Have you ever heard the sound of a gunshot? The screams and cries of people around you, everyone wondering the same thing: What if that’s me soon? For millions of people, that is their reality: every morning, waking up and wondering, What if it happens again? 

When I was seven, that was me. There were gunshots nearby, so we had to go into lockdown. It was terrifying. Sirens blasted everywhere, which made everyone stressed and worried. Kids were crying, wishing to see their families again. That was the day I learned guns don’t only hurt with bullets. If you’re around guns, it’ll have a huge impact on your mental health, which might lead you to guns, too. 

Gun violence is an important issue because it doesn’t just affect someone when they pick up a gun and hurt someone else. The family of that person, the people running away in fear–everyone is affected by it. When you hurt someone else, others hurt too.

In 2020 there was a pandemic, and during that time, people were really lonely and worried. According to a CDC study called “Firearms Deaths Grow,” From 2020 to 2021, the percentage of homicides and suicides attributed to firearm injuries increased from 79% to 81% and from 53% to 55%, respectively, resulting in the highest percentage for homicide in more than 50 years and the highest percentage for suicide since 2001.” This shows that people are more likely to cause harm to others or themselves when they are in a bad space. Many people buy guns discreetly so they can hurt themselves or others. Therefore, therapists should do detailed interviews before potential gun owners can buy a gun. If people were required to do a mental health check before buying guns, then not only could they be declined a gun, stopping them from hurting others, but they could also get the help they needed. 

One of the few ways America has tried to lighten gun violence is through gun control. According to Procon.org, “Gun control laws would reduce the societal costs associated with gun violence.” And according to Britanica.com, “A majority of adults, including gun owners, support common-sense gun control such as background checks, bans on assault weapons, and bans on high-capacity magazines. More gun control leads to fewer suicides.” This supports my claim because it would help the people who actually need guns to have them. We don’t only need to keep gun control; we need to make them stronger.

Gun control should involve more detailed interviews before giving someone a gun. This would be helpful because it would save people from dealing with the effects, family members dying, and living in fear of gun violence. Nobody should have to suffer from that. I want to be in a world where gun violence does not exist, and with your help, we can make that world.

Written By:

Kira Lilly

Grade 5

Washington Latin PCS