Last Updated 17 Dec 2022

Gun Control – Many Plans and Ideas

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Gun Control is one of the most talked about solutions to our countries growing problem with mass shootings. The problem is no one can agree on what exactly Gun Control entails. Most seem to think its about taking away all guns from the public, although some do believe that's the way to handle the problem at hand. In reality almost all just say we need better regulations on being able to obtain guns. To ensure safety in our schools, with respect to gun control we must improve our current background check system, raise the age to buy guns, ban high capacity magazines, while finding a way for the different political parties to compromise.

The first step that needs to be taken is working on improving our background check system. One issue is that states are not required to share crucial information to the federal database that would stop a person from getting a gun. “It's necessary because a lot of states are simply not reporting certain facts that would bar people from buying guns under the present background check system, including convictions.”(Blumenthal). This is a key part as to why we need to make adjustments to the system, because we could be saving lives if states were sharing necessary records to make sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands. For example “... the Sutherland Springs shooter, who should've been barred from buying a weapon because of a conviction in the Uniform Code of Military Justice in a court martial by the Air Force. It was never reported.” (Blumenthal). The reason this guy was able to get a gun is because our current background check system is not connected to other databases that have vital information that is need to determine whether a person should be allowed to have gun or not. Therefore a guy that never should have been able to get a gun in the first place was able to slip through the cracks and purchase a gun and ultimately cause a lot of pain and heartbreak to others. Right now “Essentially, the measure provides incentives, and that's why a major revision of the background check system is necessary because there should be better reporting, and there needs to be more compulsory measures, not just incentives.” (Blumenthal). This means that states would have to report imperative information and that there would be consequences if they didn't , instead of just telling states to volunteer the information. At this moment states have no consequences for not sharing information the the FBI that could be significant to making sure someone bad doesn't get a gun.

“You have to be 21 to buy a handgun from a federally licensed dealer. But if you're 18, you can buy the same gun from a seller who doesn't have a license.” (Winkler, Natterson). It is well documented that 18 year olds can purchase guns through private sellers without proper background checks. Even though the 18 year old may not be emotionally stable and mature enough to possess a gun. Another thing to consider is that “There is a reason people under 25 are dangerous with guns. The scientific literature over the past two decades has demonstrated repeatedly that the brain does not fully mature until the mid-to-late 20s...Until the prefrontal cortex becomes dominant, the young brain is ruled by the limbic system, which is the emotional center. The already mature limbic system receives impulses far more quickly than the slowly developing prefrontal cortex, explaining why this age group is known for all sorts of risk-taking behaviors, both good and bad” (Winkler, Natterson). Many studies exist that detail the lack of maturity before the age of 25. “Although 18 is a common cutoff, there's nothing magical about that number. For guns, the science and evidence suggest, the right age is 25.” (Winkler, Natterson). At 25 the brain is much more developed , if not fully developed and is much more aware of long-term decision and weighing the risk and outcomes that come with the decisions. Scientific studies continue to document the brains development and stability through people that are aged between eighteen years old and twenty-five year olds. As a consequence they have realized that the brain is mainly controlled by the limbic system (emontianal center) up until the mid/ late twenties.

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Another topic talked about in the Gun Control debate is the possibility of banning high capacity magazines. High capacity magazines allow for the shooter to shoot large quantities of ammunition faster without reloading. If the shooter had to reload there may be an interval for direct action against the shooter.“Retired astronaut and gun owner Mark Kelly, Giffords’ husband, testified to Congress in January that if Loughner had been tackled while trying to reload after 10 rounds, Christina-Taylor ‘would be alive today.”(Richmond). More bullets equals more deaths and more pain. The higher the difficulty to shoot large amounts of ammunition would result in lower casualties in a school shooting or public place situation. “Requiring a shooter to reload can provide critical seconds — seconds for law enforcement to intervene, seconds for people to get away…” (Richmond). The shooter would be in a high stress situation and possibly make an error while reloading which in turn would allow the authorities to diffuse the situation. Most mass shooters don't have military training and are not able to competently handle firearm issues with reloading which would allow authorities to stop them easier.“Gun owners in California, who have lived with the 10-round limit for more than a dozen years, have a range of opinions about the proposed national restrictions. Wilderness Unlimited CEO Rick Copeland, whose Hayward-based private hunting club has properties across California and Oregon, said he has grown accustomed to the limit and it doesn’t impede his hunting.”(Richmond). This reality proves that there is truly no need for high capacity magazines, since people that are already living with the ban have said on multiple accounts that it doesn’t affect any hunting that the take part in.

