“For Gun Control” vs. “Against Gun Violence”

By Helena Aytenfisu

What does the world think of when they hear “The United States of America”? One would hope they would think of wealth, opportunity, and individualism. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the U.S. name bears a heavy weight.

Mass shootings and daily gun violence plague the nation, leaving the American dream as a far away ideal. Many are quick to condemn these horrendous events, but we have seen a lack of action on the behalf of Congress. This sparks the question, should we be against gun violence or for gun control.

First, let’s clarify the difference. Those who are against gun violence span both aisles, and no one has any problems expressing their contempt for such atrocious actions. Those who are in favor of gun control believe that universal background check laws and stricter gun laws could help prevent these tragedies in the future. This dichotomy is not something that is solely specific to the issue of gun control. It is far easier to be against a universally bad thing than it is to be in favor of something, but how much progress can come from merely being against something? Being against gun violence is palatable: people won’t think you are an ideologue or radical, but is it helpful?

Current events would indicate that it is not, as it is this cycle of condemning these events, yet failing to take any action, that is leading this problem to persist. In a 2018 Gallup poll, 61% of Americans expressed that they are in favor of stricter gun laws, yet nothing has changed.