Gun Control in the US

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Gun Control in the US

The gun control debate has been topical in the US in the recent times. The rise of the call for gun control came from the increasing number of cases of individuals shooting rampantly at schools and other public places. This has resulted in calls from many members of the American society for the need to control the way people acquire and use guns. Among the various proposals provided by President Obama who has been leading the democrats in calling for gun control laws is to have the sellers of guns make thorough background checks on individuals before selling the guns. The president also proposed that the license to own guns should be given after a background check. With all the increasing cases of shootings in the American schools, the country needs tougher gun control laws.

Many Americans today appreciate the idea of having guns in their hands as a way of ensuring their own security. They feel that sometimes the streets are not very safe and thus require additional items to provide the feeling of security. However, the guns have been used wrongly, leading to the loss of lives in the recent times. People have gotten hurt accidentally or intentionally due to wrongful handling of guns. Consequently, many US citizens today are calling for more strict procedures for issuing out guns. With the increasing threat of terrorism and mental instability in America, the government has to find a way to get the guns out of the streets. When guns get in the wrong hands, terrible tragedies are reported. The use of gun control laws would help save more lives by ensuring that the guns are owned by responsible people, unlike the other groups which have a higher likelihood of causing harm (ViewCaps, 2013).

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The United States of America has suffered an uncontrolled wave of gun violence in the recent past. Lunatics with guns have walked into learning institutions and killed or maimed students in the US. This has led to a discussion on gun control in America. President Obama has been in the fore front of calling for the restructuring of the existing gun laws, a proposition that was met with resistance from the Republicans. This has opened a debate on whether gun control laws should be tougher than they already are. Because of the reported incidences where innocent children have lost their lives due to weak gun control regulations, the US ought to review the current laws with the aim of making them tougher.

The proposed solution to this problem includes the government ensuring that adequate and thorough background checks are done on the buyers. If the buyers are not critically scrutinized, the guns would end up in the hands of people who plan to use them for evil purposes, such as to attack others (Krieg, 2016). The other problem with selling guns to wrong buyers is that guns end up in the streets in the hands of gangs. Gang members are mostly jobless youths who operate under the influence of drugs. They use the guns to attack each other, which contributes to increased gang violence. Some deranged individuals can use unregistered guns to commit crimes, such as robbery with violence, kidnapping, rape, and forced entry. The other area where gun control has been a topic of discussion is the freedom to carry guns in public.

If people are denied the right to carry guns in public, they will not have the liberty to use them at their own biding. It will reduce the ease with which they can just aim and shoot at others aimlessly. Many states in the US allow individuals to walk around with guns in public without requiring them to first seek a permit. Some states do not even require gun owners to conceal their guns (Masters, 2016). The problem has a direct relationship with the unharmonized gun laws across the states. Only a few states in the US insist on having a license before one is allowed to own a gun. These states also require thorough checks before a sale is made to a private individual. These states seem to have more effective regulations than many others and the federal government itself. Many states grant permits to any legal owner without seeking to disclose their backgrounds first. The rules are so relaxed that in Rhodes Island, for instance, one is allowed to carry their guns around public school grounds. This is the loophole that some individuals with criminal intent have taken advantage of to attack school children or to kidnap children from the school grounds.

The United States needs to have tougher gun control regulations since it is a country with the most gun ownership and gun violence among the developed nations (Masters, 2016). According to the report from the Center for Disease Control issued in 2013, the country had 33, 0000 deaths arising from fire arms. This made up about 70 percent of homicide cases reported in the same period. It constitutes one and half times the number of suicides and other causes of death (Perez-Pena, 2015). The expert opinion is that the federal government should control the number of guns distributed to the public so that only a few guns are available to the public. This is to be supported by updated records on the numbers of guns and individuals licensed to possess them. The restriction ought to be extended to possession, storage, and purchase. Proper measures would ensure that the right people possess guns, thus reducing the death cases that arise from poor control.

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Gun control should not be seen as an attempt to disarm the public, but rather as a means to prevent unnecessary deaths that have arisen from having the wrong people carry the guns to public places. More people possessing fire arms can lead to disasters since they will be inclined to use their guns to solve their issues rather than resort to safer conflict resolution methods. Obama has, in many instances, cited the inaction of the Republican controlled congress for weaker gun control laws. This is because of the difference in ideology between the two sides, both of which view this issue from two different angles. Congress under the influence of powerful gun owners and the National Rifle Association have thwarted the efforts of President Obama to pass more stringent rules on gun ownership and dealership. It is a tough balance with Obama on one side and the powerful forces on the other side (“Barack Obama: US gun control inaction must end,” 2016).

However, the constitution does not support stringent gun control. There have been arguments that the control of gun rights would be against the Second Amendment. This amendment guarantees the right to own guns for security reasons. The proponents of this idea have stated in the past that possessing guns is not the reason why people commit crimes. They also added that there are other weapons that can be used to commit crimes, so guns should not be taken away for safety purposes. According to this school of thought, people have committed crimes using knives and crude weapons like the screw drivers before (Lott, 2016). This means that a criminal mind is not controlled by weapons but rather by criminal intent. This point is weakened by the high number of cases of shootings, especially in schools. It is true that knives and other crude weapons have been used to commit crimes. However, the magnitude of the catastrophes that have been reportedly linked to gun violence far exceeds anything seen previously in history. The crimes committed with the help of other weapons are isolated cases, while gun violence is rampant.

Looking at the history of the Second Amendment, it is clear that the law was made for the Southern states to be able to effectively control the slaves that they owned. State militia was indispensable for this purpose. The group had express authority to conducted patrols and capture any runaway slaves. The guns acted as security measure in cases of attacks in the line of duty. Other than this, the gun law was also introduced to ensure that the people acted freely and were able to defend themselves from external attacks as well as from a tyrannical government (Waldman, 2014). It gave the people a voice to express their opinions and stand up for themselves. These guns have been used as a part of the fight for civil rights and democratic rights in the US. The extent to which the law protects gun ownership has however become a source of the problem instead of a solution.

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The Second Amendment may have served the US citizens of the past generation because of the nature and composition of the society. However, the country has taken several steps forward in such areas as democracy and state security. There are no more slaves to be guarded by guns and there are no more external threats that require the services of a citizen militia. The army and police departments have been strengthened and adequately equipped to deal with security situations. The American people no longer need the Second Amendment because it does not serve the interests of the society as it is today.

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The American public will be free from gun violence when the nation finds a common stand on gun control and institutes effective measures to curb the crime rates. The two sides of the political divide and opinion makers must come together and work out a formula to protect the public from this menace. Gun control does not mean disarming the masses, but rather creating more effective means of guarantee law, order, and safety to the American public. The pieces of legislation to be created are meant to control criminal acts. Criminals do not adhere to the prevailing rules. The solution is to have tighter rules to make it hard to commit crimes. The new laws to be created would provide a framework for getting the guns out of the hands of criminals. Since they would not follow the law, the solution is to deal with the source of the problem. The government should be the one to come up with laws to regulate all the fire arm dealers. When these businesses are under government control, they will be monitored and made to strictly follow the laid down procedures for selling guns. Contrary to what the opponents of gun control believe, the crime rates will not rise simply because the gun laws will be in place. The criminals will not access guns as freely as alleged (Spitzer 102-116). Therefore, gun control is not there to punish ordinary American citizens who follow the law, but rather the criminals who break the law by acquiring and using the guns for wrongful purposes. The solution to the gun-related crimes in the country is to have stringent gun control laws.

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