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Essay about Gun Control

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Gun Control

Introduction

In the present times, the security of a nation plays a fundamental role as far as economic development is concerned. this is due to the fact that most investors do consider the security of a nation before implementing their investment decisions. Apparently, the number of criminal gangs have increased more than ever before, and this calls for governments to stay alert at all times. This is the core reason why most countries, both the developed and the developing ones are determined in embracing and implementing measures that would enhance their security systems. Some of the measures that most governments are embracing are not limited to surveillance programs, gun control, installation of security cameras in various public gatherings and buildings, thorough screening of individuals at the points of entry, collaboration of regional governments and extensive training of security officers. In connection to this, gun violence has been one of the major type of crimes that are frequently being reported in the United States. This has been attributed to increased accessibility of guns among most citizens, and this is becoming a major hindrance to the American governments legislative determination of curbing gun violence. This paper pays high attention to the analysis of gun control in the United States.

 

The issue of gun control has been among the most decisive aspect in the U.S, especially due to the growth of antagonisms on both sides of the gun control argument. According to the Small Arms Survey that was conducted in 2011, there were approximately 88 guns in every 100 individuals, and due to this high number of guns, the proponents of harsher regulations on guns live in fear of being assassinated due to their stand on the gun issue. On the other hand, the opponents of stricter gun regulations also live in fear especially due to their argument that embracing strict measures of gun control would most of the American citizens being unable to protect themselves from most of the daily threats such as robbery with violence. However, due to the increased number of crimes that are associated with gun ownership, most states have embraced the aspect of controlling guns. For example, following the recent shooting at Florida high school which claimed the lives of 17 innocent students as well as wounding several others, the American government have embraced a number of stricter measures involving gun control. For example, the assault weapons such as the AR-15 style rifle, which is the one that was used during the shooting by the 19-year old Nikolas Cruz was banned following the majority support for the banning proposal (Daily Nation Newspaper, 2018). The use and manufacture of this semi-automatic weapon could have been long banned especially due to the fact that there were numerous other incidences where criminal attacks had been reported in the United States. For example, on December 2012, there was a similar attack at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut which claimed the lives of approximately 26 people, where 20 of them were young children.

 

Dianne Feinstein, the by then Democratic Senator of California had introduced the proposal to ban the manufacture, possession and use of the AR-15 style rifle. However, this proposal failed to gone through at the moment, especially due to the massive critics it received from the majority of individuals who opposed it. however, Feinstein never gave up on the proposal, since he re-introduced it in November 2017, especially after the church shooting in Texas, which claimed the lives of another 26 Americans. The recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School`s gun shooting stimulated most individuals to support the proposal of banning the use and manufacture of assault weapons. Moreover, following the recent Florida school shooting, the White House, led by the current President, Donald Trump announced the support for improving the Federal background surveillance and monitoring systems for gun buyers. President Trump aimed at enhancing the Brady Bill of 1993, whose core objective was to mandate Federally licensed gun dealers to conduct thorough background checks on purchasers of guns with the Federal Investigative Bureau (FBI). Precisely, the bill mandated the licensed gun buyers to run the names of potential buyers through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is a database containing the names and criminal records of all individuals. What happens is that when the name of a potential gun buyer is run in this database and it happens to appear as one which had been listed with criminal records, the licensed gun dealer should not proceed to sell the gun to such a buyer. Some of the individual who are prohibited from buying firearms are not limited to the domestic abusers, convicted felons, as well as the dangerously mentally ill individuals. However, though Brady Bill`s proposal was successfully embraced and implemented since 1993, there exists a number of loopholes in the process, as well as the presence of numerous private sales of unregulated guns. President Trump`s utterances aimed at closing down these loopholes and ensuring that individuals who possess guns are those who do not have a criminal record. The president`s utterance came a moment after a bill, which was co-sponsored by the Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut and the Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, which aimed at ensuring that there is an extensive compliance by Federal and state agencies with the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems (The Economist`s Newspaper Limited, 2018).

