Gun Control Problems And Solutions Essay, Research Paper
The problem with guns is fairly obvious: they decrease the difficulty of killing or injuring a person. In Jeffrey A. Roth’s Firearms and Violence (NIJ Research in Brief, February 1994), he points out the obvious dangers. About 60 percent of all murder victims in the United States in 1989 (about 12,000 people) were killed with firearms. Firearm attacks injured another 70,000 victims, some of whom were left permanently disabled. In 1985, the cost of shootings was an estimated $14 billion nationwide for medical care, long-term disability, and premature death. In robberies and assaults, victims are far more likely to die when the perpetrator is armed with a gun than when he or she has another weapon or is unarmed.
I believe that there are a few solutions that can be used to solve this problem at both a community and national level. The first course of action is to establish a national system for registering guns and ammunition. Anyone can obtain a gun by going to a state with less restrictive laws or by getting a friend who lives in the state to buy the guns for them. A national system would prevent this by scaring those “friends” into not buying the guns legally and selling them illegally, for if the guns are used in an illegal crime, that person can be held accountable. Secondly, a national system would be more helpful in tracking crimes after they have happened, to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Instant background checks, on people attempting to buy guns or ammunition, are the next step in gun control. Brady system is still limited, and does have its flaws in tracking felons. This has been the position of the NRA for quite some time, and it is certainly one with which I agree; Felons and ex-cons should not have access to weapons, and many misdemeanors and juvenile crimes should also count against a person’s adult record.
Stiffer sentences for gun crimes would be effective in using fear of reprimand as a crime deterrent. National as well as community funded gun education courses would increase gun awareness and safety. These programs could even be extended to public schools. Many guns are involved in accidents that could easily have been prevented by a little care or forethought. Also gun purchasers could be required to take lessons in gun safety, at the purchaser’s expense. Again, the NRA has long been a proponent of gun education.
Gun control is severely weakened by the few loopholes that exist in the system. These loopholes make it possible for minors and felons to obtain outlawed and high-powered weapons. They also serve to weaken the strength of the Brady- Bill and Gun registration. Adults are prohibited from transferring firearms to juveniles, but are not required to store guns in securely locked cabinets. This allows kids to get access to them. This Child Access Prevention (CAP) proposal would require parents to keep loaded firearms out of the reach of children and would hold gun owners criminally responsible if a child gains access to an unsecured firearm and uses it to injure himself or herself or someone else. The NRA opposes CAP. Private collectors can sell guns without background checks at gun shows and flea markets thereby bypassing the Brady law that requires that federally licensed gun dealers to initiate and complete a background check before they sell a firearm. No gun should be sold at a gun show without a background check and appropriate documentation. Similar to the Gun Show Loophole, many sales on the Internet are performed without a background check, allowing criminals and other prohibited purchasers to acquire firearms. No one should be able to sell guns over the Internet without complying with the Brady background check requirements. Although juveniles 18 and younger are prohibited by Federal law from purchasing handguns, neither the Federal government nor most states restrict the purchase and ownership of long guns. While this loophole allows teenagers to hunt with rifles and shotguns, it also allows them to possess semi-automatic AK-47s, AR-15s and other assault rifles manufactured before 1994 and addressed under the 1994 assault weapon ban. No juvenile should be allowed to buy or possess an assault rifle. The NRA opposing the assault weapon ban, sponsored its attempted repeal, and has given no sign of support for keeping military weapons out of the hands of teenagers. The 1994 Assault Weapon Ban prohibited the future manufacture and importation of magazines or ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than ten rounds. However, any high-capacity magazines made before the date of enactment may be lawfully imported, possessed, sold or transferred. Foreign companies have circumvented the ban and dumped their products in our country. A revised bill would close the loophole by banning the importation of all large capacity magazines. Although it is illegal in almost every state to hunt most animals with more than 10 bullets, the NRA supports the right to possess magazines holding 20, 30, 50 or even 100 rounds of ammunition.
Study after study has concluded that there is a direct correlation between the lack of general education and violent crimes. Theoretically every dollar spent on education will prevent countless dollars worth of crime damage in the future. A new advancement in the technological field of gun control would decrease crime rates drastically is hand – grip identification tagging. This is technologically probably still in the not so distant future, but it is a goal to work for. The theory is, each gun is “registered” to one’s person palm prints (the legal purchaser of the gun), and only that person can fire that gun. If another person tries, the gun will remain inactive. Thus, stolen guns become useless, and cannot be used to harm anybody in the course of a crime.