The Life Behind the Trigger: A response to Columbia’s recent shootings.

Rebecca Archer, Writer

On Monday, April 25, Columbia experienced three shootings, and this has raised the question of safety within Columbia’s community.

Columbia is often known for great festivals, including the True-false film festival and Roots & Blues, but how will the recent shooting impact the feeling of safety for these events and everyday life for an estimated 100,000 people?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines safety as; “freedom from harm or danger: the state of safety.” While this might sound like a simple concept, feeling safe more than what can be fit into a simple definition. Being safe, for many, allows people to sleep without fear, it makes society highly productive, and allows children to explore. But having people dying behind a bullet prevents the concept of safety.

When a city or community isn’t safe, a sense a security is taken away, it creates a negative environment for children to grow up in, it teaches them to always be on the defense, violence is okay, and, in some cases, it leads them to repeat the cycle of violence; taking away the basic right of freedom and safety.

If Columbia simply fails to take steps towards stricter gun-control, the community can only expect for gun crimes to heighten. In fact, the state of Missouri has some of the most least restrictive gun laws, but the common misconception of more guns, means more safety, has not held true.

To provide Columbia’s citizens with sense of security, stricter gun-control and gun-bans need to be implemented, independent of public opinion. Although, packing a pistol may promote personal safety, but it doesn’t end violence within the United States; the pleasure alleged to result from owning handguns is trivial compared to the death and misery caused by their misuse.

The United States outstrips five other developed countries in both gun ownership and gun homicide rates and Dr. Dixon, professor at Alma University, suggest, “substantially reducing the number of guns in the United States will very likely reduce the rate of total homicide.” This would not only be beneficial to the Columbia’s citizens, but over all reducing crime across America.

Other countries that initiated bans have proven to be highly effective in reducing, including Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom, and freedom of fear comes along with a ban private ownership of firearms. Japan has almost eliminated firearm violence completely, with only about 0.06 firearm fatalities for every 100,000 people. Meanwhile, Missouri has ranked 2nd in firearm violence and death, within the United States.

If people in other developed nations and cities have benefitted from strict gun control, what says people in Columbia wouldn’t either? The government ought to provide safety before pleasure to ensure its citizens rights and life.