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Murrow College of Communication at WSU

The Debate on Gun Reform – Murrow News 8

PULLMAN, WA. – For avid gun owners like 21-year-old Jessica Birbari, the discussion of national gun reform means that law-abiding citizens would be put in harm’s way.

“Implementing gun restrictions is only gonna make it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves, their family, and their home. and only gonna make crime go up.” Birbari explained.

However, some people such as Jody Madeira, who is a social science researcher, believe that if less restrictive measures for guns continue; it could result in statistically more fatalities across America.

“Just as a social science researcher who is well versed in peer reviewed studies that suggest that homicide with firearms and suicide with firearms increase dramatically in states that either get rid of permits to purchase or permits to carry,” Madeira said.

For many Americans, the topic of gun reform is not a new subject. it has been increasingly gaining traction within mainstream media and national politics in the aftermath of shootings such as the ones encountered with the Virginia Tech Massacre, the Columbine School Shooting, or the Sandy Hook Shooting.

In 2021 alone, America has witnessed mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia as well as a boulder, Colorado in which proponents of gun reform legislation point to as evidence in the statistical increases of mass shootings over the last seven years

In a study garnered by the department of justice in 2020, states that had more stringent gun laws, such as Washington state, typically had fewer gun deaths. However, the same study also noted that firearms weren’t the number one source of aggravated assaults in 2020.

Even though Birbari believes that something needs to be done to reduce gun-related crimes, she advocates for training to be a focal point.

“Why don’t we encourage more safety classes that will teach law-abiding or good citizens the proper way to handle a gun in order to protect themselves and others around them from the violence that is out there?” Birbari asked.

Regardless of position in the debate, the issue of gun-related violence is extremely complicated and varied across state laws and local culture. while isolated facts may speak for themselves on the subject, they don’t necessarily point toward a catch-all solution on their own. 


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