With recent events, gun control has been a topic among citizens in the United States of America. So many opinions are being spread from politicians, celebrities, and common citizens. The United States of America has an extensive history with assault weapons.
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Organizations such as the National Rifle Association have spread messages against gun control which have divided the nation. The current situation in America is not ideal with the number gun-related incidents rising and increase in assault weapon sales. Although some may state that gun control cannot be instituted by laws, but it is easily shown that other countries have implemented laws and have been extremely successful. Due to the rise of gun-related events, regulations on guns should be tightened in the United States.
The relationship between the United States of America and gun control has been a challenging debate. From the beginning of the American colonies, guns were a common weapon. Such weapons were eventually used in the American Revolutionary War (Background). Many colonies required the head of the household and men enrolled in the militia to carry weapons, and it was even stated, at least one adult man in every house to carry a gun to church or other public meetings (Background). This statement intended to protect America against what the citizens considered enemies: Native Americans, African Americans, and home invasion thefts. These enemies and some professions, including doctors and lawyers, were also denied the right to own assault weapons. Some immigrants were required to own guns to receive an entry into the United States if America as well as to own land (Background). The weapons were required to be inspected frequently and there must be a public record of purchase and ownership (Background?). On February 14, 1929, a massacre, now known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, occurred in Chicago that resulted in seven deaths. This event introduced the idea of gun control across the country. In response, the National Firearms Act required a $200 tax as well as registration for the creation and distribution of firearms (Background). In 1938 the Federal Firearms Act established the sale of guns to established people such as convicted felons illegal (Background). Following the deaths of political figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy, the Gun Control Act was introduced in 1968 which regulated gun purchases, banning the trading of weapons outside licensed manufacturers, and restriction on gun ownership (Background).
National Rifle Association is a large association that continues the fight against gun control. It was originally focused on the recreational use of assault weapons and stated they wanted to promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis (Background) A leadership in the United States of America change shifted the focus from sportsmanship to the Second Amendment which supported the disappearance of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Background) The Center for Disease Control released idea that guns that are in a household increase the chances of homicide in that household. In response, NRA stated that promoting the idea that gun ownership was a disease that needed to be eradicated (Background). The result of this argument created a deduction of the CDC’s $2.6 million budget which was the budget for gun research (Background). Preventing research for guns could be the reason we are struggling with weapon crisis is that we aren’t putting the necessary items for the research.
Currently, the gun regulations are not enough for the crisis is still spreading across the country. Bill Clinton issued the Federal Assault Weapons Ban on September 13, 1994 which outlawed nineteen models of semi-automatic weapons. It expired September 13, 2004 and it was never renewed. (Background?) In 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and Child Safety Lock Act was enacted on October 26, 2005 by George W. Bush. This act gave the ability for manufacturers to avoid being sued. Child Safety Lock Act of 2005 expresses that handguns must have a gun storage or safety device (Background) Recently, Barack Obama expanded gun control by expanding background checks, allowed the tracking of ballistics evidence, provided training for officers, and made gun trafficking illegal. The Department of Health and Human Services also stated that mental health information is not a HIPAA violation (Background). In 1993, 34% of Americans wanted gun rights protected, and 57% wanted gun ownership restricted. In 2004, 52% of Americans believed the right to own guns should be protected, and 46% believe gun ownership should be controlled (Background).
Although many Americans across the country are pushing for more gun control, there are Americans who believe that more laws will not prevent shootings. There are many countries that have stricter gun control laws in place. For example, Australia instituted a National Agreement on Firearms which prohibited automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles, and instituted a temporary gun buyback program that took 650,000 gun purchasers and required those interested in purchasing a weapon to state why they need a firearm. After purchasing a weapon, the new gun owner has to attend a safety course. In 2002, there was a mass shooting In Melbourne which caused laws to be tightened more (U.S.)
Analysts say this has been effective because the gun death rate has declined and there have been no gun-related mass killings since 1996 (U.S.) Another example is Japan which already has highly restrictive laws that result in low gun homicide rate. This results in the lowest gun homicide in the world. To purchase a weapon, one must pass written, mental, and drug tests, have a background check done, involve an annual inspection, and alert authorities of ownership (U.S.) Japan is an example of the effect gun control laws can have on the well-being of American citizens. The American Journal of Public Health also stated that places with weaker gun laws experienced more gun violence than those who have less strict gun control laws (Doctor)
America has developed and at certain points in our history wanted less strict gun laws. At this time, America is desperate for protection from their own people, and laws should reflect that idea. It may be a sacrifice to provide gun regulation, but it a larger sacrifice to risk the lives of children in the United States of America.
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