America Needs to do Something About Guns

America Needs to do Something About Guns

Cate Love, Writer

Each day in America, over 100 people are killed by guns. This year alone there have been more than 130 mass shootings. Gun violence takes too many lives webbankir. Just as the state of Utah is beginning to lift COVID-19 restrictions and the Salt Lake City School District sends students back to school, the Utah legislature passed some of the most sweeping gun deregulations in decades.  More public gatherings and relaxed gun laws will open the door for more mass shootings. 


Governor Cox signed Bill HB60 into action in late February. This law, that took effect on May 5th, will allow Utahns over the age of 21 to conceal carry firearms without a permit. Gun owners who want to conceal carry will no longer be required to take an informational course beforehand. The bill also does away with the previously required background checks, which stopped around 1,900 people from getting their permit last year alone. 


Those who were prevented from buying guns through a background check included people who had committed crimes such as murder, sexual assault, and robbery. These people may be at greater risk for inciting gun violence and will now have easy access to guns. Bill HB60 passed quickly with large support by the legislature. The legislature should not be passing bills that make guns more accessible to everyone. This a reckless law that is taking a risk not worth taking. 


In a poll conducted by the Desert News and Hinckley Institute of Politics, only 38% of Utahns thought that a permit should not be required to conceal carry.  The legislature is passing laws that the majority of Utahns do not support, and instead are responding to a minority of special interests. 


Gun violence is on the rise all across the country. Just in the last 60 days we have seen mass shootings in Colorado, Indiana, California, and Atlanta.  The U.S. has a rate of gun deaths 8 times higher than Canada and 100 times higher than the UK. Utah is no exception. Utah is 9th in the country for suicide by firearm. Gun violence is not just a city issue. In fact, rural Utah sees some of the highest rates of gun violence. Sevier, Carbon, and Emery counties had the highest rates of gun violence in Utah in 2019. Gun violence hurts everyone. It has no barriers. We all lose from gun violence and loose gun laws.


Teens and children are also impacted by gun violence. It is the leading cause of death for children and teens between the ages of 1-19. In 2019, a child or teen was killed by a gun about every 2 and a half hours, making it nine a day. Guns kill children and teens more than any disease including asthma, cancer, opiod deaths, or COVID-19. There are no safe spaces from gun violence. Schools, churches, community centers, and homes are all subject to gun violence. It could happen to any of us or any of our children. If we can do something to save these lives, why are we not doing it? 


President Biden is taking limited executive actions as a result of the recent mass shootings. His first step is putting regulations on ghost guns, which are homemade firearms. They are not registered and the owners do not need a background check to get the parts to make one. Biden is working towards putting serial numbers on parts and requiring background checks in order to buy the parts of these guns. Although this is a first step into gun regulations in America, our country needs much more to be done.   Nothing can get done with just the President. Our congress needs to put partisanship aside on this issue that should not be political.