For ages Americans have had the discussion of whether stricter gun control laws should be put into action or not. The question is posed every time barbaric events such as mass shootings occur, but if the laws are enacted then there will be no waiting for the next tragedy. The number of mass shootings have increased within the past few months, at least 67 mass shooting incidents have occurred so far in 2018 (Courtland). Those against enforcing stricter gun control laws argues that to impedes the second amendment, but that point is irrelevant as the laws will be doing much more good than bad.
America needs comprehensive background checks that will help prevent heinous acts of gun violence. Stricter gun control laws should be enforced to prevent death by shootings, and stricter gun laws have proved to work in other countries. Throughout the heated topic of gun control the group arguing against gun control often brings up the second amendment stating that laws that take away guns impedes and that they show the amendment a distinct lack of respect. Despite these claims a large portion of the population say that the second amendment should be disregarded.
One of the main arguments that anti-gun control groups make is that they have a constitutional right to own guns. The American constitution of the second amendment states that all citizens have the right to bear arms. A large percentage of the population share the belief that guns should be banned all together. According to the constitution, this can’t be done. Every citizen of the United States has the right to own a gun if they want to. The constitution gives them the right to own a gun, one cannot deny the constitution.
Despite the government not yet backing an outright ban on guns, laws have been passed that has the process of obtaining a firearm are more controlled. An example of one of these laws is that they have implemented both a waiting period and background check before being able to purchase a handgun. These background checks are performed by gun dealers using a computerized instant check system that has come under scrutiny as there are claims that it doesn’t really work.
As stated by Donald J. Mihalek, author of “Why background checks don’t work” he states that the “National Instant Criminal Background Check System” is erroneous, “it can only check what information is being inputted into it and in many cases, states and others fail to enter legally allowable information that would stop a “prohibited person” from passing the background check.” Since people are not putting all the right information, or lying about certain information, it could be easy for others to access a handgun. As a result of not having stricter background checks, at least 59 people were killed during the Las Vegas attack in 2017. The gunman of the Las Vegas attack, Stephen Paddock, had passed all required background checks, and “bought more than two dozen firearms across a period of years”(Bui, Zapotosky, Barrett and Berman). It is easy for terrorists to purchase fully automated guns legally.
When someone is unable to purchase a firearm because they failed to pass a background check, they could still obtain one from a private owner or a show gun. The laws do not fulfill their intended purposes to the degree that some hope they would. Not only criminals, but anyone could own a gun. Buyers are obtaining guns and selling them illegally to anyone. There is no way for the system to know who’s been though a background check and who owns a gun.
What all these laws do in the end is make it more challenging for residents to acquire a gun. Mandatory gun locks is another thing that the government is considering. Those for the law claim that the gun laws would reduce accidental shootings, especially for young children. Accidental shootings is not a big issue as some might think. When comparing the amount of gun owners to the amount of accidental shootings, one can see that only .0005% of gun owners cause these accidental gun deaths. This suggests that the great majority of gun owners are extremely careful with their guns. The owners who are responsible enough to obtain gun locks and obey the law are not the ones causing the issue. Furthermore, gun locks do not provide a safeguard from invaders.
Another thing that the government has started to is restrict children’s access to firearms. Kids are influenced by seeing the guns and having them around that someday they could possibly get a hold of the guns and cause an incident. However, the government has commenced punishing parents who do not secure their guns away from their kids. One perfect example of this is the 5-year old who fatally shot his brother. The child was looking for candy in his parents dresser when he came across his fathers handgun. Believing the gun was a toy, the child shot and the bullet hit his brother head(Swenson).
The parents thought that the child would ever be able to get a hold of the gun. If the government enforced stricter laws which allowed gun owners to be more confined with their firearms, then children would not be able to have access to firearms. The safety of other children lives would increase with children getting less exposure to guns. For the safety of the children, it should be made mandatory for parents to keep their guns hid and locked away. If stricter gun laws are in put into place, we could prevent many gun accidents and save and protect the lives of others.
