Gun Safety Legislation
Gun safety regulation refers to a set of policies or laws which regulate the manufacture, transfer, modification, sale, possession as well as the use of firearms by civilians. The shootings in the New Zealand mosque can be attributed to poor legislation in control of guns and firearms. The issue of gun safety legislation is not just a question of liking or disliking guns and their control but is or should be about judging the effectiveness in controlling as it is exercised through regulation. Nowadays gun control is a critical issue because of so many rising tragic mass shootings happening in various places. For instance, the problem has polarised people concerning the best solution which should be taken. Many people have different opinions and views where some favour restriction while others are opposed to regulation and control of guns. The opponents of gun control mostly consider the limits not to solve the current challenges like mass shootings and other crimes resulting from possessing firearms. Therefore, having the right of carrying guns is an effective deterrent. For instance, all law-abiding citizens should be permitted to carry guns so that they can defend themselves against individuals who might have harmful intentions like mass shootings cases. The solution to the gun problem is allowing law-abiding citizens who are capable of possessing guns to carry them so that they can defend themselves against individuals with intentions of harming them like in mass shootings. However, the proponents of gun control argue that possessing firearms makes it easy to injure or even kill in a short timeframe. The argument is that there is a forty-three times higher likelihood of killing a family member, a neighbour or friend for those who own a gun. Therefore, the paper aims to argue that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to own and carry a gun because it will help them in case of incidences like mass shootings.
Over the past decades, there has been a lot of debate on whether the use of firearms is within the written law standards because of many tragedies which are associated with using guns. Many individuals believe that the crimes resulting from improper use of weapons could have been prevented if the US government had revisited and imposed additional restrictions. The other constraints can be done through recommending effective ways of combating use of firearms and introducing innovative approaches towards the strictness of gun activity. With all the occurrences it is clear that gun control is an issue with substantial adverse effects on our society. Therefore, there should be an evaluation of the second amendment and the meaning for the people rights in keeping and bearing arms should be reassessed to benefit all individuals.
According to a new report, guns are the second leading of United States children after car crashes. For instance, in 2016 nearly as twice as many children died from cancer according to a study by a team at Michigan University. According to the analysis, the gun fatality rate is thirty-six times higher compared to other developed countries. The United States has about 120.5 guns per 100 people or approximately 393,347,000 firearms which is the highest total and per capita number in the world. For instance, 22% of Americans possess one or more guns which are equivalent to 35% of males and 12% of females. America’s persistent gun culture is rooted from own revolutionary roots, colonial history, frontier expansion and the second amendment which denotes that a well-regulated militia which is being essential to the security of a free State and the right of keeping and bearing arms cannot be infringed. The proponents of gun control laws claim that the Second Amendment was planned for militias, that gun restrictions have always existed and there would be a reduction of gun violence and that majority of Americans like gun owners are in support of new firearm restrictions. Opponents of gun control argue that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own guns, that weapons are required for self-defence and that gun ownership deters crimes instead of causing more misconduct.
Controlling firearms cannot deter criminals from possessing guns. Regardless of whether there is legislation passed to restrict criminals from using guns, the control of weapons cannot solve incidences of mass shootings. The reason is that criminals will always have an intent of not obeying the law meaning that whenever they get an opportunity of using the guns in public, they use them regardless of the rules and regulations in place. Therefore, control of guns will not be an effective mechanism because criminals cannot operate on demand and supply laws. Besides, the main reasons for performing the heinous acts like mass shootings depends on criminal’s psychotic behaviour meaning that there is need of seeking mechanisms that should be used in taming criminals carrying or performing their activities within their public.
The failure of the past and present laws in enacting stringent measures for control and regulating the selling of firearms to criminals means there is a need to look for alternative perspectives that are causing the crisis. The US government should acknowledge that the mass shooting cases carried by criminals are mainly achieved because of the illegal arms trade. Because there is an enormous amount of money made in the black market, some individuals are benefitting from the sale of illegal firearms which later settles in the wrong hands. Criminals always obtain firearms easily as long as they have the money to spend in purchasing them. Therefore, if criminals need a gun, there is nothing that can hinder them from accessing such weapons. Criminals will always look for firearms because there are already various enemies trailing them. Instead of being caught with no form of security criminal think that having a gun for protection helps them from unwanted harm. The effort of trying to restrict guns aiming at reducing mass shootings in public is not only having detrimental consequences but will also leave the people exposed to criminals and gangs who are equipped with illegal firearms bought from black market.
The next argument against having more regulations in controlling guns to minimise mass shootings is that criminals will have the opportunity to harm innocent citizens. For instance, criminals understand that having more regulations only limits the population against possessing guns meaning that the civilians will have no chance of defending themselves in case of an attack. The civilians will lack the means to protect themselves from individuals who have the intention to harm them. For instance, states which have allowed most of the citizens to arm themselves appear to have low mass shootings and crime rates than the countries which suppress its citizens from self-harming.
