Statistics indicate that approximately over 300 million guns are owned by individuals in the US today, most of them owned legally and others not. An estimated four million guns are sold yearly, resulting in an alarming rate of firearms owned by civilians (Vernick, Alcorn, & Horwitz, 2017). This, therefore, means that the Supreme Court would find it hard to seize or even locate these guns. Related gun violence has caused many individuals to review their positions on the same. In essence, these cases are at a high stake in the United States. Gun control has been the top plan that has received a considerate emphasis in the media.
Therefore, a proposal has been raised to ensure cases related to firearms are put to an end, or rather, drastically reduced. The application demonstrates the necessity to undertake a comprehensive background check to buy guns and interdiction on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons (Vernick, Alcorn, & Horwitz, 2017). This paper will vividly outline the social costs that the above proposal will mitigate, how the costs will be quantified, and a rational description of how the objective will be achieved.
Social costs arise due to the need to accomplish a specific public mission. In a communal enterprise with a business operation, it refers to the expenses that are shifted to society to increase profits. The above proposal means that for an individual to purchase a gun, it will require a proper background check. Several expenditures will be mitigated as a result of the above approach. For instance, health care expenses are among those social costs that will automatically be reduced due to the method.
Thus, introducing the background check before undertaking any sale to an individual means that the number of people who purchase guns will automatically reduce. This is because those with immoral conduct will not hesitate to buy these firearms. Therefore, the number of gun-related deaths will have decreased considerably. Moreover, the value of human life averagely is estimated at $ 6 million (Oliver et al., 2021). Therefore, the more gun-related deaths, the more the amount of human value it will arise.
Correspondingly, the above proposal will allow the decrease in the expenses incurred on public response to crime. These expenses include the investigation case processing and prison expenses, not to mention the medical charges, which account for up to $ 8 million of the social equivalent cost (Oliver et al., 2021). In addition, individuals, in most instances, are anticipating the possibility of falling as victims of gun violence. This often leads to decreased productivity, mainly due to people losing their lives or getting paralyzed due to the same. Thus, it is evident that when there are fewer victims, there is no expenditure. However, there is controversy in certain instances; for example, the Secret Service spends billions of dollars to protect the US president, yet there are no incidents (Vernick, Alcorn, & Horwitz, 2017). Finally, increased crime rates in an area can cause people to move out of that locality. With such migration, it results in related social costs. Therefore, the above approach will be of great help in curbing such occurrences.
For one to quantify the social costs, there needs to be a noble understanding of some critical aspects. Firstly, one needs to identify all current revenues and expenses (Oliver et al., 2021). As a prerequisite, it is necessary to track all costs accurately and uniformly across the same system. Secondly, it is of great essence to select the most significant cost drivers and the social expenditure categories. Here, it is less critical to account for all such expenses, especially if it has a minor impact on the dollar and entails lengthy methodological challenges.
On the contrary, it is worthwhile to gather and consider those costs that have a relatively significant impact on the dollar and whose procedure is minimal. As a general rule, it is essential to actively focus efforts on those expenses that are large enough to matter and which are also easy to be estimated. Thirdly, for proper quantification of the above, one must count for each cost and the percentage arising from the same (Oliver et al., 2021). Therefore, when making approximations on these, it is necessary to incorporate the expertise throughout the whole process. Finally, a simple formula can then be used to calculate the budget for each scenario.
The aforementioned gun control approach, in my opinion, will not achieve the aim. First and foremost, a background check will be beneficial. To have any measurable influence on public safety, however, millions of firearms must be removed from circulation, which is a politically untenable action. According to a prior examination of military-style rifles used in mass killings, these weapons (in such scenarios) are among the least expensive in terms of VSL (value of statistical life) (Oliver et al., 2021). Furthermore, the societal impact of a single military-style rifle is projected to be as low as $15.27 per year (Oliver et al., 2021). As a result, the number of firearms that will be decreased, or rather the safety of the community, must be weighed against the increased expenses of executing the policy. These expenditures may then be converted into restrictions, which would result in higher taxes or price rises.
Moreover, if new taxes or additional costs are introduced, the gun lobby will automatically oppose even the hint of impediment to firearm ownership. Nevertheless, suppose an idea of market-based policy is submitted. In that case, it will systematically levy high prices on dangerous arms and generate some revenues meant to improve the safety and security associated with guns. Statistically, the annual registration fee of $140 applied to over 22 million guns sold every year could generate approximately $3.2 billion annually (Oliver et al., 2021). These resources could then be channeled to incentivize new technologies to make guns less dangerous and even compensate respective victims’ families. Anything that will be breakdown the logjam and efficiently address the cost of gun violence.
In conclusion, up to a certain extent, background checks on gun owners could help curb armed violence. This approach could close loopholes that have considerably resulted in gun violence in the United States. For instance, it could be an efficient way of preventing criminals and mentally ill individuals from accessing weapons. For this to appropriately work, it will require extensive and universal checking on all firearms dealings, including the private trades that currently are exempt. Prior attempts to stop gun-related issues have been seen to fail. Still, it is time for each individual to take appropriate actions that will allow violence to be eliminated in the United States.
Oliver, R., Alexander, B., Roe, S., & Wlasny, M. (2019). The economic and social costs of domestic abuse. UK Home Office. Web.
Vernick, J. S., Alcorn, T., & Horwitz, J. (2017). Background checks for all gun buyers and gun violence restraining orders: State efforts to keep guns from high-risk persons. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 45(1), 98-102. Web.