There has been a continuous debate over gun control after mass shootings in civilian settings became more commonplace. Gun control is a hot topic in the United States and everywhere else, but what exactly is it? Gun control is the act of law that restricts or regulates who can purchase, own, or carry weapons such as firearms. In the United States, federal, state, and local laws regulate guns. The principles of federal firearms legislation were established in 1968 following a court order by the Supreme Court, which required that individuals with criminal records or mental disorders should be banned from carrying guns within five years of their release from prison or receiving institutionalization (Liu et al., 2019). State gun control legislation regulates the sale, possession, and carrying of firearms within a state, including concealed weapons.
Since the wake of the Las Vegas shooting on October 1st, 2017, in Paradise, Nevada, where Stephen Paddock opened fire at a concert, leaving 59 dead and 847 injured, a national discussion over weapons legislation was reignited. Semiautomatic rifles were among the types of weaponry used in the attack. Some of the weapons were equipped with high-capacity magazines, bolt-action rifles, and revolvers (Liu et al., 2019). This was a very tragic event that changed many people’s lives forever. Despite considerable public support, the Senate voted down a bill that would have banned semiautomatic firearms. In recent years, some of the worst mass shootings have occurred in the United States. Guns killed over 20,000 people in the United States in 2020, the highest number in more than two decades (Reeping et al., 2019).
The Second Amendment of the United Declares Constitution states that ” the people’s right to possess and carry firearms, being essential to the security of a free State, shall not be infringed.” Small Arms Survey estimates that the United States civilians alone accounted for 46 percent (approximately 393 million) of the worldwide number of civilian-held weapons (Pomeranz et al., 2021). This corresponds to “120.5 weapons for every 100 citizens.” On the other hand, the right to own and carry a firearm is not unrestricted. The Supreme Court has upheld many gun regulations, including prohibitions on concealed guns, limits on handgun ownership, and restrictions on the sale of firearms to certain groups.
There are numerous practical uses for firearms in the United States, but they also have cultural, economic, and symbolic values. For many Americans, activities like hunting, sporting clays, and gun collecting are deeply rooted in their culture. They value the sense of security and protection that these activities can offer. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have their livelihoods dependent on the gun industry, which employs thousands of people across the country. Every year, many Americans suffer life-threatening injuries or lose loved ones due to gun-related accidents. According to data on vital statistics that the Centres provided for Disease Control and Prevention, over 39,700 people in the United States passed away due to gunshot wounds in 2017.
USA Gun Control
Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court has overturned several gun control measures. In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down a law prohibiting weapons in Washington, DC (Husak, 2019). As a political leader, I believe that certain state gun regulations enacted by states like Idaho and Kansas are unconstitutional because they violate federal gun policies. To increase gun control and minimize mass shootings and gun violence, I would implement several measures, such as mandating federal licensing for gun dealers and background checks for buyers at gun shows and on the Internet.
Bump stocks aren’t considered machine guns under federal law, according to an order imposed by a federal court in March 2021. As of 2021, there were no federal rules restricting military-style semiautomatic assault weapons. Calibers up to 50 caliber rifles and pistols and assault weapons, and large-capacity magazines were banned by federal law from 1994 to 2004, but Congress allowed these restrictions to be removed. Regarding gun control legislation, I would support various initiatives to tighten laws, including the reversal of rules that make it easier for those suffering from mental illnesses to obtain firearms or the use/ownership of semiautomatic assault weapons.
Being a Senator, I would propose legislation to offer the most accurate data possible about what is and isn’t understood about the probable effects of frequently discussed gun regulations, to establish resources and tools to enhance the quality of research in this area, and to eventually enhance the political discussion on establishing efficient and equitable gun policies, for example, campaigns to prevent gun violence.
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act safeguards licensed firearm producers., dealers, and sellers against civil litigation “arising from a firearm or ammunition’s illicit or unlawful use.” Protecting the Lawful Trade in Arms Act was the greatest advantage of the law. When communities and individuals injured by gunfire file lawsuits, the legislature enacts legislation allowing for limited exclusions. According to gun rights supporters, it protects gun manufacturers from attempts to undermine the Second Amendment. Repeal of this statute would be my top priority.
