Gun control denotes any lawful measure prearranged to restrict or prevent the ownership or gun use, specifically firearms. In a wider historical understanding, the phrase may also imply legal limitations on usage or ownership of other arms, such as those that precede the creation of gunpowder. Gun control is stern and undisputed (Fleming et al., 350). In others like the United States, it is a troubled political challenge, pitting those appropriate for public protection against those who look at it as a hazardous infringement of individual liberty. No place in the world is gun control more disputed than in the U.S., where gun ownership is constitutionally secured while murders done with firearms are very common. In this case, the United States has been stated as the greatest homicide by gun rate among the first world countries. Gun control is, therefore, a serious issue in the country. Over time, the debate over gun regulation has shone, stimulated by regular mass shootings in civilian backgrounds. With the recent pandemic, citizens have seen some of the worst gun violence in history. It has come to a time where scholars, government, and the citizens, in general, need a debate on how gun rules be enforced to reduce murder rates and save as many lives as possible. Therefore, this paper proposes that the United States should tighten the gun laws post COVID-19 crisis to curb and reduce high mass shootings and gun violence that has risen in recent years.
Gun laws should be tightened since the availability of guns is associated with high cases of gun violence. According to Gulamali, with the provision to bear a firearm, the United States has the maximum gun saturation per capita compared to other developed countries (Gulamali, 410). Due to this saturation of arms, the nation significantly leads in incidences of gun-associated homicides than any other first-world country. In the study, Gulamali compares Mississippi and California gun regulation guidelines against gun violence rates in individual states (Gulamali, 431). The study proved that strict gun laws produce reduced gun violence and crime. Unlike Mississippi, California has the most stringent firearm safety regulations. California has amended over a hundred rules that define place, time, and manner limits on welding guns, such as laws concerning buyers and dealers, background check necessities, and ownership bans for specific high-risk persons. Also, the California legislature took close to 24 gun-associated bills and passed them into law in 2019. Through this, the state has been able to control the rate of violence caused by gun possession. Conversely, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, states that Hawaii, New Jersey, and Massachusetts had the lowest cases of gun violence.
The second amendment is outdated and no longer very relevant. It was written nearly 200 years ago to guard the citizens against a tyrannical government, which may not be the case in the current era since it is skewed towards the white people (Itah, 192). In a vicious discussion over gun control, battle lines are frequently strained around the second amendment, with several in favor of gun freedoms directing it as the origin of their constitutional power to own arms and others in favor of stricter gun control dissenting with that explanation. However, if the objective of the argument is to minimize the disastrous human toll of gun violence, the attention on the second amendment is usually out-of-place. Department of Defense’s Application of Gun Control Act of 1968 invades some individuals’ rights to acquire and own firearms. Based on a review, Congress did not state the phrase unlawful user of a gun in section 922 or anywhere in Title 18 of the constitution (Lipton, 6). The State circuit courts created one in the absence of a definition. Therefore, at the moment, when it arrives in the sort of limitations that exist within the possibility zone, the second amendment is neither a protection tool nor an obstacle. Hence, it is an irrelevance in the modern century.
Gun owners have too powerful weapons to be used at home for self-defense. Studies indicate that most guns owned by individuals are more likely to injure or kill a family member than an intruder. Gun can destroy an individual through either accident, suicide, or homicide (Gun Control, 1). Evidence shows that there are increased chances of the murder of either an individual or family member among people with access to weapons compared with those without contact. Having an arm at the household is a risk factor for solemn accidental death and injury. Data indicate that over five hundred Americans under the age of twenty-five were killed unintendedly by guns in homes. Particularly, children between the ages of five and fourteen in the United States are ten times more likely to pass away from an accidental gunshot wound than in any other first-world country. Also, guns reserved at home are related to an increased risk of homicide by family associates or close acquittance. In robberies, assaults, disputes, or quarrels, gun presence normally makes it more deadly. It is no doubt that many murders are often done in a moment of rage. For instance, large homicide incidents happen during arguments over matters including domestic issues, money, and love involving lovers, neighbors, or family associates. Only minor homicides seem to be carefully formulated acts of persons with a single-minded commitment to kill. Lastly, research shows that firearms holders and their families are less suicidal than non-arm owners. However, owning a gun significantly increases the chance of an individual taking their life or that of a family because arms are more deadly than other techniques. For example, in states with more firearms, there will be more arm’s suicides than in states with less gun saturation (Grande, 390). Thus, with all these three ways gun ownership may lead to death upon an individual or family member, the state must provide stricter rules concerning the acquisition, license, and usage.
