About Gun Control in the United States

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Tens of thousands of people are killed or injured as a result of gun shootings in the United States. This figure may be clarified by unrestricted gun ownership. Many who oppose the implementation of gun safety legislation contend that such laws do not properly counter the danger that weapons pose to American society. According to them, the only realistic solution to the question of weapons control in our nation is to abolish firearms. If proper gun control measures such as requiring those, who want to own a gun to undergo a psychological test, so as to regulate gun ownership, the safety of Americans would be guaranteed without infringing the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Some 13,286 people were killed in the U.S. by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured [those figures exclude suicide]. Those figures are likely to rise by several hundred, once incidents in the final week of the year are counted” (BBC). Such big figures illustrate how the unregulated gun ownership is leading to loss of lives in the country. It is not possible for the United States to just get rid of guns all together just like Europe and Australia have done, since the right for self-defense is a constitutional right to every American. The best approach to the gun problem in the U.S. is having strict rules governing the ownership of firearms.

Since guns do not kill people, but people do, any person, who wants to buy a gun that is legal under the statute, will be required to get a standardized psychological test from a renowned and a licensed health specialist that is mandated for that purpose. The objective of these psychological tests will be to assess and to identify any factors that may be related to mental illness or any other mental disorder. For instance, such tests will help identify people, who have such disorders, and therefore, disallow such persons from owning a firearm for a period of six months. After the six months period, an individual can demonstrate that they are no longer impaired, and thus, can appear for another assessment. No person shall be allowed to purchase or carry a firearm without the assessment clearance certificate.

People will need to go through the testing before being allowed to purchase the gun. Then, the process will be repeated every six months so that they can be allowed to continue possessing the weapon. If they ever fail the exam, their weapon will be taken away. Furthermore, such individuals would not be able to purchase once again, until it is ascertained that they are psychologically fit (Hamilton and Kposowa 87).

Under the gun control measures, the gun dealers will be required to maintain a registration database. After the completion of the assessment, the health specialists will issue a certificate to those, who are found fit to own firearms. Such a certificate will be used in purchasing of the firearms, and nobody will be allowed to purchase firearms without the official document. Furthermore, the gun dealers will also maintain a database of the guns they have sold and to whom. Such an arrangement will ensure that people with psychological problems are not allowed to purchase guns.

The gun database will also ensure that every gun is registered. If a gun is found to have been used in a crime, it would be possible to trace it back to the owner through the database. Such a measure will ensure that people, who legally own guns, do not give them to criminals or people with ill motives. In case they do, the consequences should be severe, and these individuals will be depraved of the right to own a firearm in the future.

Previous criminal records and convictions will be put into consideration, when determining who to own a gun. Investigation will be carried out, and any person, who has ever participated in a criminal activity, will not be allowed to own a gun. Research has shown that people, who have been incarcerated, are more likely to participate in crime. Once back in the society, these people should undergo a through and lengthy rehabilitation before any of them is allowed to own a firearm (Krieg). Such test would be important in determining that they are fit to own a gun without being a threat to the safety of the other citizens.

The number of guns in the country should also be limited. For instance, there are about 300 million guns in the United States, translating into a ratio of 1:1 of people to guns. Only individuals, who have truly demonstrated to the state that they need to own guns, will be permitted to own such for self-defense. By limiting the number of guns in the country will ensure that the criminals and other dangerous society representatives, who are likely to harm either themselves or the public, will not have access to guns. Moreover, to minimize the theft of the guns from licensed owners, anybody, who has been issued with a gun, will be required to properly store them and be responsible for any crime that is carried out using the gun registered on their name. Such strict approach will be useful in minimizing the crime committed with guns, while at the same time, not infringing the Second Amendment of the Constitution that gives the American citizens the rights for self-defense through ownership of firearms (Hamilton and Kposowa 93).

Gun control measures will also address the scenarios of citizens being able to purchase guns in an emotional state, while planning to do harm to themselves and/or others. Every state will be required to have a holding period not only for people to get evaluated but also to have the buyer cool down in case they were wanting to cause harm. The process of obtaining a gun will be quite lengthy and taking a couple of weeks or months. Those, who would be planning to purchase guns to cause harm to others, would have enough time to cool down, and maybe, seek other means to solve the problem.

Gun control would also entail banning high-capacity magazines, because they are responsible for mass murders. Under the gun control measures, the public would be allowed to hold gun and magazines that have less capacity. High-capacity magazines tend to raise the number of deaths and injuries resulting from irresponsible use of guns (Pérez-Peña). Furthermore, some gangs, who are intending to cause harm with guns, use high-capacity magazines so as to offset their lack of accuracy and ensure that their chances of causing harm are maximized. The stray bullet may cause harm to other more people.

The gun control measures will not infringe the constitutional right that has been given to all Americans by the forefathers, who saw the need of everybody having the rights to protect themselves. According to the Second Amendment of the Constitution, a well-regulated militia is very crucial for the security in a free America. There are law abiding citizens, who do not use their firearms in any manner that can cause harm to other innocent Americans. Banning guns altogether cannot be a solution to the problems facing gun ownerships.

Having strict gun control rules will reduce the number of deaths that have been caused by the guns. Guns have been registering the highest number of deaths. Guns were also the main causes of deaths by homicide and unintentional deaths. Implementing gun by ensuring that there are checks could significantly reduce gun deaths by over 50% (Haynes). This can be done by implanting checks by the federal government to ensure that those, who purchase guns, are mentally fit to hold them without causing harm to other people.

Gun control saves lives. If proper measures are taken to ensure that there is limited number of guns, which are in the right hands, gun deaths can be greatly minimized in the country. Such measures will include psychological tests to anyone, who wants to own a gun, keeping a database of all guns in the country, and thoroughly scrutinizing the criminal records to ensure that no person, who has been involved in criminal activities, is given a gun. Banning guns completely in the U.S. will deny citizens the right that has been accorded in the Second Amendment.

Works Cited

BBC. “Guns in the US: The Statistics behind the Violence.” BBC News, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34996604. Accessed 10 July, 2017.

Hamilton, David, and Augustine Kposowa. “Firearms and Violent Death in the United States: Gun Ownership, Gun Control and Mortality Rates in 16 States, 2005-2009.” British Journal Of Education, Society & Behavioral Science, Vol. 7, no. 2, 2015, pp. 84-98. Science Domain International, doi:10.9734/bjesbs/2015/16126.

Haynes, Victor. “Gun Control in the United States.” Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs, Vol. 4, no. 2, 2016, OMICS Publishing Group, doi:10.4172/2332-0761.1000206.

Krieg, Gregory. “Gun Control in America: How We Got Here.” CNN, 2016, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/07/politics/gun-control-america-history-timeline/index.html. Accessed 10 July, 2017

Pérez-Peña, Richard. “Gun Control Explained.” Nytimes.Com, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/07/us/gun-control-explained.html. Accessed 10 July, 2017.

December 15, 2022


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