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The Myth of Gun Control in Crime Prevention

America has a long tradition of gun ownership and for many Americans, it is a fundamental part of life. The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. However, in recent years, there were many controversial discussions about the Second Amendment because there were a high number of gun-related deaths, wounds, accidents, and suicides in the US. School shootings and massacres shocked the whole country. Now more and more people ask themselves how such incidents could be prevented and if stricter gun control laws might reduce violent crime. There are different opinions about the Second Amendment. The pro-gun lobby, and especially the National Rifle Association (NRA), thinks that gun control should be opposed because it would harm the Constitution and a fundamental right of the individual: the right to keep and bear arms.

This right is guaranteed by the Second Amendment and therefore they are of the opinion that restricting this Amendment would mean that the door is open to restricting others. Advocates of gun control think that, in the 21st century, the Second Amendment is not appropriate anymore and that the individual simply does not need the gun the way he needed it three hundred years ago. They also say that guns are not only used for self-protection, but they are often used to kill people, especially young people. In 1996, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found out that 50 people die violently in American schools every year, and today the number is probably higher. It cannot be denied that guns are often a big danger. One of the numerous examples for that is the shooting at the Columbine High School in Littleton, and that is only one of the many appalling incidents that happened in recent years.

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Such incidents also show that guns are often too easily accessible for children and teenagers. The gun sellers are not the only ones to blame. In most households, guns are not locked away properly and children can get them easily. Stricter gun control laws or the outlawing of private gun ownership would reduce the number of firearms in American households, and therefore it would reduce the number of gun-related deaths. The government and the lawmakers have realized the problem of growing gun violence and they do not ignore the problem. Some years ago the Brady Act was passed. The law required a five-day waiting period for all handgun purchases. That waiting period is now eliminated. Instead, people who want to buy a gun now must undergo an instant check. Now, federal law bans gun purchases by people who are convicted, or who are under indictment for felony charges, fugitives, and mentally ill.

People with renounced US citizenship, illegal immigrants, and illegal drug users are also not allowed to buy a gun. Federal law also prohibits gun sales to those convicted of domestic violence, or to those who are under domestic violence restraining orders. But there are still some problems with this instant check system. There are still some criminals, who slip through the cracks because only about 80% of the gun purchases undergo this background check. Another problem is that many states do not keep necessary records for the FBI database, which is used for the instant check. Furthermore, the mental health records of 28 states are not accessible because they regard them as private issues. Therefore, it is difficult to get information about the purchaser’s mental competence. The government made even more efforts to restrict gun use. In 1999 former President Clinton offered $ 15 million to several cities to buy about 300.000 guns back, for the purpose of destroying them.

The US government also wanted the gun industry to change its way of marketing and distributing its guns, and therefore it planned to file a lawsuit against the gun industry. Undoubtedly, the government is trying to reduce gun crimes, but their efforts seem to be not enough. It is proven that gun control does work in a few states. For example in Massachusetts. Two years after the Bartley-Fox law was passed there, homicides in Boston dropped by 39%. Another example is South Carolina. There were passed stricter handgun laws, and after this had been done, the murder rate declined by 28%. Apart from the gun control laws, there are some more ways of banning gun use. One possibility is bullet control. Sellers should control people who buy bullets more strictly. Furthermore, there are technologies in development that would make it impossible to fire a gun if you are not the owner.

A chip is placed in a ring or wristband and this chip allows the gun to go off. Without that chip, it would be impossible to fire such a gun. These ways of controlling gun violence are not bad, but true gun control is still the best way. It is high time that the government and the lawmakers create an efficient gun regulation. But there is one big problem: too many states and cities have different laws regarding the sales of guns, and in a country that is open to interstate travel, such a control is no control. This means that laws for national gun control are needed. But there are still powerful groups like the NRA, which try to obstruct every step in that direction. About 40.000 people die in gun-related incidents every year and potential killers buy guns every day. There is no doubt that this must be stopped and national gun control, with strict laws, might be a good solution. Anyway, it is worth a try.

Reaction. I think since there are so many people getting killed by guns, maybe each state should have strict laws about guns. Most people who are interested in the gun is the young generation, many of them are just too anxious to buy a gun. Since we have laws that required some important information about that person it helps the seller to determine whether he or she should sell a gun to this particular person. Also, our former President Clinton has made some new laws for the gun makers and for the gun buyers, which helps many people. Here in the US, we have many people who just go crazy for certain things, for instance, money. Many people just think that money is everything for them, so some people even have killed their own parents to get the money but they never got that money because all the money that they were supposed to get was spent on their trial for example the Menendez Brothers. Two brothers were just hungry for money even when their parents provided them with everything.

Sources

  • Burnett, Sterling H. “Gun Control Disguised as Crime Control.”
  • http://www.nraila.org/articles.asp, June 7, 2001

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The Myth of Gun Control in Crime Prevention. (2021, Mar 27). Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://essayscollector.com/essays/the-myth-of-gun-control-in-crime-prevention/