Free Essay with a Discussion on Improvement of the Gun Control Laws

Published: 2022-05-20 16:10:41
Free Essay with a Discussion on Improvement of the Gun Control Laws
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Gun control
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1680 words
14 min read
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The incidences of gun violence in the United States are relatively high considering that this is a high-income country. Although a difference exists in the total crime rate between the United States and various other wealthy countries, the rate of homicides in the United States is approximately seven times higher compared to the total homicide rates in other twenty-two high-income countries. The increased cases of gun ownership in the country and the less effective gun control laws are the main contributing factors to the increased rate of violent crimes than in other similar high-income countries.

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Approximately 30000 people die annually as a result of gunshot woods in the United States, most of those affected are the young people (Spitzer, 2015). Therefore, gun violence acts as one of the contributing factors to premature deaths in the United States. In 2010, there were approximately 337,960 non-fatal crimes that were carried out with guns, and 73505 people attended in hospitals emergency departments due to less severe gunshot wounds (McGinty, 2014). There is a huge economic burden linked to the increased gun violence rates in the United States. Gun violence associated injuries and deaths lead to increased medical cost and huge loss of productivity expense of approximately $32billion in 2005, but the current total cost due to gun violence cases exceeds these figures (Spitzer, 2015). According to research, the indirect and direct costs of the increased violent crimes in eight cities in the united states and the approximated average cost due to violent crimes annually exceeded 1,300 for each child and adult (McGinty, 2014). The contributing factors of this cost are the low residential property values and violent crimes contribution to the reduced tax revenues that the states government requires to fulfill the needs of the citizens. Therefore, the direct cost of violent crimes annually at all government levels was approximately $325 per resident (Swanson, 2015). This study is aimed at reviewing the various ways that the gun control laws can be improved.

The issue of gun control always shifts to the argument on whether the ownership of guns makes us safer or less safe; therefore, gun control is directed towards restricting and controlling gun ownership. However, the recent policies on gun control and the current supreme court ruling overturning laws that ban ownership of guns on the districts of Chicago and Colombia in the united states do not achieve the aim of disarming the law abiding citizens above the age of 21 (Swanson, 2015). Therefore, there is the need for improvement of the gun control laws; this should involve.

The prohibition of gun ownership for the high-risk people should be broadened,

This law can be achieved through various ways that include, first, prohibiting criminals from gun ownership. In addition to the method of exclusion from gun possession under the federal laws, many other states have more disqualifications towards illegal gun possession. The references in the prohibition methods across the countries states are huge. For example, New Jersey restricts gun ownership by anyone convicted of a crime and the penalty for breaking the law can be up to six months imprisonment while the accepted minimum age of gun ownership is 21 years. On the other hand, 13 states have set standards for gun ownership which are weaker as compared to the federal standards (McGinty, 2013). People perceive that criminals should not be allowed to possess guns yet the current law allows those convicted to have guns.

According to research on the people who happened to commit the most severe crimes shows that before the perpetrators committed these crimes, they had not been denied the right to gun ownership as per the federal law. Another study that was conducted based on the prisoner's criminal history and the age of the people imprisoned for committing a crime with a gun in the 13 states under the laws of legal firearm ownership that are within the boundaries of the federal laws. The study found out that 27% of the gun criminals had been prohibited from gun possession since they had previously committed a felony, while 60% of the inmates could legally own guns before committing a crime that leads them to jail. This included 6% of the inmates who had misdemeanor convictions that involved violence and 5% jailed for f4elony in the juvenile courts (McGinty, 2013). Therefore, this suggests that gun prohibition for people with a criminal record to also involve those with felony crimes and people convicted of misdemeanor crimes. Most of the states have laws that restrict gun possession for convicted criminals, but these prohibitions are limited to time-based on the age of a person and the period of years since the restricting conviction. Therefore there is the need for more strict laws that hindering those convicted of a crime from owning guns.

