Stricter gun safety laws could prevent unintentional death

By Charity Wright COLUMNIST
On July 16, 2012

Most American citizens are all too familiar with their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. With 33 percent of U.S. households possessing guns, there is an obvious need for self-defense in this country.

Though citizens should have the option to purchase weaponry at their will, they should also be thoroughly educated on the lethal dangers of guns. Unfortunately, even those who are experienced with guns sometimes lack awareness in gun safety.

Last week, an off-duty Detroit police officers gun accidentally killed a 25 year-old woman on her birthday.

According to a statement, the woman embraced the officer from behind, causing the holstered weapon to discharge.

Although the woman breached the officers personal space, the gun should have been safely stored, thus preventing the fatality from occurring in the first place.

If a disaster such as this could happen to a qualified police officer, just imagine the mistakes average, untrained citizens could make when operating guns.

According to Florida law, citizens are neither required to obtain a permit nor be registered as a weapon holder to purchase a handgun. However, a permit is required to carry a handgun.

But who is monitoring the activity of those who own guns and those who carry guns?
These activities could very well be used interchangeably, which is why stricter laws should be instituted and enforced. Individuals who desire to get a permit can do so simply by filling out an application. After one fills out the application with its necessary materials, in addition
to completing a very basic training, a permit can be acquired in a matter of days. No knowledge on gun safety or storage is required.

As simple as this entire process is, it could very well be associated with the number of unintentional shootings in this country. From violent video games to action movies, our culture has conditioned us to believe that guns are almost playthings. The truth of the matter is, they are designed to kill, and will fulfill that purpose at all costs whether we intend for it to happen or not.

With such lenient laws, the trend will continue on its current destructive path. It is tragic that approximately 1,500 people die annually from gun accidents. By safely storing guns in metal cases, cabinets or safes, this number has the potential to drastically decrease. Keeping guns unloaded and locked can eliminate the issue completely.

With a little conscientiousness and the enforcement of stricter laws that regarding gun storage, we can begin to take ownership of both our guns and lives.

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