Lastly, gun laws should be tightened to ensure that the mentally ill who can go on mass shooting sprees do not easily access a gun. Gun control law should prohibit arm ownership by a mentally ill person, and mandatory legal background checks for individuals involved in gun purchases be done regularly to avoid gun problems in the future. The federal law states that it is wrong for any dealer or individual to dispose of or sell an arm to anyone knowing that they have been adjudicated as psychologically defective or taken to any mental establishment. Additionally, some research claims that one’s right to own a gun comprises the right to decide how best to guard themselves and for some persons, that implies choosing not to hold any firearm in any way (Ayres and Vars, 923). Thus, the intention of gun law ought to be exercised and enforced to protect the general public from any harm.
Opposing claims suggest that gun control may not help minimize the sum of guns available in the black market since the illegal gun entry into the United States is the biggest challenge that prevents effective performance of gun laws. Studies indicate that 80 percent of gun violence cases involve an illegally obtained weapon (Alper and Glaze, 11). In turn, the government should stop and block the entry of illegal firearms instead of focusing on gun ownership laws. Also, other opposing claims argue that the focus should be on improving the treatment of the mentally ill rather than heightening gun control measures. Mental illness is frequently undetected and undiagnosed by many health care systems since it requires huge time and resources. This implies that many mentally ill individuals are not admitted and can be potentially dangerous in society; thus, the focus should be on reaching them.
From the above findings, it is clear that the state and federal governments should tighten the gun laws for the overall safety of their citizens. Evidence shows that the availability of guns increases the probability of high crime rates and gun violence among the communities in the states. As per studies, strict gun laws are directly associated with low gun violence cases, while weak laws allow high gun violence cases. In this regard, more gun possession should be amended so that the acquisition and usage of guns are limited to a few individuals. Also, this may curb some of the illegal firearms circulating in the economy. In addition, gun dealers should always be aware of the mental health of individuals before giving them a gun to avoid killings and suicide.
Alper, Mariel and Glaze, Lauren. “Sources and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates. 2016.” BJS Statisticians, 2019, pp.1-13.
Ayres, Ian, and Vars, Frederick, E. “Libertarian Gun Control.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 167, no. 4 (March 1, 2019): 921–74.
Fleming, Anthony, et al. “Debating Gun Control in Canada and the United States: Divergent Policy Frames and Political Cultures.” World Affairs, vol. 181, no. 4, Dec. 2018, pp. 348–371. Doi: 10.1177/0043820018812609
Grande, Alicia L. “Gun Control and the Color of the Law.” Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice, vol. 37, no. 2, June 2019, pp. 387–422.
Gulamali, Fahim A. “Circumscribing the Right to Bear Arms: The Second Amendment, Gun Violence, and Gun Control in California and Mississippi.” University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review, vol. 28, no. 2, Mar. 2021, pp. 405–36.
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Itah, Maya. “How the Gun Control Act Disarms Black Firearm Owners.” Washington Law Review, vol. 96, no. 3, Oct. 2021, pp. 1191–224.
Lipton, Ryan C. “We’re Doing This Wrong: The Department of Defense’s Application of the Gun Control Act of 1968 Infringes upon Some Service Members’ Right to Purchase and Possess Personal Firearms.” Military Law Review, vol. 229, no. 1, Jan. 2021, pp. 1–48.