Secondly the restriction of the substance abusers from gun ownership. The law restricts gun ownership by an individual addicted to drugs, but instead, the regulations guiding the law usually give a narrow definition of who is to be prohibited. A person could be considered for the prohibition of gun possession due to various reasons that include, a conviction for possession of an illegal drug substance for the past one year, several arrests due to possession of drugs and if found to be on drug use through a drug test conducted for the past one year. The number of drug users restricted from gun ownership would increase through enhancing this regulation. For example, extending the time after being convicted of drugs after which an individual is restricted from owning a gun. Also, gun prohibition should also include people with alcoholic issues, and this will help in curbing the alcohol-related violence since alcohol is linked to people with violent behaviors (Spitzer, 2015). .

Thirdly, restriction of gun ownership for an individual under the age of 21 years, the prohibition on youth's ability to buy and own a gun should be broadened. Although the government and state law do not restrict the youth ages 18 to 20 years to own a gun, the youths of such age tend to have the highest cases of homicide crimes (McGinty, 2013). In a study on the legal status and background of the firearm offenders jailed in 13 states with weakest laws for gun possession and the bigger portion of offenders who may have been restricted with more strict laws in other states were the individuals in the age group of 18 to 20 years (McGinty, 2014). Therefore, there is the need to create strict laws that prohibit the youths aged 21 and below are restricted from purchasing and possessing guns.

Regulating of gun sales to help hinder the possessions of guns by criminals by enforcing strict laws

The Brady law is the gun policy used by the federal government to identify people at risk who are attempting to buy guns and restrict the purchases. Before this law, the population filled a manual form that showed if they passed the exclusion criteria for gun ownership with no specific verification of the information. The Brady laws ensure that people buy guns from the licensed gun dealers who run a background check on the buyer. However currently the Brady law has seemed insufficient since according to the national data 40% of the gun crimes are carried out by people who are not legal gun holders, the criminals use the private loopholes to get guns (Swanson, 2015). Data from the national survey also indicates that 80% of inmates who used firearms to commit crimes obtained them from people who were not licensed gun holders (Swanson, 2015). Therefore the Brady law does not have any effect on the suicides and homicides rates since its attempt to reduce the homicides is hindered by the private loopholes therefor more need to be done to ensure that the law is effective to achieve the gun control strategy.

Enforcing strict Federal regulation on the gun sellers

A successful gun control system should have a wide range of regulations controlling those who could have the intention of bending the law to get profits. The Congress has continuously weakened this regulation and the accountability of the government licensed gun dealers. For example, the gun owner's protection act minimized the sentence for the violation of the gun sale law. Another Congress act is the defence of allowed commerce in the arms act of 2005, which protects the gun retailers and manufacturers against any lawsuit (Swanson, 2015). Research shows the effect of the policies that inadequately considers the gun sellers guilty of the illegal gun practices. The illegal gun purchase from the licensed fire are dealers are common like the purchases from licensed gun dealers. Therefore, more strict laws and regulations should be created by the Congress to help restrict the sellers from engaging in illegal gun activities mainly by holding them accountable.

Conclusion

Irrespective of the media reports, a huge majority of the population including gun owners are concerned with the increased weakness of the current gun laws. The politicians are mandated to create new gun laws since the rate of guns lobbying in the country is substantial. The politicians who want to enhance the current laws that enable people to get guns illegally can create the laws knowing that they have the policies and the population support since the policies are aimed at enhancing public safety, and the law reforms are constitutional.

References

McGinty, E. E., Webster, D. W., Jarlenski, M., & Barry, C. L. (2014). News media framing of serious mental illness and gun violence in the United States, 1997-2012. American Journal of Public Health, 104(3), 406-413.

McGinty, E. E., Webster, D. W., & Barry, C. L. (2013). Effects of news media messages about mass shootings on attitudes toward persons with serious mental illness and public support for gun control policies. American Journal of Psychiatry, 170(5), 494-501.]

Spitzer, R. J. (2015). Politics of gun control. Routledge.

Swanson, J. W., McGinty, E. E., Fazel, S., & Mays, V. M. (2015). Mental illness and reduction of gun violence and suicide: bringing epidemiologic research to policy. Annals of epidemiology, 25(5), 366-376.

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