Just imagine sitting in class and all of a sudden there is a loud “bang” and the next moment, there is confusing and commotion everywhere or walking into a convenient shop like Wal-Mart and not walking out the same as before; it’s hard to visualize such effects because we have never experienced these moments ourselves, but to other victims of gun violence, these moments are unforgettable and true to life. The only headlines that seem to “come and go”, nowadays whether it’s on the media or the front page of the New York Times is mostly related to gun violence.
In recent years gun violence has increased significantly in various parts of the world. There are more cases of children and young adults engaging in violence. In 2018, there’s been 307th mass shooting in the United States according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks shootings in the US. It has also been debated day and night whether gun laws and regulations are strict enough and what other way can individuals and authorities do to reduce such acts from occurring.
With more lives being affected on a regular basis, especially the youths, more concerns arise as to how people can live safe lives when guns are being used in increasing numbers.
Mass shootings are becoming common in America in this recent years. Places that are deemed to be safe, like schools and movie theatres in particular, are no longer perceived this way due to their current tragic shootings.
This is worrisome to the general public, as they fear for their well-being and safety. We happen to live in a country where gun violence is among the most prevalent in the world. Today, gun violence has become one of the most controversial issue in the United States. In America, children and teens are victimized by gun violence every single day. Over 2,700 children and teens (ages 0-19) are shot and killed and nearly 14,500 are shot and injured every year – that’s an average of 47 American children and teens shot every day. (Everytown research). While the effects of gun violence extend far beyond those struck by a bullet, gun violence shapes the lives of the millions of children who witness it both psychologically and emotionally especially when a family member or a friend was shot, that can lead to living in fear of the next shooting. In the article “Mitigating the Effects of Gun Violence on Children and Youth,” James Garbarino and his colleagues pointed out that “children exposed to gun violence may experience negative short and long-term psychological effects, including anger, withdrawal, post traumatic stress, and desensitization to violence”
Without doubt, the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was one of the devastating incidents that took place in the history of the United States. It occurred on the December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut where twenty children as well as six adults staff members were fatally shot. The ABC News interviewed two parents named Jimmy Green and Nelda Marquez-Green, who also lost their daughter in the horrific shooting. They shared their personal struggles of not going to see their daughter again and some of their fondness memories of their little girl who’s life was stolen in the blink of the eye. “We are hoping that with Sandy Hook Promise, we can bring awareness to issues and start a conversation based on love and respect”. This express the deep emotional level and the pain of their voice shows how other parents are experiencing the loss of their children . It also discloses one side of this dark and uncomfortable issue on the deepest level and the desperate cries for help coming from the parents.
While it may be true, the second amendment of the constitution is mostly the criterion for many people who are identify with American society’s enduring affinity for guns. And anytime there is an atrocity such as the school shooting in Florida, debate eventually settles on how this part of the US constitution effectively gives people the right to bear arms, The second amendment has impacted today by allowing the citizens of the United States to own a firearms for self defense or protection. In many cases, this part of the amendment has created some sort of comfort within families because they can properly defend themselves.
With such an advantage to own any type of firearms, many people tend to abuse this section by killing and injuring others. Representative Steve Scalise stated that, “People use guns way more to defend themselves from criminals than criminals using guns to hurt people”. An example of such an abusive occurrence was the Las Vegas shooting which is considered as the deadliest in modern U.S. history. According to the Business insider and other statistics, fifty-eight (58) people were killed and more than eight hundred and fifty (850) injuries when a “psycho” gunman named Stephen Paddock opened fire at the country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on October 1, 2017. As reported by the by Giffords Laws Center To Prevent Gun Violence, the annual economic cost of gun violence in Nevada due to the Las Vegas shooting is now about 2.3 billion.
As a result of the incident, Las Vegas residents including victims, businesses and families continue to struggle under the burden of the shooting. In the neighborhoods where gun violence surges take place, they significantly reduce the growth of new retail and service businesses, leading fewer local jobs to be available for neighborhood residents and fewer local establishment available for residents to shop at. “Survivors, employers, law enforcement, and local businesses are burdened with enormous costs following a shooting” said Laura Cutilletta, the director of the Giffords Law Center. Also, tourism in Las Vegas has decreased to four percent (4%) on October 2017 and still battle to recover in the following months.
After the Parkland, Florida school shooting, more healthcare professionals are also demanding solution because as far as they are concerned gun violence is becoming a public health crisis. The effects of the pervasive gun violence in the United States is not only affecting the general public but the healthcare community as well. Violence in the communities is a serious public health issue, and as such, it is of great concern to hospitals that care for victims of violence and also prepare for possible mass events.
“In emergency departments and trauma centers, we struggle with much more complicated, dangerous injuries inflicted by lethal ammunition fired by military-grade weapons” stated by the David O. Barbe, the president of the American Medical Association. According to the Medscape article at least sixty-five percent (65%) of healthcare providers who responded to a Medscape Medical News poll view gun violence as a public health threat”. At times these workers feel physically under siege because of the gun violence around them and it should be considered that some of the impact of gun violence on healthcare professionals can lead to secondary trauma while treating increasing numbers of gunshot victims.
Further, healthcare workers face an increased risk of both physical and verbal abuse as they manage the complex needs of patients and visitors within their facilities who were injured from the gun violence. “We, as nurses are not immune from gun violence either by personally knowing a victim of gun violence or taking care of the many patients after surgery done to repair a broken body ravaged by gunfire” said Jan Odom-Forren. Not only does the gun violence affects healthcare personally, it also affect healthcare financially. A new study published on Tuesday shows gunshot injuries have a very serious health impact, costing Americans more than $6 billion in the healthcare.“ Looking at a database of hospital in patient records, researchers at Stanford University Medical Center found that more than 250,000 patients were admitted for gunshot injuries from 2006 through 2014” according to the study published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Even though gun violence still existed during the past, the statistical interval between the past and the present defers. For instance, based on death certificates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics review 19,392 people killed themselves with firearms in 2010, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is the highest annual total since the CDC began publishing data in 1981, when the suicide toll was 16,139. The firearm suicide rate peaked in 1990, at 7.6 per 100,000 people, before declining or leveling off for most years since then. However, in recent years, the rate has risen somewhat: From 2007 to 2010, it went up 9%. This indicates that gun violence in today’s era have more impact to people than in the mid 90’s. Also, 300,659 deaths from firearm violence — more than U.S. combat fatalities in WWII An average of 82.3 deaths everyday, 165 billion in costs to society in 2010 and in 2012, 96.2 percent of all firearm deaths were from homicide and suicide, and 64 percent of deaths from firearm violence were suicides. Compared to other industrialized nations, the U.S. has a low predisposition to violence but the highest firearm mortality.