Guns: The Root Of All Violence?

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Gun violence has aroused disputable controversies, both about the causes and solutions surrounding firearms. As time has progressed, the occurrence of mass shootings have become a dominant topic in the media, resulting in the question: should we outlaw guns? The second amendment, created in 1789, vocalizes man’s right to bear arms. However, the escalating deaths originating from firearms displays the irreversible impacts these weapons have. Prominent examples include the Sandy Hook, Pulse Nightclub, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and the Texas Church Shootings, all occurring within a ten year time period. The definition of a mass shooting described by the FBI is an incident where four or more people are wounded or killed, the United States holding one third of these events. The Brady Bill, implemented in 1993 became a large stepping stone for gun control, leading to 976,000 denials of licenses in 2003. While some people argue that mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and societal illness like toxic masculinity contribute to the detrimental effects of gun violence, others argue that mental illnesses do not contribute to the effects of gun violence; possible solutions to correct this issue would be extensive background checks and the ban of bumper stocks.

Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and problematic stigmas surrounding the definition of masculinity, consisting of the glorification of violence and hostile behavior, contribute to gun violence. People with mental illnesses are a hazard to the public, as 60% of perpetrators of mass shootings in the United States since 1970 displayed symptoms including acute paranoia, delusions, and depression before committing their crimes (Ruddell). The 60% of those who possessed a mental illness had access to firearms, allowing the tragic deaths of children, mothers, and innocent bystanders to occur. Patients with spontaneous and aggressive impulses should not have access to hazardous weapons, since one consequence could be communities that are haunted with gruesome memories of the casualties. Those with mental illnesses should be restricted from accessing firearms due to their unawareness of wrong and right, potentially leading to permanent misfortunes. Specific mental illnesses in conjunction with fatal weapons jeopardize the safety of communities and lead to destruction, all of which are easily preventable with meticulous background checks. Additionally, toxic masculinity has contributed to gun violence. Many boys from a young age are bombarded with the constant exposure of gore and violence, induced by brutal video games, inappropriate toys, and war. Many are expected to push aside their natural instinct of fear and face grave conditions with a brave face. If they falter, they would be perceived as fragile and unworthy of the title as a man. Myritten states, men with weapons have the power, men are often expected by tradition to be either warriors and/or protectors, and failure to live up to these expectations leads to violence. Society assumes that dominance is tethered to the perfect image of a man, as boys from a young age have been embedded with the expectation to obtain leadership positions. If the expectations of a man are not fulfilled,

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