There have been growing concerns over the Proliferation of guns over the past few years in the United States. Rarely a week passes without a brutal incident involving a gun and this acts as a reminder that there is no safe sanctuary from gun-related violence. On average, 90 fatalities involving guns violence occurs every day, many of which escape the awareness of the public or the mass media. There is no safe haven as gun violence is taking place in schools, workplaces, homes, restaurants, and on the streets.
To understand the proliferation of guns in the United States, it’s important to have a look at some facts about guns in various U.S. states. In North Carolina, the law permits a 12-year-old to possess a short gun or a riffle while in Texas; there is no minimum age requirement for possession of guns. One can buy an assault rifle in 43 states without a requirement for license or registration. In 46 states, one can buy as many guns as he wants as there is no limit on the number of guns one can buy within a given period. It is clear that laxity exists in the laws governing the use of guns across the United States.
The United States is one of the most greatly armed societies in the world with over 40% of households owning a gun. Homicides rates in the U.S. are more than five times that of other developed countries. It is important to note here that there is no single cause that can be attributed to violence as it is an intricate phenomenon, however, the weapons used influence the outcome of a violent incident. The likely hood of a death occurring from such incidence is usually high when a gun is used. This explains why cases of homicides are high in the United States compared to other developed nations.
Just as with any other public health concern like TB and automobile accidents, society must work toward preventing death and injuries as a result of guns violence by controlling gun possession and usage. As a safety precaution measure, the Federal and State government must push for legislation aimed at controlling guns.
The current laws, both at the national and state level, seek to punish anyone misusing a gun rather than controlling the act of misuse. The law is only applicable after violence is committed as opposed to preventing violence from occurring. This shows how flawed the current laws and legislation areas they are only aimed at punishing when injuries or death have already occurred rather than preventing it from occurring. For the law to serve the interest of all Americans, it must seek to control guns rather than act when someone commits violence with a gun.
Lack of gun control policies has resulted in many ways of reducing gun-related violence which costs a lot of money. This includes; metal detectors, increased resources for police, public awareness campaigns, voluntary guns buybacks, longer sentences, and costly laws suits against industries producing guns. Although these efforts are worthwhile, we must not ignore the fact that they are costly and they cannot be an effective substitute for comprehensive legislation seeking to regulate movements and build-up of guns within the community.
In the United States, there is a link between gun-related violence and easy access to guns. In this regard, there is a need to introduce tougher restrictions on the sale, manufacture, ownership, and distribution of guns.
Federal and State laws demand that only the first retail sale of a product should be recorded, as such, a gun is only recorded when purchased for the first time. Taking into consideration the nature of the gun, it can last for a very long time. Once registered it changes hand many times without the requirement for any registration. That way, law-abiding citizens can end up selling a gun to a criminal who can use it to carry out criminal activities. With proper gun control policies, it becomes hard for a criminal to acquire an illegal gun as the law will require that a person selling a gun transfer ownership through registration. This will definitely deter criminals from accessing and buying guns.
Through comprehensive gun control policies, police are able to check and consider whether a person changing circumstances warrant him to carry a gun. This is made possible by licensing and registration of all types of guns. When a person registers for a gun and obtains a license, all his/her information is fed into the police gun tracking system. The police are able to check the records regularly for any crime committed by the person registered involving a gun. This way, the authority can decide whether a person can retain a gun or not.
Gun controls will help the authority run a personal background check before he/she can be allowed to buy a gun. Currently, in 32 States, there is no requirement for a background check when a handgun is bought from a private seller. Background checks are an important requirement as it helps the police to identify those people who are not allowed to carry guns. Federal registration should require that all states carry out a police background check on all individuals intending to buy a short gun, rifle, or a handgun, whether they are buying from a private seller, a dealer, or a gun show.
Opponents of gun controls argue that the second amendment of the United States constitution grants U.S. citizens the right to carry guns. The amendment read in part “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” one thing is very clear from the amendment, the use of the words “well regulated” calls for control. Again, if the amendment was to be taken at face value, then it will be easy for people to own other weapons like nuclear weapons, tanks, and automatic machine guns. In such cases, United States will become very dangerous, and that why they is need to control guns and other weapons.
The number of gun-related violence committed by persons between the ages of 14 to 22 has been rising at a steady rate compared to other age groups. There is a need to control guns by setting the legal minimum age requirement before a person can own a gun to 21 years. This will ensure that guns do not end up in the hands of juveniles and children who are not well informed on guns, hence reducing gun violence.
During his time in office, George Bush has always said that he is ready to sign for legislation that seeks to regulate the production, sale, and use of guns. On the other hand, he strongly believes that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to carry guns. He is advocating for background checks, trigger locks, and the raising of the minimum age requirement for gun ownership. Currently, there have been no major breakthroughs on guns controls as most members of congress are against gun control.
The United States needs to have uniform laws on gun controls. The federal government should play a bigger role in passing laws that seek to regulate the manufacture, sale, and ownership of guns in all states. These laws should take care of an agreed minimum age requirement which should be at least 21 years, a requirement that anyone buying a gun is licensed and registered for easy tracking, the law should also have a provision for a background check. With such uninformed laws, the level of crime in the United States will go down and all Americans will be responsible and accountable for the guns they buy and own.
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