high capacity magazines and Teflon-coated rifle bullets would make a positive impact. Improvements made to the background checks system is another of the many fixes that should be implemented with the idea of gun control.

The number of Americans injured with firearms dwarfs the number who are killed. For every one person killed with gun, two or more are injured. The CDC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimates the number of annual non-fatal firearm injuries based on reports from a sample of hospital emergency departments: the report that over the last five years, there were more than 200 non-fatal firearm injuries each day. The number of people killed in America in one year with a firearm that was purchased legally is 134,120 according to David Frum, Daily Beast.

This proves that stricter gun control is needed to stop these intentional and incidental killings and provide some peace of mind to the victims. One idea that has been prevalent in society since the beginning of The Constitution is the idea that every person has the right to a gun. However, The Constitution was written nearly two hundred years ago, and thus there are amendments that we, as a nation have outgrown.

When the Second Amendment was put into place, firearms had a magazine capacity of one round, an effective fire rate of three rounds every minute with a maximum accuracy range of 50 meters. Today, the average household firearm has a magazine capacity of nine, an effective fire rate of 20 rounds a minute and an accuracy range of 210 meters. The Second Amendment was not intended for this day and age and should not be the basis for the arming of undeserving civilians.

According to a March 10, 2016, Lancet health and sciences study, implementing federal universal background checks could reduce firearm deaths by a projected 56.9 percent; background checks for ammunition purchases could reduce deaths by a projected 80.7 percent; and gun identification requirements could reduce deaths by a projected 82.5 percent

The US General Accounting Office (GAO) estimated that 31 percent of total accidental shooting deaths could have been prevented by installing safety devices on guns: every death in which a child under 6 years old shoots and kills him/herself or another child could be prevented by automatic childproof safety locks; and 23 percent of accidental shooting deaths by adolescents and adults per year could be prevented by loading indicators showing when a bullet was in the chamber.

The amount of victims of gun violence will decrease with the most simple of solutions. Improvements made to the background checks system, safety installations on firearms and knowledge of the responsibilities that firearms come with are also vital to preventing more victims.