Official Publication of La Jolla High School Since 1924

USA Vs. World Gun Laws. Which is the safest?

February 15, 2023

The leading cause of death for children and young adults in the United States of America is gun violence. This comes with no surprise as the United States population, less than 5% of the world, holds the record for possessing 46% of civilian-owned guns. This essentially means that citizens of the United States can easily access guns, allowing people to use guns in several different situations, like hunting, competitively, and, although illegal, murder. The U.S. has had 2,032 school shootings since 1970, and these numbers continue to increase by the day. To decrease the deaths caused by gun violence, laws in America include the Gun Control Act of 1968, which prohibits individuals under 18 years of age, convicted criminals, and mentally disabled people from legally purchasing firearms. The 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act mandated background checks for all unlicensed individuals buying guns from a federal dealer. Regardless of these acts, the amount of deaths from gun violence has not diminished. However, it is seen that in California and Hawaii, where gun laws are stricter, there is a much lower gun violence rate compared to states like Texas and Alabama. 

Canada and the U.S. have similar laws regarding gun control. Yet the question ponders why there are so many shootings in the U.S. and not as many in Canada. Student Zachery Shafer of LJHS acknowledges that “Other countries like Switzerland and Canada don’t have nearly the same problems that we do, even though we both have similar access to them because of America’s problem with social inequality.” Or in other words, the reason behind America’s extreme gun violence falls into social problems instead of gun access. Nevertheless, stricter gun laws have also successfully lowered gun violence rates in countries like Japan and England. Japan has the lowest gun death rate, with less than 100 casualties annually, as most guns are illegal. In England, there are similar laws in Japan, and the only people allowed to have guns are military personnel and a few specially trained Policies. Banning guns may seem like the solution to America’s problem with school shootings. Still, senior Ariana Pepin believes that banning guns isn’t the solution because it would be “…too controversial, but we can limit it and make tighter security for less access.” 

Every country is separate from the others regarding how guns are regulated. Still, gun violence is a universal problem, and even the safest countries have casualties. Although there are several alternatives that can be practiced to prevent mass shootings, as long as guns are in circulation, there will always be gun violence. After a mass shooting that killed 50 innocent people in Australia, the government illegalized purchasing firearms. However, several people had guns before the law was passed, and the government practiced activities that got rid of most of the guns in the country. Australia is safer than before because if there are guns, there will be gun violence.

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How many more people need to get hurt to change?

School shootings were not always common in the U.S. as they are today. A series of events that took place between the late 1980s to early 1990s caused gun violence to surface prevalently. The question at hand is what caused the upbringing of gun violence and what solutions will create a safer world. Gun violence continues to surface as the top news stories because of the racial issues, drug dealing, psychology, and laws that were passed through the years. Guns have not been as heavily regulated because people want them for protection, and others own guns illegally. Firearms have caused destruction around the United States, and the violence has continued increasing over the years. According to the increase in gun violence is because of the following teens and children being involved with homicide, increase in homicide, frequent threats in other violent crimes, and violence in states with weak gun laws. From 2019 to 2020, there was an increase in gun violence by 28%, homicide among children from the ages of 1 to 19 increased by 40%, and more than 820,000 gun-related violence occurs, which means 1,100 people were threatened with guns every day. All of these deaths and disasters are mainly caused by firearm-related homicide. Citizens possessing firearms dated back to when the nation was first founded. Within the bill of rights, The Second Amendment allows citizens to possess guns. However, it means people have been carrying guns for centuries. In 1791, The Bill of Rights, as well as the Second Amendment, was ratified. In former times armed weapons were used for self-defense.

In contrast, this country has already made its mark and built a community for many. There is no need for a gun when there is nothing to be fearful about. Do people perceive a threat from our government, which they may use to justify carrying guns?