Gun control itself is talked about almost daily but never fully agreed on.“Gun control activists are often accused of wanting to take away all guns from all citizens, but the majority of their arguments stress modifying existing gun laws to make them stricter in sensible ways, not necessarily banishing guns from the United States altogether.” (MacKay). This brings some light on the controversies associated with gun control and how everyone seems to think that people just want to get rid of all guns. But in reality they just want to make public places safer and make sure guns don't fall into the wrongs hands.“Gunshots kill more American civilians every two years than the fifty-eight thousand who died between 1955 and 1975 during the Vietnam War.” (MacKay). “Guns result in the death of thirty thousand people on average every year in the United States via murder, suicide, and accidents. Another one hundred thousand people per year are wounded by gunfire” (MacKay). These statistics highlight the reality of the ongoing gun violence throughout our country and really put it in perspective how much destruction is really caused by the guns that are supposed to protect us.

However none of this really helps anything since the two biggest and most powerful political parties can’t find a middle ground on the policies for Gun Control. For instance the parties stances on whether or not we need stricter guns laws and it states “Democrats are more than twice as likely as Republicans to say gun laws in the U.S. should be stricter than they are today (80% vs. 28%).”(Doherty).“Nearly as many in both parties (86% of Democrats, 83% of Republicans) favor barring gun purchases by people on federal watch lists.” (Doherty). Although Democrats are more in favor of stricter guns laws they both are able to come to a consensus on not allowing people that are on the federal watch list to buy gun.. “And sizable majorities also favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks (91% of Democrats, 79% of Republicans). Yet there is a 30-percentage-point difference between Democrats and Republicans in support for an assault weapons ban (81% of Democrats, 50% of Republicans)...”(Doherty). Democrats and Republicans are able to compromise on some aspects of Gun Control policies but as the quote states there is still a long road ahead before they can agree on everything.

The increase of mass shootings, the increase of the loss of life, and the never ending fear that it could be a loved one in the public place of a shooting. This demands that we need to enact sensible gun control laws such as better background checks, raising the age to buy weapons, and banning high capacity magazines while finding a way for the different political parties to compromise. The time is now, as a whole we need to find a way to come together and put aside our differences to make sure that all the pain and heartbreaks that have completely taken over our country never happens again.

Works Cited

  1. Doherty, Carroll, et al. “Gun Policy Remains Divisive, But Several Proposals Still Draw Bipartisan Support.” Edited by Bridget Johnson, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 23 Jan. 2019, www.people-press.org/2018/10/18/gun-policy-remains-divisive-but-several-proposals-still-draw-bipartisan-support/.
  2. 'Giant Strides Needed In Gun-Control Measures, Blumenthal Says.' Morning Edition, 28 Feb. 2018. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A529573462/OVIC?u=j015910&sid=OVIC&xid=0e4f8495. Accessed 30 Nov. 2018.
  3. MacKay, Jenny. 'Arguments in Favor of Gun Control.' Gun Control, Lucent Books, 2013, pp. 41-57. Hot Topics. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX2739100009/GVRL?u=san10063&sid=GVRL&xid=9b86e0d1. Accessed 25 Jan. 2019.
  4. Richman, Josh. 'Large-Capacity Magazines: Second Amendment Right Or Gun-Violence..' San Jose Mercury News, 04 Mar. 2013. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://sks.sirs.com.
  5. There's a simple way to reduce gun violence: Raise the gun age.' Washingtonpost.com, 6 Jan. 2016. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A439171517/OVIC?u=j015910&sid=OVIC&xid=d7114be5. Accessed 24 Jan. 2019.

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