Even though the US government has been consistently making efforts through the implementation of different policies and measures which are targeting to address the high cases of gun violence in the country. The problem persists as there are still many cases of gun-related deaths that are reported across the U.S. states. It, therefore, implies that there is still an urgent need to come up with the most effective strategies that can bring about a permanent solution to the matter and prevent the unnecessary loss of lives which can be avoided. One such instance that makes it evident that gun violence is still an issue in the U.S. is the recent mass killings that transpired at Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school which left 17 students and staffs dead and injured 17 others. This gun death scenario did not people because of its horrendous nature, but because it was one of the many increasing and endless cases of mass killings in the US.
According to the statistics results from the Bureau of Justice, it is indicated that only 1% of the murder cases in the U.S. results from mass murders. Over 90% results from the single-victim homicides. Most of the politicians usually argue that the extreme cases of gun violence in the country are as a result of mental illness. But this is not true because only one percent of the victims who are charged in courts are proved to be guilty due to reasons of insanity. A particular study depicted that only about 22% of the people who involve in mass murders are mentally ill, while other reasons motivate the remaining 78%. Furthermore, if mental illness was the root cause of all the gun violence cases in the US, then all the western nations in Europe whose mental illness rate is equivalent to that of the US should have the same rate of gun violence. However, that is not the case as America’s gun violence rate is 5 to 10 times higher.
The high rate of gun violence cases can therefore, be attributed to the free access to guns by the individuals in the country. To reduce the instances of gun violence the government should, therefore, come up with measures that will limit the public from accessing firearms in the United States. Some of the factors which have contributed to the ease of public access to guns in the US is the presence of both legal and illegal gun dealers.
This proposal is directed to both the US Congress and Senate houses which have got the responsibility and authority to pass bills and transform them into policies which can then be implemented by the proper administration. Through Congress, the government will also be able to take an affirmative action to address the cases of high exposure of guns to the public.
The government should ban the public from owning guns. It is relatively easy for an individual to access a firearm in the United States; this is because there are no restrictions which are meant to determine the people who are legible to own guns. Most of the legal gun dealers fail to conduct thorough background checks before selling guns to ensure that they are not handed over to the wrong hands. Moreover, many illegal gun dealers in the U.S. sells unregistered firearms to people with the intentions of committing crimes. Through lifting bans on the public, there will be a reduction in the number of cases of homicides which are committed with the aid of licensed firearms. Stripping the public of guns will increase child safety as the American kids will no longer get access to their parent’s guns.
The government should terminate the immunity that is given to the gun manufacturers in the country. The federal government accords extraordinary protections to gun manufacturing companies. In the year 2005, Congress approved the protection of lawful commerce in Arms Act; this policy was intended to protect the gun manufacturing companies and dealers from facing any civil claims regarding gun violence. As a result of this bill, the gun manufacturers have never been held accountable for any form of misuse resulting from their products. If the federal government revokes the immunity that is given to the gun manufacturers, they will become incentivised by the number of lawsuits that will be placed against them for any form of misuse in their products. This way, the gun manufacturers will begin taking responsibility for their products by making them safer to reduce the number of gun issues in the U.S.
The federal government should promote laws which are aimed at reducing gun violence. The use of semi-automatic rifles such as the military-grade riffles should be restricted to a particular group of individuals in the US such as the forces and special unit officers. Most of the mass killers in the US use the semi-automatic rifles which can release many bullets within a few seconds. Another policy that can be used to address the growing cases of gun violence is to compel the gun dealers to conduct thorough background checks on their customers before proceeding with the process of giving them licensed guns. The use of background checks will ascertain that the individuals who are lawfully permitted to own guns are clear of any criminal records and are mentally healthy. This is because by failing to conduct thorough background checks, the dealers might end up giving weapons to criminals who might use the guns for criminal activities or mentally ill persons who misuse the firearms by causing mass killings. The gun violence restraining orders is another law that can be used to reduce the cases of gun violence. It involves using court orders to restrain a person who is deemed to be dangerous from buying guns. In case the person already owns guns, the police can be used to confiscate the weapons before they are used to cause harm to the other individuals.
Congress should impose numerous and strict requirements for the individuals who are seeking to own guns. If the government intensifies the measures required for one to qualify as a gun owner in the US, many people will be discouraged from seeking to own guns. This is because most of the citizens may not meet all the qualifications. In this way, there might be few guns in the hands of the public; thus, help in the reduction of the number of homicide cases attributed to firearms. Currently, becoming a legal gun owner in the U.S is much more comfortable, thus, contributing to the high number of guns which are used in causing violence. If more rigorous measures such as raising the eligibility age of gun holders, modest training on gun safety and registration of all purchases.
Congress should pass bills that compel all the gun manufacturers to invest in the development of smart gun technology. Just like smartphones which can be set in such a way that they only allow the owners to unlock the phones when using it, gun manufacturers should also come up with a technology that will only allow the rightful owners of the guns to use them. Currently, acquiring weapons has very minimal restrictions making it easier for them to be acquired and used wrongfully by individuals who are not legally permitted to use them. The safety technology that should be implemented in the guns will use biometrics to identify the rightful owners of the weapons and locking it for other people. If such smart guns can be introduced, then there will be fewer cases of mass killings with illegally accessed weapons and suicides using other people’s arms.
All the funding restrictions which have been imposed on gun violence research should also be eliminated. Even though gun violence contributes to a nearly equal number of deaths as other leading causes of death such as motor vehicle accidents, the money allocated for the projects on gun violence is much lower, thus, hampering the effectiveness of such studies. Flat funding of gun violence research has contributed to the existence of little knowledge about gun violence by most US citizens. If gun violence researches are adequately funded, the government will be able to come up with new measures that will be beneficial in reducing the cases of gun violence in the US.