Image via Jamie Arenas

The vast majority of poor neighborhoods have gangs and drug dealers who all possess guns for their criminal deeds. Gangs allow many teens to possess guns and cause many deaths within neighborhoods, stressing parents and children about their safety and security. Low-income neighborhoods have gangs that think dealing with, killing, and threatening people will bring them riches. People of color are more likely to become victims of gun violence. People claim the possession of guns lightens their fear of the dangers within the state and their interpreted lack of security. Hannah Aalaei, a freshman attending LJHS, feels it is horrible students have to go through so much trauma and witness such a horrible situation over which they have no control. The only thing Hannah can do is spread the word and hope people listen. The psychology of school shooters is they either have “childhood trauma or suffered emotional abuse” ( ). School shooters have a rough background of trauma, alcoholism, abuse, or have been harassed or bullied in school. A faculty member at LJHS, Mr.Ferguson, believes disarming citizens and putting up solutions is not the solution. “Fences don’t keep people out… it is not secure… different people have different reasons” there will always be violence, and the best people can do is spread the word and try to help people realize the reality of gun control. Ailyn Aguiar-Besitec, a freshman, believes the solution to solving gun violence is by “Taking away guns.” She wants to solve the problem by taking away firearms from citizens and only allowing officers and the military to possess guns. She claims “allowing military and police officers to carry firearms will make citizens feel safer and decrease homicide involving firearms.” 

Furthermore, possessing guns dawned back when the nation was founded, and because people don’t want to eradicate the Second Amendment, the United States gun laws are weak. People want to keep their guns for the wrong reasons, which needs to stop. Times have changed, and gun violence has only increased throughout the years because of the US’s weak gun laws, guns, dealers, and physiological trauma. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to be abused for the wrong purp, oses where guns are used for crimes and shootings. Teachers and students share concerns and solutions and what they can do to better their world.

About the Contributor
Photo of Jamie Arenas
Jamie Arenas, Staff Writer

Jamie Arenas is a freshman student at La Jolla High School. She is excited to show everyone the greatness of this school and the wonders it holds within....

Textbook or Shield?

Is school truly safe? According to the Gun Violence Archives, gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in the United States. In just 2021, 3,597 young lives were lost over the improper use of firearms. Does this statistic shape our childhood or change the way we view our safety? La Jolla High makes it our top priority to build a secure community. The Hi-Tide asked some of our students how safe they truly felt at school. 

Kian Jelvah, a freshman at LJHS, says, “I have never really thought about it before, and I don’t have any anxious thoughts about it or anything.” He then goes on to say, “If something ever were to happen, I would run out of the school.” Many students feel the same, as many would rather leave school premises than stay and trust safety measures put in place to protect us. Olivia Dill has faith in Mr. Bueno, saying, “I don’t think it’s an issue, La Jolla is very safe, and Bueno will protect us.” Haidan Uhrig, also a freshman at LJHS, goes deeper into the issue. “I definitely think that the United States should have more gun control. It is a very important issue, but at this school I feel safe, and I don’t think anything is going to happen.” 

Though some students attending American schools might feel out of harm’s way, others are more concerned. As some may be living in a state where there aren’t strict gun policies or have frequent shooting threats. The Giffords Law Center shows that states such as Alabama have very weak gun laws. In addition, Alabama has the filth highest gun death rate. Fortunately, California has the strongest gun safety laws in the nation. Sarah Robinson is a sophomore at LJHS and gives us her thoughts on the matter. “I was going to move countries because of this, as it is getting more drastic everyday. Yet, I don’t have a game plan for if this happens.” Robinson then adds, “I was actually thinking about this the other day and realized the only way you can survive is by playing dead.” This grim, realistic reaction to the question, how safe do you feel as a student, undoubtedly puts matters into perspective. The school is doing what is in power, like lockdown drills and providing safety measures. Gun control is one of the most controversial topics in America. Some believe it isn’t the cause of shootings, while others disagree. 

In the fullness of time, gun violence is a disheartening topic that children should not be concerned with to any degree. Many students here at La Jolla High feel safe in our community. However, there could be more improvements in schools all around America to aim for higher security. One way of improving school safety could be moving funds to invest in bulletproof doors and windows throughout schools in America. LJHS is a very safe campus, yet the fear of gun violence still prevails.

Image via Natalia Miller
About the Contributor
Photo of Natalia Miller
Natalia Miller, Staff Writer

Natalia Miller is a current freshman and a new writer for the La Jolla Hi-Tide. She is eager to start journalism and looks forward to share captivating...

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