The government should know that regulation and restriction of arms in the public for purposes of reducing mass shootings only affects citizens who follow the law. The law cannot apply to gangs and criminals because they will always have access to firearms. Therefore, the rules and regulations which are placed in curtailing or controlling the sale of illegal guns to gangs and criminals cannot accomplish the desired purpose. For instance, the Chicago State does not allow the selling of handguns. In Chicago rifles, ammunition and shotguns can be bought by only individuals with firearm owner’s identification card meaning that acquiring of guns in the State is a tenuous exercise. However, there are still incidences of mass shooting, violence and crime experienced in the area unlike in other regions without stricter measures like Chicago. In Chicago individuals who want to purchase a gun should first undergo a background check and afterwards wait for a month before they are allowed to carry a firearm legally. Despite being hard to obtain a firearm in Chicago legally, it is comical to know that it is much easy to get a gun illegally. For instance, there are thousands of illegal guns in the streets of Chicago, and many of them are not registered. The rate at which guns are trooping in the state of Chicago is worrying when we consider the strict measures which have been put in place to restrict illegal acquiring of firearms.
The other instance which contrasts efforts of regulating and banning guns to prevent mass shootings is evidence in England. The changes that were made in England in 1997 banning all firearms and making it unlawful to own guns made matters worse. Since the passing of the regulations, there have been increased criminal incidences in the streets of London compared to when there was an allowance for individuals to possess and use guns legally. Although England was perceived as a country with stringiest rules towards the regulation of the firearms, the law did not only create an illusion where people felt being safe but also put them in the criminal hands whenever encounters occurred in the streets. The citizens were unsafe because of being unarmed and defenceless whenever confronted by criminals.
The most startling piece of evidence is that two years after passing of the law in England the crime rate increased by up to 40% and the incidences involving armed robbery rising to 53%. From 1997-2001 the crime incidence rates more than doubled in England. For instance, individuals in England are six times more likely to be defrauded and robbed at gun points compared to those staying in New York. A closer look of 13% of burglar activities that have occurred in the US indicates that burglars always fear armed citizens more than they fear the law itself. In England, the burglary incidences are noted to be five times more than the similar occurrences occurring in New York. The application of restricting and regulating guns in England not only resulted in unintentional consequences like lawlessness in the streets but also increased crime rates being occasioned on the roads. Due to the regulations, criminals in England were motivated and could freely perform their unlawful and criminal activities with no fear of public reciprocating back with the same firearm level.
The case in Britain is similar to that in American states which have passed similar laws in the early days. There is clarity that in the countries which passed more laws restricting gun control the less effective the gun laws have been towards limiting mass shooting incidences. For instance, out of the fifteen countries with high homicide incidences ten of them lead in such case. Despite having strict gun laws the New York State is observed to have more than 20% of the country’s total number of robberies which are performed in the streets. The other example is banning of the gun laws in Washington D.C which showed that the state has consistent high number of homicides and crime as well as robbery rates compared to countries without stricter gun laws for the citizens.
From the above arguments, it is clear that states with stricter gun control mechanisms do not necessarily have reduced incidences of mass shootings and crimes. For instance, there is an inverse relationship which has been observed in states with stricter gun laws where the rates of armed robbery and crime are similarly measured in such cities. Up to date, effective strategies need to be applied to end mass shootings instead of using the method to restrict the public from possessing guns. Restraining mass shootings requires other interventions above restricting gun laws in society. For instance, more gun laws are observed as being useful in solving of crisis resulting from firearms abuse.
Danielle Kurtzleben. FACT CHECK: Is Chicago Proof That Gun Laws Don’t Work? 2017
Justin Haskins. Strict Gun Control Will Never Work in America, 2017
Kleck, Gary. Point blank: Guns and violence in America. Routledge, 2017.
Kleck, Gary. Targeting guns: Firearms and their control. Routledge, 2017.
Krouse, William J. “Gun control legislation.” LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE, 2010.
Rosenberg, Jessica. “Mass shootings and mental health policy.” J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 41 (2014): 107.
Schwoerer, Lois G. Gun Culture in Early Modern England. University of Virginia Press, 2016.
 Kleck, Gary. Targeting guns: Firearms and their control. Routledge, 2017.
 Kleck, Gary. Point blank: Guns and violence in America. Routledge, 2017.
 Krouse, William J. “Gun control legislation.” LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE, 2010.
 Justin Haskins. Strict Gun Control Will Never Work in America, 2017
 Rosenberg, Jessica. “Mass shootings and mental health policy.” J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 41 (2014): 107
 Schwoerer, Lois G. Gun Culture in Early Modern England. University of Virginia Press, 2016.
 Kleck, Gary. Targeting guns: Firearms and their control. Routledge, 2017.