Tougher Laws on The Gun Ownership
Gun control is a broad term covering any restriction on what kinds of firearms that should be bought and sold, people who should possess or sell those firearms, how they should be stored and carried, and what duties should a seller have to vet such buyers. Other restrictions include various obligations both the buyer and the seller should have to report any gun transaction to the government (Spitzer). In the United States, the society is divided regarding such restrictions as Liberals argue that legal constraints on gun possession could save lives, while conservatives assert that those tougher laws would do nothing to avert the behaviors of violent criminals. Therefore, the question all Americans are asking is: should the tougher laws on gun ownership be introduced to curb the growing gun related deaths in America?
To support my thesis as to whether gun ownership laws should be put in place to reduce gun related deaths in America, according to the United States population statistics of 2014, the country had a population of around 319 million people. Based on the production data from the firearm manufacturers, there existed around 371 million guns owned by civilians and domestic law enforcement in the united states in the year 2014 (Weinberger et al., 513-516). Meaning, almost every American citizen is a gun owner either illegally or legally. If such increase in firearm holders are not checked or tougher laws not imposed, then the issue of gun deaths will still be a problem in America.
Secondly, according to the current national survey by the public health researchers at Harvard, of the current owners who acquired guns in the past two years, 22% of them obtained guns without a background check. Those kinds of laxity among the firearms issuance are the reasons why the tougher laws on gun ownership should be enforced. Going by what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary where twenty-six people died in 2012, if there were strict gun control restrictions, then such shooting should not have occurred. According to the police report on that incident, before the shooter Adams Lanza only aged twenty, went on a shooting spree in the school, he killed his mother, grabbed three guns from the house and went ahead to kill others (Spitzer). The question many are still asking is how did the boy get three guns, why was his family allowed to be in possession of three guns, and where were the guns kept.
Since then, there have been calls from Americans across the divide calling for more strict gun laws, President Obama being one of them. After the shooting, the president including other Democrats called for new gun laws by them arguing that over 40% of guns in America are sold without a criminal background check. Again in 2015 during her campaigns rally, the then Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told her supporters that 40% of the guns are sold at gun shows and online sales. Therefore, I think it is time for Americans to rally behind the calls for the introduction of tougher gun ownership laws that could reduce gun deaths in America (Spitzer).
According to the survey by the united states justice department 2014, almost 14,249 murders occurred in the America of the same year 2014, of which about 9,675, that is 80% involved the use of firearms. Other than murder, the same study shows that almost 5.9 million violent crimes occurred in the country, of which over ten percent were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun (Weinberger et al., 513-516). Annually, gun violence has led to thousands of deaths in the United States, whereby 73, 505 non-fatal injuries were recorded in the year 2013 alone. 33,636 deaths were reported due to firearm-related injuries, of which 11,208 were as a result of homicide, 21,175 were gun-related suicide. The same year 2013, 505 deaths were recorded as a consequence of an accident or negligent discharge of firearms.
According to the mass shooting tracker of the United States, the country exhibited a total of 375 mass shootings in 2015 resulting in 475 deaths and 1,870 being wounded. During that year of 2015, 13,286 people lost their lives on gun related issues according to gun violence achieve (Spitzer).
Despite an outcry by the civil society regarding the strict gun control laws, most Americans are of the view that apparently, stronger and more efficient gun control laws should be drafted to keep guns from the wrong hands to better protect the public (Spitzer). Moreover, they argue that despite what gun lobby groups are advocating for, most Americans are of the opinion of common-sense gun laws as they understand that such regulations will help reduce gun violence and deaths. The gun lobby groups should know that, even though many citizens own guns for self-protection, various studies have repeatedly shown that those guns at home increase the risk of firearm-related deaths or injuries to many households. As such research, have demonstrated, guns kept at home are most likely to get involved in an accidental shooting, criminal assault or suicide attempts than being used to injure or kill an intruder in self-defense.
Additionally, convicted criminals and other prohibited persons are always in a position to buy and carry unlicensed gun more quickly from the unauthorized dealer under undocumented transactions, hence the need for such stringent gun control laws and regulations. Consequently, many researchers on the gun control laws have not given a supportive claim that the American society would be safer if more people are allowed to carry concealed guns in public. Rather evidence has since shown that lax concealed carry laws which have since been enacted by many states may increase crime. That is, putting guns in more hands does not guarantee an individual safety, rather it increases the odds that every day’s disputes will always result in a deadly encounter.
Maybe, after the horrific massacres that have been witnessed in America in the past like that of Newtown on December 14, 2012, various gun-rights advocates may argue that if someone had a gun, then he could have stopped the shooter (Sacks et al., 19). But they fail to realize that could have led to more deaths as that could have resulted in a gun battle between the killer and those trying to stop him. If they argue so, then both the killer and those who could have sought to stop him are not trained in a street gun battle. Thus, more lives could have been lost. After the bloody massacre, Larry Pratt who was the executive director of Gun Owners of America was quoted arguing that the supporters of gun control law contain the blood of little children on their hands since they are preventing law-abiding citizens from bringing guns into school (Weinberger et al., 513-516). Such sentiments should be considered reckless since how would you expect all students to carry guns to schools, how will they behave if even they don’t behave decently without such weapons, American schools can turn into Hollywood movie scenes with every student aiming to outshine one another just like they always do with their gang operations.
Most Americans would say that violence is frequently the lead story on the evening news, crime, and its prevention always figure prominently in campaign speeches for political office, acts of violence takes a price not only on the victims but also on the public’s sense of the general welfare of the American society (Spitzer). Considering such comments, those given the task to spearhead such measures to curb such violence of gun deaths are either deeply rooted in their political party ideologies or towards, racism and or ethnicity every time one they consider a gunman has killed their own. Hence leaving alone their role in ensuring the safety of all Americans from those unlawfully obtained guns without measures to restrict such behaviors.
Currently, the gun control law has become one of the most sharply divisive issues in the United States. After the mass killing at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2015, Florida, President Obama retorted that united states have a pattern of mass shooting having no parallel anywhere around the globe (Sacks et al., 19). If all the American state’s men can consider the president’s sentiments a wake-up call by realizing that it is only through a tougher rule regarding gun ownership laws that can save the United States from such mass shootings and massacres that have been witnessed across the America. Therefore, my view still stands that the tougher laws on the gun ownership should be introduced to curb the American gun deaths.