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The United States is on track for the highest number of firearm sales in its history, according to data recently by the FBI from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Every person who buys a firearm from a federally licensed dealer must pass a background check before the firearm can be purchased.

The background check system ran nearly 11.4 million checks in the first half of the year, compared to 19.6 million the entire last year. Politicians repeatedly try to introduce gun-control policies, but improving the country’s education system may be the key to stopping violent crimes.

The sudden surge of gun sales was sparked because earlier in the year, the Obama administration made an effort to reform federal firearm regulations. Some of these regulations included restricting the use of assault rifles and limiting the number of rounds magazines could hold. Simply talking about these regulations has launched firearm and ammunition sales through the roof. My personal collection increased from one gun, to three. I feared I would be unable to own the guns I wanted, so I immediately went to my local firearms dealer. People’s expectations about future regulation caused an unintended, drastic increase in demand for firearms.

With the news headlines shifting attention from gun control, demand for firearms has actually gone down in recent weeks. The demand in the marketplace for firearms depends directly on what politicians talk about. I wouldn’t doubt that the NRA secretly loves to have the politicians talk about gun control because it increases the sales of rifles. And for the gun lobby, more rifles equals more money. Is talking about gun control a good way to curb violence?

The goal of gun control is to decrease the amount of violent crimes committed with firearms. If politicians really wanted to accomplish that goal, they would use the money they are proposing to use for gun control on better education in America’s classrooms.

In a study done by economists, Lance Lochner and Enrico Moretti, professors at the University of Western Ontario and the University of California Berkeley respectively, found that schooling significantly decreases the probability of future incarceration and violent crimes. Even one additional year in the classroom dramatically decreases the chances of that young boy or girl living a life full of crime by as much as 0.37 percent.

Attempting to limit access to guns for law-abiding citizens is not going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Why battle the NRA when you can accomplish the same goal by focusing on the education system? Anthony J. D’Angelo, the founder of the Collegiate EmPowerment company and creator of the Inspiration book series, once said, “When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.”

Education is the key to curbing violent crimes. It is my strong opinion that if America’s teachers can truly inspire children to be the best students they can be, the amount of violent crimes committed with firearms will drastically decrease.

Marcus Murdock is a student at Utah State University studying managerial economics.
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