Over the past few decades, the United States has witnessed various high- profile mass shootings in towns including Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Orlando, and Newtown. Even though most homicides receive little public attention, incidents of mass shooting are extremely salient. Gun violence is the primary cause of mass shootings in the US. Victor Hayes attributes increased gun violence to how easily an individual can access a gun in the US and further argues that such ease of accessibility acts as a barrier in the legislative battle against gun violence (Hayes 1). Although gun control policies have been formulated to restrict firearm distribution to reduce mass shootings and gun violence, various studies still indicate high incidences of gun violence in the US. Gun violence has been on the rise, therefore, gun control laws should be enacted and implemented to restrict gun ownership and reduce firearm-related violence.
The Second Amendment does not guarantee citizens an unrestricted right to gun ownership. Antonin Scalia—one of the most notable conservative Supreme Court Judge once opined, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” (Byck para 2). Majority of gun owners violate or misinterpret the Second Amendment to own firearms. The Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, thus it should be amended or removed to salvage Americans from gun violence. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States ruled on June 9, 2016, that the Second Amendment doesn’t give protection to the general public’s rights to carry concealed firearms (Gonzales para 4). Gun owners infringe the Second Amendment to propagate gun violence, therefore, it is critical to implement gun control laws to regulate gun ownership. Gun control laws such as the Federal Firearm Act of 1938 and the National Firearm Act of 1934 should be implemented to license gun dealers and impose registration requirements and tax on “gangster guns” such as sawed-off shotguns and machine guns.
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Furthermore, ratification of more gun laws on gun control will help to reduce gun-related deaths. Although gun owners believe that guns prevent deaths, the Pew Research Center indicates that guns cause more deaths than they prevent. Between the years 1999 and 2013, there were more than of 464,000 firearm-related deaths of which 58.2% were gun suicides while 37.7% were homicides. In 2010 only, there were 31,672 firearm related deaths in the United States, primarily through homicide (11,078) and suicide (19,392) (Cohn et al. para 1). Gun violence claims the lives of about 33,000 American citizens annually. Approximately 200 Americans are taken to the hospital emergency rooms daily with gunshot injuries. The American College of Physicians supports proper regulations of the acquisition of legal firearms to decrease gun-related deaths and injuries (Butkus et al. 859). Firearms’ sales must be subject to the evidence of satisfactory completion of a relevant education program regarding gun safety and satisfactory completion of an individual’s criminal background check so that those who own firearms practice due diligence. Gun licensing laws can reduce firearm homicides by 14%. Therefore, implementing federal firearm laws will help to reduce gun-related injuries and deaths.
Moreover, gun control laws will help to reduce criminal activities. Criminals usually steal legally owned guns to propagate criminal activities. Virtually, every firearm in the US begins as a legal firearm, produced legally and initially sold by a dealer that has a federal license to a person that has passed the federal background check. Nonetheless, many individuals with known alcohol problems, violence or anger can still pass the federal background check and those who fail the check can still gain access to guns.
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