No matter how little evidence there is that most gun control initiatives work, that doesn’t mean they’re a failure outright. Those looking to purchase a new weapon may find that these regulations have the desired impact. These regulations intend to alter who is permitted to purchase new guns. It’s important to note that although traditional methods and data in this field make it difficult to detect even the tiniest effects, this does not rule out their existence: Even a 1% decrease in murders across the country would result in 1,500 fewer deaths from violent crime over a decade (Husak, 2019). Therefore, I believe the government must take action to address this issue, and through consultation with other Congress members, I would advocate for stringent laws.
According to the Washington Post, despite the coronavirus epidemic, there will be almost 20,000 gun-related deaths in the American States in 2022 (Pomeranz et al., 2021). In the last 20 years, this has been the highest amount ever recorded. Enacting more gun control measures would infringe on the Second Amendment’s protections and fail to stop someone determined to kill, contending opponents. I would advocate for stringent laws because I believe the government must take action to address this grotesque figure.
Extending background checks, in my view, is an essential component of the government’s efforts to tighten gun control. Persons under a temporary injunction should not be able to acquire or possess a handgun under the proposed legislation. For the Domestic Violence Gun Homicide Prevention Act, as a senator, I would introduce a bill that grants the Department of Justice funds for states to assist in keeping firearms out of the hands of those who are lawfully barred from keeping them or to remove firearms when there is reasonable cause to suspect they could be misused for domestic abuse. I would also take action on the accountability of homemade firearms. Legislation is important because 3-D printing technology allows many individuals to make their guns (Pomeranz et al., 2021). As a consequence, homemade weapons would be required to have serial numbers. I would also push for the proposed law, the Denying Weapons and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, which would prohibit anybody on a federal terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms to be implemented.
Criminal background checks should be upgraded. A person cannot buy a gun if a background check deems them “mentally incompetent” (Rostron, 2018). I would strengthen the background check process and clarify what that means. I would also push for federal background checks on all handgun purchases, including those made via private internet dealers and gun shows, which are now free from the background check. People on terrorist watch lists would be given a five-year grace period to appeal their cases to a court so that law enforcement officers have time to have a background check. In addition to this, I would ensure that the “Help End Assault Rifle Tragedies Act” is passed. Finally, I would make it illegal for minors under 16 and dangerous young offenders to wield assault weapons.
In conclusion, one of the most challenging aspects of American foreign policy has been how to deal with the problem of gun control legislation. Political gun regulation has become one of the most divisive issues in the United States because of its multifaceted nature and role in distributing weapons (Reeping et al., 2019). The regulating authority has been hard at work devising rules, protocols, and procedures in conformity with the legislation to find the most effective means of distributing weapons. Scientific research on gun regulations is important since debates over gun policy seem to be anchored more in differences over the outcomes of policies than in differences over their intentions.
Pomeranz, J. L., Silver, D., & Lieff, S. A. (2021). State Gun Control, Gun-Rights, and Preemptive Firearm-Related Laws Across 50 US States for 2009–2018. American journal of public health, 111(7), 1273-1280.
Reeping, P. M., Cerdá, M., Kalesan, B., Wiebe, D. J., Galea, S., & Branas, C. C. (2019). State gun laws, gun ownership, and mass shootings in the US: cross-sectional time series. BMJ, 364.
Rostron, A. (2018). The Dickey Amendment on federal funding for research on gun violence: a legal dissection. American journal of public health, 108(7), 865-867.
Husak, D. (2019). Why Gun Control is So Hard. Criminal Justice Ethics, 38(1), 55-64.
Liu, S., Guo, L., Mays, K., Betke, M., & Wijaya, D. T. (2019, January). Detecting frames in news headlines and its application to analyzing news framing trends surrounding US gun violence. Proceedings of the 23rd conference on computational natural language learning (CoNLL).