Gun control is one of, if not the biggest issue our country faces today. There are two main views on the issue. People from both sides will never see eye to eye on the issue but there are few solutions that could satisfy both parties.
At this point in time, it is not necessary for our government to start introducing new laws, they just need to do a better job at enforcing the current ones. Things such as, background checks, waiting periods, and tenacious regulations, although not completely effective, gun dealers have still shown they can do some good. There are some holes in the system, but these are mostly related to the enforcement of these laws, as well as the simple and easy access to firearms.
In the United States, the number of gun violence is through the roof, in just the last couple of months, there are a total of 17,618 gun incidents(“Gun violence archive”). In 2015 there was total of 53,752 gun incidents, in 2016, there was 58,8999 gun shooting incidents and in 2017 there was a total of 61,670 gun incidents (“Gun Violence Archive”). The numbers will continue to increase if the government does nothing to put stricter gun laws in action.
In other countries, such as Japan or Australia, there are very low rates of gun violence. In Japan, “the only guns permitted are shotguns, air guns, guns with specific research or industrial purposes, or those used for competitions. However, before access to these specialty weapons is granted, one must obtain formal instruction and pass a battery of written, mental, and drug tests and a rigorous background check.”(Masters) Australia also has strict gun laws that interdicts “automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles, mandated licensing and registration, and instituted a temporary gun buyback program that took some 650,000 assault weapons out of public circulation” (Masters).
Due to these countries having very tough gun laws that are highly effective, the number of gun incident remains compact. If the United States had tighter gun laws, we could be able to put a stop to mass shootings, and keep the number from rising.
Ultimately, there are a couple of new high tech solutions to the problem on the horizon. According to an article written by Bloomberg, a plethora of companies are developing smart weapons. Between them, a smart gun is used to determine their owner (Nocera). This is a positive plan because it would stop a great variety of crimes with guns involved. Smart guns show a lot more potential in the sense of protection compared to gun locks. This would satisfy both sides. The only issue with smart guns is that it is expensive, but like any new technology, the price will decrease as time goes on.
In the book “Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America,” written by Geoffrey Canada, the author throws out an idea, gun owners should have to sign for specially coded ammunition, their purchase of which would be logged into a computer (Canada 166). However, these regulations are already in place, but they should be even more rigorous. This would encourage people from not using guns to commit violent crimes because authorities would be able to trace the bullets. There would be no consequences for gun enthusiast either as they would still be able to purchase whatever they like.
‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”(Strasser). Those are some of the words that make up the 2nd Amendment of our constitution. The constitution is the groundwork which we based our rights around so why would we as a people decide that now is the time to bastardize the foundation of our country? That is what will happen if those opting for gun control get their way. Their goal is to alter the second amendment so that it will take away a tradition older than America. They say it will be for the safety of the country, but it is guns that bring that safety.
Gun laws do not bring safety if placed in the wrong hands. John R. Lott, Jr., PhD, author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, stated, ‘States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes.. When states passed these laws, the number of multiple-victim shootings declined by 84 percent. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90 percent and injuries by 82 percent”(Ludwig). So if proven statistics show that it is gun ownership that deters crime rather than gun control, why is it being pushed so heavily. Even if gun control laws are passed, its not as if criminals are not going to try to obtain guns illegally. Criminals do not fear the current laws so why will they fear those being proposed. The thing that a criminal fears the most is if their would be victim is carrying a firearm.
Citizens on both sides of the issue would benefit from stricter gun laws. Most likely, the crime rate and number of gun incidents would drop, which is what gun control advocates want. In opposition, gun owners will not be upset with these laws as they will still be able to own a gun. Another reason as to why gun enthusiasts should show support of gun control is that outright gun ban has yet to happen, meaning if crime rates go up due to the lack of gun control, then there is a solid possibility that a gun ban will be enacted. Americans will need to be able to work and help reduce gun violence in order to keep their guns. Having stricter gun laws is the only way to do that.