weapons legislation

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Gun control, also known as weapons legislation, refers to a collection of policies or laws that facilitate the selling, purchase, ownership, transfer, and use of firearms, especially by civilians. The legal framework for the use of handguns by American citizens is enshrined in the US Constitution's Second Amendment, which was created in 1791. To a large degree, the pervasive ethos of America derives from the country's colonial past, frontier growth, and nationalist beginnings (Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?). For decades, the gun control debate has been one of the most divisive issues in American politics and the public domain owing to the negative and devastating effects of gun ownership in the US. This paper explores some of the argument for gun control inclusive of some of the gun control measures that should be established such as nationwide strict gun laws, stricter background checks, safer storage laws, and more vigorous prosecutions on gun trafficking charges.

Arguments for Gun Control

According to the Pew Research Centre, today, approximately three in ten people own a gun or live in a house with one, which translates into 40% of the American citizens (Igielnik & Brown). While the opponents of stricter gun control regulations such as The National Rifle Association (NRA) argue that stricter gun control regulations would result in loss of safety, the proponents of stricter gun control regulations argue on the basis of the rising cases of gun violence.

In accordance with a 2017 survey, America possesses the highest number of gun violence cases among the developed nations. According to the survey, in 2016 approximately 11,000 deaths were as a result of homicides and suicides involving firearms (British Broadcasting Corporation). Moreover, statistics indicate that more than 100,000 people are shot on an yearly basis which includes murders, suicide attempts and suicides, assaults, accidents and police interventions. Generally, America has approximately six times as many cases of gun-related homicides as Canada and 16 times more than Germany.

Another argument for stricter gun laws is the rising number of mass shooting cases. A mass shooting refers to a single shooting incidents that either kills or injures more than four individuals. Over the years, the US has also recorded the highest number of mass shootings among the developing countries, for example, comparable statistics indicate that the US has 30 times more mass shooting than the UK. In accordance to the Mass Shooting Tracker which catalogues all the mass shootings in the US, in 2015, there were 372 mass shootings that resulted in the death of 475 individuals while wounding more than 1, 870, moreover, the country witnessed 64 school shootings totaling up the number of casualties to about 13,286 (British Broadcasting Corporation). In the wake of the recent Las Vegas mass shooting, the gun control advocates are actively renewing calls for stricter gun control laws. The attack is considered as the worst attack in America’s history, thus within the last decade

Gun Control Measures

Stricter Background Checks

Some of the gun control measures that should be established include stricter background checks (Kopel, 2). Although the US constitution requires background checks to be conducted on the potential gun owners, many cases such as the Dylann Roof mass shooting indicates the existing limitations of the concept of background-check: bureaucratic errors. After his arrest, Mr. Roof admitted to being a user of methamphetamine, however, the bureau had failed to enter the prohibiting information provided by the law enforcement officers. Also, according to research, more than 35.7% of the gun acquisitions or rather purchases do not involve the establishment of extensive background checks (Kopel, 3).

Works Cited

Kopel, D. “The Costs and Consequences of Gun Control”. Cato Insitute. (2015). Pp. 32

“Should More Gun Control Laws be enacted?”. Procon.org. (2017). https://gun-control.procon.org/ Assessed (6th November, 2017).

Igielnik, R. & Brown, A. “Key takeaways on Americans’ views of guns and gun ownership”. Pew Research Centre. (2017). http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/22/key-takeaways-on-americans-views-of-guns-and-gun-ownership/ Assessed (6th November, 2017).

 British Broadcasting Corporation. “Guns in the US: The statistics behind the violence”. (2016). http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34996604 Assessed (6th November, 2017).

January 25, 2023

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