A Call to Reform: Reducing Gun Homicides in the US


Added on  2019-09-16

8 Pages2186 Words390 ViewsType: 390
Political Science
IntroductionThe debates about the gun control in US have been conducted since years and thus there is nosignificant improvement. The mass shootings by gunmen became a bigger problem for thecountry and there is no proper solution for this. The incident which brought the prominence forthis issue was killing of twenty children in Connecticut. But the legislation that has brought toban the semiautomatic assault weapons was defeated in the Senate despite having huge supportfrom most of the citizens. In the year 2017, the mass shooting at a festival of music conducted inLas Vegas, at a church near San Antonio and the death of 17 children in Stoneman Douglas HighSchool in Parkland Florida again triggered the discussion about gun control. Various debateswere conducted yet the progress that has been observed is very less. Literature ReviewThe second amendment of the constitution gives a clear report about the gun control in US. Thesecond amendment goes as follows “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of afree state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed” (McGinty et al.2013). The meaning of this amendment is that the citizen have a right to keep the arms for thepurpose of security but it is a fact that there are some restrictions decided by the court. The USSupreme court has upheld some of the restrictions on these arms. There is a ban on the concealedweapons and also about the possession of weapons which are of certain type, and also theprohibition against the sales of guns for a specific category of people. The 1968 gun control actprohibits a person under eighteen years of age, the mentally disabled, the convicted criminals,dishonorably charged military personnel and various other sections of people from purchasingthe fire arms. In the year of 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention act had made it
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mandatory to check the background of the people before selling them guns. And the guns sold tounlicensed people are recovered and the guns must be purchased from only authorized dealers.On the other hand the Supreme Court keep on rolling down some of the laws related to thehandguns and the ban of handguns at Washington DC was struck down by the court(Andrés andHempstead, 2011). When compared to various other cities the gun ownership rates in America ishigher which is a commendable situation. The sad part here is the gun homicides are also more inUS only. The Federal laws provide only basic rules for the guns and the states and cities canimpose any further restrictions. Some states like Alaska, Idaho and Kansas have passed differentlaws trying to nullify the federal gun legislature but according to the legal analysts these laws areunconstitutional. In the year of 2016, January the then president of America, Barak Obama has implementedseveral actions to reduce the gun violence which includes a measure where dealers of the firearms check the background of the buyer before providing them with the gun (Kleck andPatterson, 2013). He even organized gun shows to just make it sure that everything related to theguns are done legally. Till 2017 there was no federal laws which supported the ban on the firearms, semi automatic assault weapons, handguns, .50 caliber rifles, military style or on largecapacity magazines. In between 1994 to the year 2004 the Congress allowed these restrictions toexpire. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas some of the legal analysts and law makersexpressed their support towards the federal prohibition of the fire stocks and the devices thatallow the semi automatic guns to fire at the rate approaching that of the automatic weapons(Killias, 2013).
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The United States have a population of less than 5 percent of the entire world’s population butthe fire arms in this country are 30-35 percent of the world’s civilian owned guns. This has beenproved by the report provided by the Switzerland based Small Arms Survey. US ranks numberone in the per capita of firearms. As stated earlier the homicide rate is also higher in UnitedStates only among the world’s most developed nations. The homicide rate has been decreased alot since 1990s but there is a requirement of lot more progression in this rate than what it is atpresent.The implementation of new reforms is very important to control this gun homicide in US. Thereis a situation that has happened in Australia where a gun homicide killed 35 people in arestaurant, after this incident the Australian law makers implemented legislation immediately andbanned the semi automatic rifles and hand guns on a serious note. The government of Australiaconfiscated 650,000 guns on immediate buyback program and purchased the guns from all thegun buyers. A registry has been established in the country and requirement for the permit of newfire arms has been brought into implementation. But the scenario is different in US. Various billsare proposed but it is sad to say that none of those bills comes into action. Because of theseimmediate reforms the gun homicides in Australia has been decreased to 57 percent (Killias,2013). The gun buyback program and other legal changes has made a big impact on the homicides ofAustralia. The government brought the guns in order to motivate the people to sell it rather thantaking it for free. This buyback program cost them a fortune but the results or outcomes of thisprogram is very commendable. The gun deaths in Australia have decreased. The states where thebuyback price was higher have observed a significant change in the deaths by gun. A studystated that buyback program of 3500 guns from 10,000 people has decreased the homicides by
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