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On July 23, 2015, John Houser shot and killed 3 people while injuring another 9 at the Grand 16 movie theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana. Tragic shootings are becoming a new trend in society. While people grieve over the news, real people’s lives completely change after a loved one is lost. Innocent citizens are forced to feel frightened by something legal and easily obtainable. As Bernie Sanders once said, “Nobody should have a gun who has a criminal background or who’s involved in domestic abuse situations.” Yet in Louisiana, all that is required to purchase a gun is to be of age. The government of Louisiana must enforce stricter firearm laws to reduce the high homicide rates, discourage suicide, and make the state a safer place to live.
Firstly, the Louisiana government must enforce stricter firearm laws because it will reduce gun related homicide rates. In 2015, the state experienced an astronomically high rate of gun related homicides. The definition of homicide is the death of one person caused by another. Gun related homicides have taken the lives of 11.8 per 100,000 people in 2015 (KFF). Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the two biggest cities in the state contribute greatly to the gun related homicide rate of the state. The problem is not only in the cities of Louisiana, but the rural areas as well have experienced high crime (Discher). The gun related homicide rate of the US is 6.2 per 100,00 deaths (KFF). This number is dwarfed when compared to the 11.8 per 100,000 homicides in Louisiana (KFF). Citizens in Louisiana are losing their lives to guns more frequently than average American. Currently, anyone with an ID stating they are of age can purchase a firearm that posses the power to strip ones life away. If this power is given to too many people, it can get in the wrong hands just as it has during the Lafayette shooting. That is why in order for homicide rates to drop, the Louisiana government must enforce more strict gun control laws.
In addition to reducing homicide rates, tougher gun laws will also discourage suicide. Louisiana has a shall-issue license to guns, meaning little to no identification is needed to purchase (Justin Fernandez, Page 79).  This means that the seller of the gun has no idea about the customer’s path. This could allow someone with a suicidal past to purchase a gun legally. According to the U.S Department of Health & Human Services, research has found a direct relationship between guns in the house and and firearm suicide. This includes an increased chance for the whole family. Children don’t know of the full capability of guns and could use it for reasons they don’t mean. Firearm suicide rate per 100,000 people is 6.7 and growth has been increasing steadily in the past decade (Toohey). Many people do believe that background checks are an invasion of privacy however, they can prevent many incidences where the gun owner shouldn’t have owned a firearm. Gun ownership in Louisiana is at 47% of the eligible population to own firearms (White). With an abundant source of potentially suicidal weapons, citizens are more likely to strip themselves of their life. To combat this increase of suicide, it is urgent for the government to implement stricter firearm laws.
Finally, firearm laws must be stricter to make the everyday life in Louisiana safer. Currently, Louisiana has the second highest homicide rate compared to other states and that is due to the lax gun laws (KFF). According to the NY Daily News, Tuesday, September 19, 2017 marks the day Donald Smart was gunned down on his walk to work at Louie’s cafe. Kenneth Gleason, a man convicted of petty crimes in the past, was able to gain possession of a firearm. Despite getting arrested in Phoenix, Arizona before moving to Louisiana along with a number of other incidences, Kenneth Gleason still legally held position of a firearm. That Tuesday, Kenneth Gleason shot and murdered Smart, Gleason exited the car and began to shoot more rounds at the corpse. An innocent citizen of Baton Rouge was ambushed in his neighbourhood for simply walking to work. Co-workers described him as passionate and helpful. “‘What Donald means to me as a person and Louie’s as an institution is not quantifiable,’ Simonson said, tears welling in his eyes.” (Toohey). People in Louisiana cannot leave their home without the fear of a shooter attacking them for no apparent reason. If the weapon had regulations before purchasing , the gun wouldn’t have been sold due to his criminal past saving the life of Smart. Some people believe that enforcing tougher gun laws will be unconstitutional due to the second amendment. The second amendment states that a well regulated militia can own guns. Looking at the first few words, the amendment uses the term “A well regulated militia” (ProCon.Org). Enforcing tougher gun laws is actually constitutional because it makes sure that the owner is part of a well regulated militia. Gun laws don’t prohibit people from getting laws but they follow the constitution by selling to the right people.
To conclude, the invention of guns has caused many victories in war but has also been a fault in Louisiana. Homicides in Louisiana has increased in the last decade and remaining safe in your own community is becoming a growing struggle. The state is home to almost 4.7 million humans, all deserving a safe environment to work and live in. The government of Louisiana has made flaws in deciphering gun laws for the states citizens to obey. Getting in possession of a firearm is currently incredibly easy which is the reason for hundreds of deaths annually. Citizens generally support guns as the senator, Bill Cassidy, strives to loosen interstate gun purchases (On The Issue). However, the government of Louisiana should use the power they posses and ensure that gun laws become harsher to reduce homicide rates, discourage suicide, and make the state a safer place to live.

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