Did you know the U.S. has only 5% of the world’s population, it has nearly 50% of the world’s civilian-owned guns? About three million Americans carry loaded handguns every day. In fact, there are more guns than people. It makes perfect sense why Gun violence increases in the U.S. each year and rose about 100 per day. Therefore, the government should prevent unqualified personnel from opting for a gun although, some might argue it’s against the constitutional right on the second amendment.
Gun control is among the most controversial and hotly debated topics in the United States. In order to obtain a sense of its scope, it is necessary to trace its origins and identify key sides in the debate. Historically, firearms played a significant role in American history. Thus, it would be reasonable to consider the date of ratification of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution a starting point in the debate. Importantly, the text of the amendment, which supposedly identifies the main principle behind gun control laws, is sufficiently vague to spark debate. Specifically, it was suggested that only a regulated militia is subject to carrying firearms, further complicating matters.
Another milestone is the establishment of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 1871 (Gray). Initially intended for organizing firearm-related events, the NRA has gradually become one of the key players in the debate, which was criticized by gun control proponents as an example of the conflict of interests. Over the years, several gun laws have been created in response to major violent events such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King (Gray). Importantly, only some of the laws established stricter control due to the involvement of major political forces.
As was mentioned above, the current rate of firearm-related crimes in the U.S. is high. This fact has led many proponents of gun control to suggest that stricter gun ownership laws and regulations are necessary. According to this viewpoint, tightening gun control will reduce the likelihood that a wrong person might get a gun. Simply put, only eligible individuals (as opposed to anybody wishing to buy a gun) should be allowed to own firearms. This position has a number of additional advantages. For instance, it is possible to expect that a reduction in the number of legally-owned guns will make it less likely for criminals to come into possession of one by stealing it from careless individuals.
It is important to acknowledge the fact that this approach is not universally accepted. It has been argued that the proposed tightening of gun control will be largely ineffective since it would be trivial for criminals to circumvent regulations and obtain a gun through illegal channels (Gutowski). It certainly would be naïve for policymakers to ignore this factor when estimating the impact of the new laws. Nevertheless, we must admit that illegal channels are responsible only for a certain proportion of guns used for illicit purposes. In addition, stricter laws will impact the issue on an individual level by reducing the number of gun owners with a poor understanding of gun culture or otherwise susceptible to uncontrolled emotions.
It is also common for opponents of gun control to suggest that increased gun ownership deters criminals, citing examples where gun owners were successful in either killing or repelling the perpetrator, thus effectively resolving the issue. In some cases, it is argued that carrying a gun openly in public discourages criminals from acting (Ewing). Nevertheless, it is equally possible to suggest that carrying a gun in plain sight would create a sense of hostility and actually contribute to gun violence in the long term. In addition, it is important to understand that scenarios in which a gun owner is successful in gaining an advantage over the perpetrator are rare. In most cases, the latter is more skilled and better prepared psychologically to deal with resistance. Thus, the positive effect of lax gun control is expected to be negligible.
As can be seen from the information above, the U.S. should increase the legal age from 18 to at least 21 to obtain a gun. Many young men are intellectually and emotionally immature at the age of 18 and that will cause-and-effect reasoning. It doesn’t even make no sense the fact that the age limits are higher than 18 when it comes to purchasing alcohol and cigarettes were inappropriate, but maybe it’s the laws that let people under 21 own a gun, serve in the military, and vote that make no sense. Although, most of the privileges and responsibilities of adulthood are legally granted by the age of 18.For example, voting, enlist in the military, and move out of the house, but that doesn’t mean 18 is the true age of maturity. Emerging science says that critical parts of the brain involved in decision making are not fully developed until years later, at age 25 or so, in spite of the fact that some argue banning 18 years old from obtaining a gun is against the constitutional right. Jennifer Baker, the NRA’s public affairs director. “Legislative proposals that prevent law-abiding adults aged 18-20 years old from acquiring rifles and shotguns effectively prohibits them from purchasing any firearm, thus depriving them of their constitutional right to self-protection.”
The second effective way to decrease gun ownership in the U.S. would be to decrease the number of guns in the public domain by reducing the number of guns one can purchase per month. Even though no law can eliminate the risk of mass shootings, but the government could reduce the number of people killed with such an event as (gun violence) by reducing gun ownership. For example, if we can reduce one’s ability to buy a gun per month, we can reduce the number of guns someone can own each year. The reason why American has the most gun death in the developed world is that there are no limits on gun ownership. It’s clearer if there is more gun, there will be more gun death. Reducing the number of guns one can obtain per year will decrease the amount of gun death each year.
The third solution to gun violence would be implementing mental health screening test before purchasing a gun. Stricter gun laws, especially background checks for buyers who are mentally ill or have engaged in criminal misconduct, could help reduce the frequency of mass shooting tragedies, a Stanford law professor says. Although, some might argue mental screening test might not change the gun violence rate due to the reason that might happen after the person purchases or own a gun. Some say it’s least effective, but at least it will lower the chance of gun death related to the reason for the mentally ill criminal shooting.
To conclude, preventing an unqualified person from obtaining a gun by increasing the legal age to 21, decreasing the number of guns in the domain, and by implementing mental checkups will decrease gun violence in the United States. Conceivably, my perspective might have changed if I live outside of the United States because, in other undeveloped or some developed countries, gun violence is not an issue due to the fact there are different laws on guns and ownership.
Ewing, Maura. “Do Right-to-Carry Gun Laws Make States Safer?” The Atlantic.
Gray, Sarah. “Here’s a Timeline of the Major Gun Control Laws in America.” Time.
Gutowski, Stephen. “Report: Most Gun Control Policies Ineffective at Preventing Gun Crime.” Fox News.