After the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut last year, a primary issue throughout American politics was the discussion of gun control and Second Amendment rights. President Obama urged lawmakers to consider the issue, and supporters on both sides of the Second Amendment readily voiced their opinions.
A year after the Newton incident, support for stricter gun control has slightly faded. According to a CNN/ORC International survey, “49% of Americans say they support stricter gun control laws, with 50% opposed.”
A few weeks after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, the same polling groups found that support for stricter gun control laws was at 55%. Whether or not those six percentage points are representative of the American population’s changing opinions towards gun control, they do emphasize the fact that the issue of gun control has significantly retreated from the spotlight and the forefront of national discussion as new issues have emerged.
Since the tragedy at Newton, however, 194 children have been killed by gun violence. Although public discussion of gun laws may not be as prevalent, their effects have still been felt by 194 families throughout the past year. According to a report from Mother Jones, “127 of the  children died from gunshots in their own homes, while dozens more died in the homes of friends, neighbors, and relatives.”
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Other statistics found in the publication’s investigation include the fact that in 72 instances the trigger was pulled by a child, and 52 of the cases involve a gun that was left unsecured by an adult. The rate of child gun deaths was highest in the South with 92 deaths, followed by the Midwest with 44, the West with 38 and the East with 20. Although the youth murder rates have been steadily decreasing throughout the past decades, any amount of child death due to gun violence remains startlingly high.
While several solutions have been proposed as to how to deal with this gun violence as well as how to ensure children are safe both at home and in the schools, none have been overwhelmingly effective. The situation is a difficult one to rectify, as imposing stricter gun laws would undoubtedly make it harder for parents or teachers to defend themselves against gun-wielding attackers. If the guns are in the homes, however, that makes it easier for children to discover them and for accidents to occur. Because these problems are so complex, they can only be solved if American citizens as well as their representative lawmakers start discussing logical solutions to the gun issues that continue to effect individuals throughout the nation.