 

Consecutively, another study which was conducted by the YouGov, with the aim of establishing the arguments and perceptions of gun control in various states also established varied attitudes concerning this issue. Precisely, the study established that though the support for gun control is divided based on party lines, there are a myriad of instances where all the individuals who were surveyed seemed found common grounds. For example, most of the individuals surveyed revealed that gun ownership and use should be highly restricted to individuals who have a history of mental illness. In addition, most individuals claimed that there is need for extensive background checks concerning the potential buyer to be made by the gun dealer before the transaction is completed between the two parties (La Valle, 2013). In addition to this, most individuals responded that the transaction between the gun dealer and the potential buyer should not be immediate, but it should have a waiting period (for example 5-30 days) between the application of gun interest and the issuance of a receipt, as this would provide an ample time for the background checks to be conducted. Subsequently, the survey also revealed that though the American government is governed by laws and regulations concerning how individuals can purchase and carry firearms, these laws are not enforced (Kopel, 2013). There is a strong correlation between the looseness of gun laws and the number of gun violence in every state. The U.S. is a country which is composed of almost 285m guns which are possessed by nearly 20 percent of individuals for this reason, it is possible to find that the rate of gun violence in the U.S. is vastly higher compared to any other developed country in the world.

 

The most interesting issue relating to gun control debunk is that after the Florida school shooting, one of the aspect that President Trump talked about to the victims and survivors of the attack was that his government is planning to start arming some of its 3M educators with hand guns in order to protect their students. Apparently, his statements were highly criticized by individuals who propose for stricter regulation of gun use and ownership claiming that some states such as Chicago don’t even have enough budget of keeping schools open leave alone supplying teachers with guns. In addition, not all teachers are trained on how to protect and to teach, and this means that issuing such teachers with guns would be just a waste of resources.

 

Moreover, the issue of gun control has become political in the U.S., especially due to the fact that for a proposal or bill involving the issue to pass, it depends on what the majority are supporting. For example, Pederson et al. (2015) established that when Democrats support strict measures of gun control, the Republicans would be against it, and when the latter supports gun control, the former would strongly be against. For example, in 2015, 64 percent of the Democrats supported the adoption of stricter gun control measures while 36 percent of Republicans were against it. His sentiments were also supported by Haynes (2016) also supported this claim arguing that the future of the gun control policies lies on which party line holds the majority in the House of Representatives. For example, after the midterm elections of 2010, the Freedom Caucus became the defining majority of the Republicans, and this means that if the Democrats supports the adoption of stricter gun control measures, their proposal will not go through since the Republicans (who are the majority in the House of representatives) would vote against it. The most disappointing thing is that few changes (if any) relating to gun control is likely to be achieved when the political atmosphere remains the way it is currently.

Conclusion

It is, therefore evident that the aspect of gun control in the United States have not been adequately enforced for a couple of decades, and this is the major contributing factor for the increase of gun violence more than any other developed country in the world. Despite the fact that there are laws requiring licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks to any potential gun buyer, there have been numerous loopholes concerning the issue, to such an extent that numerous individuals are purchasing guns without their backgrounds being analyzed. In addition, the Americans have divided perceptions and attitudes when it comes to gun control, where some propose for the adoption of stricter regulation measures while others oppose stricter regulations. Consecutively, gun control is becoming political, where Democrats and Republicans hold opposing arguments whenever this issue is raised, and this has limited effective policies being adopted.

 

References

Daily Nation Newspaper, (2018). Gun control in the US: issues and proposals. Retrieved from, https://www.nation.co.ke/news/world/Gun-control-in-the-US–issues-and-proposals/1068-4313496-99bwr8z/index.html

Haynes V (2016). Gun Control in the United States. J Pol Sci Pub Aff 4:206. doi:10.4172/2332-0761.100020

Kopel, D. B. (2013). The truth about gun control. Internet Resource.

La Valle JM (2013) Gun Control vs. Self-Protection: A Case against the Ideological Divide. Justice Policy Journal 10: 1-26.

Pederson J, Hall TL, Foster B, Coates JE (2015) Gun Ownership and Attitudes toward Gun Control in Older Adults: Re-examining Self Interest Theory. American Journal of Social Science Research 1: 273-281.

The Economist`s Newspaper Limited, (2018). American attitudes towards gun control. Retrieved from, https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/02/23/american-attitudes-towards-gun-control

 

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