(Photo courtesy of Denver.org)
By: Jack Adams, Staff Reporter
Gun control has become an increasingly hot-button issue across the United States, and incidents involving gun violence continue to dominate the twenty-four-hour news cycle. Growing public perturbation surrounding gun control has sparked citizens everywhere to voice their concerns. Students, in particular, have become one of the main proponents of gun control and legislation reform. In fact, just this past week, students from Ithaca College came together to protest a speech at their school from notorious gun lobbyist Larry Pratt. Many students chose to attend the protest as an alternative to Pratt’s speech, chiefly due to his radical views against increased gun control.
Citizen’s concerns surrounding gun control are certainly warranted, as the rate of gun deaths in the United States has continued to increase in recent years. According to an article from the New York Times, “The rate of gun deaths in the United States rose in 2016 to about 12 per 100,000 people. That was up at a rate of about 11 for every 100,000 people in 2015.” Increases in the rate of gun deaths, coupled with the horrific recent gun-related tragedies in Las Vegas and Texas, has given the public plenty of reasons to speak out against a perceived lack of gun control.
Although gun violence plagues nearly every city across the country, Denver, specifically, has seen an unfortunate spike in crime and homicide rates. The Brennan Center for Justice reported that Colorado’s crime-rate increase in 2016 was more than 11 times the 0.3 percent average increase reported in the 30 largest cities in the nation. Also, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), last year’s number of homicides — 189 — marked a 9.9 percent increase over the 172 in 2015; almost a third of them occurred in Denver.
In response, a number of Denverites recently came together at the Colorado Capitol to speak out against gun violence. The rally attendees, mainly members of the Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence, called for legislators to do things like enact universal background checks and end legal protections for the gun industry. Sensible gun control will undoubtedly continue to be at the forefront of political debates, especially with midterm elections less than a year away.
Regis students interested in helping Denver interested in getting involved with the topic of gun control should consider checking out the Colorado Ceasefire organization.