Facts and Future of Guns


Emi Tsuji, Staff Reporter

This past week, Mission House Lecture, “Beating Guns; Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence, ” was conducted by Shane Claiborne in the Bradley Theater. According to his website, Claiborne is a “prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author. Shane worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia. 

Claiborne explained to the crowd the many ways guns can lead to severe consequences. Consequences like homicide, suicide, public gun violence and accidental gun deaths. Nine out of ten child deaths are due to accidental gun violence. In the interview with Claiborne, he stated that, ”We’ve got to take our skills and connect them to the world’s suffering and then our gifts are used for something bigger than ourselves.” 

He brought up that ⅔ of gun death is attributed to suicide. This statistic is largely because guns are quick and easy to handle for someone that may consider taking their life. He stated that if a person survives their first suicide attempt, 70% of the time, they won’t attempt suicide again. According to Claiborne, the number one cause of death for military service members is not combat, but suicide. “Access to guns just means that there is more and more suicide.” 

In an interview, Samantha Olsen, sophomore here at Lakeland, stated that we need to update the system for gun rules and technology for safety. She also spoke about how gun violence almost occurs daily. This statistics also affects schools in the United States, such as Lakeland. 

Claiborne also discussed the mass production and the abundant number of gun-owning citizens in the United States. One gun is made every three seconds in America. This turns into 9.5 million guns in a year, 26,000 guns in a day, and 1,000 guns made in an hour. Although, American population only occupies 5% of the world’s population, the United States owns almost half of the world’s guns. 

During the event, Claiborne problematized the lack of law regulation towards guns. By introducing the Second Amendment, he said that he is not trying to take away the rights to own guns; however he emphasized this issue: “Unregulated rights to own guns can infringe another person’s right to live. 

Claiborne didn’t just state the horrors of guns he also gave solutions. Solutions like regulation towards guns, limit the number of guns one person can purchase (12 guns purchased in a year, one gun purchased in a month), and to limit how many rounds one can shoot before reloading. 

When comparing cars and guns with the potential harm it has to citizens, he claimed that the necessity of law regulations and safety technology for guns is just as important as it is to cars. Cars require a license and even rules of the road courses. On the other hand, in some states it may not even require a license to purchase a gun; sometimes not even background checks are required. For safety, cars have a lot of functions to prevent accidents. 

Claiborne shared one experience he had with a family that were victims of gun violence. He was invited after the family lost children to the violence. In anger, the mother of the victims family started beating on a gun with a hammer, howling that ”This is for my boy!”. The destroying of a gun was an expression of their pain and temper. 

Taylor Bubolz, a student of Lakeland, said it was very moving lecture because people were taking active action on this issue. “It was also very eye-opening to see all the statistics,” she expressed.