Gun control: it's a topic on everyone's tongues as of late; from the news to the President to social media, the debate is everywhere, and when we look back on the last year, it's easy to see why.
With 2012 came the Colorado shooting that took place in a movie theater in July, where unsuspecting victims were attending the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie. That year also brought us the December shooting in Newtown, CT, where children's lives were claimed as they sat in school. It's these types of situations that make us realize that anything could happen, anywhere, at any time, and that you can never be too prepared.
Thus, it's easy to see why these events had such a significant effect on our country's citizens and their relationship with firearms. The numbers show that, both in the state of Colorado and all across the country, there were more background checks run on citizens looking to purchase firearms than ever before. Many, many more background checks: Colorado saw an increase of 23 percent from 2011, and 38 percent from 2010. There were 19.6 million gun background checks processed nationwide – 19 percent more than the previous year.
As a result of the density of citizens awaiting background checks, the process for applicants went from taking only a few minutes to taking more than a week.
It's difficult to argue that the nationwide spike in gun sales is related to the aforementioned sequence of events. America is in the unbreakable habit of making such events high-profile; endless media exposure is bound to induce a sense of paranoia and concern in viewers, as the reminders are made difficult to escape. Furthermore, what with gun control activists rallying for a legal crackdown, many are rushing to get their licenses prior to the changes.
One can understand where gun control activism comes from. After all, had the senseless shooters not been able to get their hands on firearms, perhaps the incidents would never have occurred. On the other hand, what is any civilian doing possessing an automatic weapon? It's a concern that President Obama and Vice President Biden are publicly taking into consideration, weighing in on both sides of the argument. No matter what your stance may be, one thing's for certain: most people are firm in theirs, especially in the wake of these horrific recent events. It'll be decided soon whether those in favor of gun control laws will be getting their way, but until then, the opposing party will be rushing to procure their possessions.
- Photo Credit: title="Gun shop" by Donald Lee Pardue, on Flickr
- Photo Credit: title="Guns and Coffee" by teamstickergiant, on Flickr
Sara Klemowitz is part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites.