Gun control is the most contentious issues in the US today; several nations have strict gun control policies, especially on private firearm ownership. For instance, in Australia, guns are tightly controlled restricting its availability to the public. However, the interpretation of the US constitution on the Second Amendment has been controversial. The Second Amendment addresses security concerns through self-defense, including gun rights. The definition of self-defense and how self-defense should be described have been misinterpreted.
Laws on gun control in the US
Traditionally, use and control of firearms in the US have been approached from a laissez-faire position because gun ownership is largely unregulated. Even though federal laws provide the framework for gun control in the US, there are several cases of firearm misuse. The most influential gun laws have been the National Firearms Act of 1934.The law limits an individual who wanted to possess small arms, stating certain criteria for gun ownership. The Act was viewed to be oppressive because it limited the use of shotguns, automatic machine guns, hand grenades and short rifles. The act prohibits unlicensed possession or transfer of this item making it a criminal offense. If found guilty of possessing an unlicensed firearm, one can serve up to 10 years in prison for violating this act.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 was created after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and Robert Kennedy. The act provides tighter regulation when dealing with firearms, but does not provide any strict regulations on gun ownership. The act prevents individuals for purchasing guns directly from dealers, instead, the laws require that all firearms need to bear a serial number for easy identification.
Many people who advocate for stricter gun control argue that restriction of firearms has resulted in fewer crimes and improved self-defense practices. However, those opposing strict gun control believes that many states with strict gun laws are likely to suffer from gun violence just like those without strict gun control policies.
Why gun laws have failed to address violent crimes
Strict gun control laws have been criticized because it causes alternative routes for illegal firearms to be in circulation. In the US, firearms are still the second highest cause of death after motor vehicle accidents. The homicide rates in the US are greater than any industrialized nation in the world. The fact that there is a high prevalence of firearms related deaths; one would conclude that possession of firearms causes high risk of death. The number of stolen guns that play an instrumental role in committing violent crimes, putting others at risk. We have witnessed many protests supporting legalization of firearms and advocating for licensing firearms to people who wish to carry concealed weapons. According to their proposal, licenses should be issued to anyone who applies and meets minimum state regulation criteria.
One notable issue missing from the proposal is an evaluation of individuals who need to carry these weapons, making the whole process to be controversial. Those supporting this proposal believe that when people own guns, gun-related death will reduce because they have the equal chance for self-defense. Others believe that removing guns from citizens can only be effective among law-abiding citizens they are people who use guns for genuine purposes. There are those who do not follow the law and might misuse guns for criminal purposes. Banning guns will not be helpful and will not have served the intended purpose. Instead, it will make it easy for innocent citizens to be killed with nothing left to protect themselves.
Some American citizens believe that that gun control regulation can only be effective depending on how these policies are implemented. Today, more than 74 percent of Americans own guns for them, guns are essential; the other 44 percent still believe that firearms contribute to gun violence. With much deadly mass shooting being witnessed in the US, the gun control debate has come back to the limelight.
The recent case of Las Vegas, where a man shot and killed 58 people in a musical concert and wounding more than 527 is a worrying trend. Recent shooting is among incidents where people who own guns misuse them. The Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock‘s motive is not clear, but the ease in which he acquires his guns with a thousand rounds of ammunition has raised questions as to why the US effect sensible gun control.
In reference to Australia, which enacted a mandatory buyback of more than 600,000 guns after the shooting of 1996 ending the problem of mass shootings, therefore, why can the US also do the same. These are the many questions lobbyist have been asking Congress, however Looking at gun control from one angle can be complicated because powerful gun lobby groups have heavily influenced gun control laws, politicians. In addition, hundreds of millions of guns are already in the hands of American citizens. Many Americans blame the government for failing to stop mass shooting incidents.
They are of the opinion that the US can only adopt better gun control laws, if only the public feels strong enough about the dangers of possessing guns, therefore if the public opinion on the negative impact of firearms does not change the damages caused by individual actions. They believe that the situation will not change in the US. It is not surprising to hear many cases of mass shooting in school and public places.
Reasons for supporting firearm ownership
The National Rifle Association released a recent report stating that guns are often used for self-defense up to 1 million times in a year. The association is of the opinion that police cannot be everywhere any time to protect everyone. Meaning that stricter gun laws are likely to make it more directly for people to feel safe in their homes. One of the professors once stated, “The right to self-defense and to means of defending ourselves should be natural rights”, which should be generated from the right to life. He condemned strict gun control because it interferes with basic human rights.
The professor further quoted the constitution stating that the US Constitution stipulates that anyone has the right to bear arms for self-defense. The issues of the gun ownership are one of the most controversial subjects, with debate about its true benefits being overshadowed by cases of mass shooting and violent crimes that are on the increase. In future, gun possession in the US will become a norm strict gun control has not enjoyed a widespread consensus in the US; this explains why there are no comprehensive gun control reforms in the country.