Should the US government further restrict gun ownership through tougher screening procedures and or licensing requirements?
Gun control may refer to the measures that are legally put in place and are intended for controlling or restricting the possession of the guns specifically the firearms (Cook, 257). Gun control in the united states of America is very controversial (Cook, 257). In the US the gun control is protected constitutionally but the incidents of murders committed by the use of guns are very high. This includes the mass killings which have led to the US being the country with the highest incidents of homicide done by firearms as compared with other developed countries (Spitzer, np). Limiting access to guns in the United States can lead to a reduction in the crime rate in the country as well as save most of the lives. The government of the united states should further restrict the gun ownerships through the usage of tougher screening procedures as well as requirements for licensing of the gun.
Firstly, licensing is very important as it keeps a record of the gun owners as well as makes it legal for one to own a gun. It is noted that most of the mass shooting that takes place in the US are from legally purchased firearms. For instance, Andrés et al., (97), states that “Approximately 75% of the mass shooting incidents come from legally owned firearms.” This implies that continued licensing of the guns without any further restriction may not help reduce the incidents of gunshots. Legislations should be put in place to control safely the use of the guns during the licensing process. This can be achieved by asking any of the potential riffle owners to provide information on their screening procedures as they purchase new guns (Andrés et al., 99). If they do not pose any then a psychological test should be carried on to detect any form of impulsiveness as the signs of any homicidal addictions. Any person with such signs should be marked not fit for gun ownership through denial of a gun license.
Secondly, indeed, the people who should be able to own guns can as well purchase them (Goss, np). This means that the current gun control measures are still permissive and need to be made tougher. There is an existence of private sale exemptions in the US law that requires no background check on the individuals before they purchase guns from the private sellers (Goss, np). “The private sellers can sell the firearms to unlicensed residents in their local’s states as far as they are not aware of any reasons that can lead them into believing that the particular person should not own a firearm” (Andrés et al., 100). This gives the people who might be restricted by a chance to own a firearm. More legislation procedures on licensing should be put in place to control this from happening. Meanwhile, advance procedures on the screening should be used by the private sellers to determine if a person, whether licensed to own a gun or not, is of sound mind to own a firearm.
Thirdly, Advanced gun control restrictions can reduce the number of accidental injuries. For instance, “Deaths of 600 people in the United States in 2010 was caused by unintentional shooting”( Goss, np). Also, more than 1300 people have fallen victims of the unintentional shooting in the united states between 2005 and 2010 (Cook et al., 270). As per the information from the FBI, 50% of the homicides on guns are committed by the people under the age of 25 years (Spitzer, np). It can be scientifically noted that those under 25 have not matured their brains. Therefore, the age ban on ownership of the guns should be put for those under the age of 25 years. They should automatically be excepted from owning a firearm license under the grounds of being underage. Meanwhile, advanced screening procedures can as well be used in the determination of a person’s mental maturity before getting licensed for the guns. This will greatly help in the reduction of the high rates of homicide amongst those who are under the age of 25.
Confiscation is not required by the already predefined measures of gun control. The right of having the guns as for self-defense is protected by the constitution of the United States. Thereby this constitutional law on the firearm restrictions does not involve the confiscation of the gun (Spitzer, np). For this reason, some of the people may turn the gun into a tool of violence and leading to more losses. It has been noted that having a gun, in any case, increases the risk of violence. As Cook et al., (271), “the people who own guns in their faces 40 times higher risks of committing homicide as compared to their counterparts without guns”. This fact is irrespective of how safely the weapon is stored. To reduce the chances of the violence via the use of the guns, the legislation should make it a requirement on the use of the guns from an individual before licensing them for the gun owner. More also, funds should be set aside for the facilitation of licensing and safety classes on the usage of the firearms. This can lead to a reduction of harmful usage of the firearms to cause violence due to not knowing the proper ways of using the arm for self-defense.
However, it can as well be argued that putting tough screening procedures as well as licensing measures on the gun-owning can lead to the development of black markets (Spitzer, np). “If a person wants to own a gun, they will most definitely get to own it, whether legally or illegally”. This is one of the principles that is used by both the legal and the illegal gun owners to imply that there can always be the availability of guns. Thereby, if these gun ownership requirements are made tougher, then those who steal the firearms or make an alteration of the background checks information will get into the market for those who do not meet the requirement and still need to own one (Goss, np). Nevertheless, more legalizations can as well be put in place to control the use of unlicensed guns in the united states. This includes the obtaining of biometric information before one owns a gun which should always be used to verify the authenticity of the owner in the future.
In conclusion, owning a gun in the united states should be subject to the tough screening procedures and advance policies for the licensing of the gun owners. The gun owners exhibit a higher degree of maturity and mental soundness as well as no history of illegal activities before they are licensed to own a firearm. This is because such histories threaten the security of the country. Therefore, such advanced methods before owning a gun can lower the number of deaths caused by the poor handling of the guns.
Andrés, Antonio Rodríguez, and Katherine Hempstead. “Gun control and suicide: The impact of state firearm regulations in the United States, 1995–2004.” Health Policy 101.1 (2011): 95-103.
Cook, Philip J., Anthony A. Braga, and Mark H. Moore. “Gun control.” Crime and public policy (2011): 257-292.
Goss, Kristin A. Disarmed: The missing movement for gun control in America. Vol. 120. Princeton University Press, 2010.
Spitzer, Robert J. Politics of gun control. Routledge, 2015.
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