I am an American resident, and thus, I am writing this paper to the government officials. The issue of gun possession has been a hot topic in the United States. Different people have different opinions regarding the people who should own guns and who should not, and whether there should be gun control or not. Some claim that people should be allowed to own guns while the other group believes that people should not be allowed to have guns. As a result of that controversial topic the area of public policy that I am going to address is the issue of gun rights. Some of the solutions to the issue of possession of guns are coming up with stricter laws, carrying out background checks, making it hard to get gun licenses, among others.
Problems With Gun Control in America
I am addressing the issue of guns in the United States. America does not prohibit the possessions of firearms among the citizens. The second amendment argues that 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" (Fischman 130). According to the second amendment, people have the right to have firearms and no person is supposed to violate that. Thus, the second amendment legalizes the use and possession of firearms in the United States, and it becomes hard to ban guns in the country as a solution to many crimes that happen in the country.
Guns have brought many problems in the United States. Over 50,000 deaths that occur in the United States are associated with weapons (Spitzer 70). In harmony with the Center for Disease Control Statistics, 30 gun-related killings and 53 gun related suicides take place on a daily basis and the statistics do not even include deaths that are as a result of accidental shootings. The issue related to gun possession has been a major controversy in America, both socially and politically. Thus, policies that attempt to reduce gun-related deaths have been hard to implement and enforce.
Gun Control Problems and Solutions
Many gun control laws in America are currently failing. For Instance, the Brady Bill is a law that focuses on background checks on the people buying guns. However, the law has been hard to enforce (Spitzer 70). Although the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) should allow authorized firearms dealers to identify individuals who are prohibited from possessing guns, different states have failed to participate. Besides, people have purchased guns without the involvement of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Therefore this has posed many problems regarding individuals who possess weapons.
Currently, there are more than 310 million handguns in the United States. More than 50% of American families have guns which they use for personal safety. The question that arises is whether the guns are safe when families possess them for their safety school (Kleck 20). As these families own guns for their safety, another problem occurs as a result of that. That is, guns are now getting their way into the wrong hands such as that of the children. Many cases are on the rise when children steal guns from their parents and use them to commit crimes such as mass shootings. An example of how children have stolen guns from their parents and carried out mass shootings can be seen in the case of Columbine high school (Kleck 20). The year 1999 marked a remarkable time in the history of the United States because it is when the worst cases of mass shootings took place. In 1999 20th April, two students sneaked to Columbine high school where they killed many students and a teacher using firearms (Kleck 20). Another case of mass shooting can be seen. Someone might ask him or herself where these students get guns and the answer is that they steal from their parents
As a result of the legalization of guns, weapons have also gotten themselves into the hands of criminals who have used the guns to commit various crimes. According to Follman, Aronson & Pan (119), many crimes that take place in the United States are committed using firearms. Criminals have obtained guns legally and have used them to kill people Follman, Aronson & Pan (119), go further to argue that out of 62 homicides that took place in America, between 1982 and 2012, 49 killers out of the 62 were found to have obtained the guns legally. Few of them stole guns to commit crimes (Follman, Aronsen and Pan 119).
Illegal Guns in Gun Control Cities
Whatever the stand an individual has regarding the issue of gun rights, one thing that people can agree on is that there are individuals who cannot be trusted with guns. Many crimes that are happening in the United States have one thing in common. They involve shooters who are mentally ill and use firearms to kill many people before the police and the relevant authority intervenes (Funk 490). That calls for the importance of psychological screening when acquiring firearms. Although the media relates these shootings to mental illness, there is no clear association between mental illness and violence. People applying for gun licenses should be thoroughly screened rather than banning guns.
Should Guns Be Banned?
Many people argue that another solution to crimes may be banning firearms (Funk 490). Thus, these individuals claim that when firearms are banned, the criminals will not access the guns (Funk 490). However, that is not the case because as discussed earlier, criminals may acquire guns legally. The criminals may also obtain guns from their family members. Due to this, the solution to the issue of guns is conducting background checks when individuals are obtaining guns. Although there are current laws concerned with background checks, many states do not coordinate in implementing the laws and ensuring that they are effective. Therefore, these states should understand the importance of background checks in reducing gun related deaths. As a result of that, they should coordinate with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to make sure that firearms do not fall into the hands of the wrong people such as the criminals (Spitzer 70).
Firearm Safety Training
Another solution to the issue of the possession of guns is that a culture of gun safety should be established. Since America is one of the nations with many handguns on earth, people require maximum protection. As a result of that, when obtaining guns, people should be trained thoroughly on how to use and store them. The training should be a long time affair. Safe storage may reduce the cases of guns falling into the wrong hands of the criminals and the children. As a result of that, gun related deaths would go down.
Strictest Gun Laws
The other solution to guns is that the government should impose new stricter gun control laws that regulate the use and the possession of firearms. This is because stricter laws mean that fewer crimes would be committed. For instance in countries that have stricter gun laws, such nations have few homicide rates (Spitzer 70). Let us look at a country such as the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, getting a license to own a gun is one of the most difficult things to attain if one is not a soldier, a farmer, or a policeman. Thus, when a person compares homicide rates in the United Kingdom and the United States, it is easy to understand why a country needs strict gun control laws. If stricter gun laws are working effectively to reduce homicide rates in the United Kingdom, the same can work in the United States.
Getting Gun License
The last solution to the issue of gun possession is that the government should try to make it hard for an individual to get a gun license rather than prohibiting the possession of firearms. The people purchasing guns should first go to law enforcement before buying guns. When a person is forced to get a license from law enforcement before buying a gun, he or she might get discouraged from purchasing the weapon.
In summary, I have discussed the issues surrounding the possession of firearms. However, I have made some solutions to the problem. As such, I have not advocated for banning the possession of guns because with or without guns, acts of violence must take place. Nevertheless, various solutions may reduce these acts of violence that are as a result of possession of guns. These solutions include imposing stricter gun laws, conducting background checks, making it hard for individuals to get gun licenses, establishing a culture of safety.
Follman, M., Aronsen, G., & Pan, D. (2012). A guide to mass shootings in America. Mother Jones, 15, 119.
Spitzer, R. (2012). The politics of gun control (1st ed.). Boulder [Colo.]: Paradigm Publishers.
Fischman, H. (2016). Gun Control and the Second Amendment: Developments and Controversies in the Wake of District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 39(5), 1339.
Kleck, G. (2009). Mass shootings in schools: The worst possible case for gun control. American Behavioral Scientist.
Funk, T. Markus. "Gun control in America." Guns in America (1999): 390-402.
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