Opinion: Gun Regulation Does Not Equate to a Gun Ban

April 19, 2018

Opinion

Noelle Hoenig and Ashana Gonzalez

Gun control by definition is a set of laws or policies that regulate the manufacturing, sale, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms by civilians.

In the United States, there have been over 15,000 incidents reported and verified by authorities with over 3,800 deaths and over 6,700 injuries related to gun violence, and all have occurred since the start of 2018. In the past 4 years, the total amount of gun violence-related of incidents that were reported have increased from 51,855 in 2014 to 61,599 in 2017 (Gun Violence Archive). This does not even account for incidents that were unreported. Gun violence is a rampant issue within the United States. This is not to say that it does not occur in other parts of the world, but the US is special in the sense that it is one of three countries that has protection of arms written into its constitution known as the 2nd amendment and the Right to Bear Arms.

Like any right upheld in the US Constitution, the 2nd amendment does not give persons unlimited rights or freedom regarding firearms. In the June 2008 District of Columbia et al vs. Heller case (summarized), the Supreme Court established a majority opinion on gun control through the case with former Justice Antonin Scalia statement that like former observers and courts established on gun control that “the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose” and that there should continue to be a barring of dangerous weapons such as guns from “felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms” (US Supreme Court).

The idea of gun control raises objection because it can be viewed as an incentive to ban guns entirely. To clarify: implementing additional measures for gun control does not equal a complete ban on guns. Arguments of gun control equaling Prohibition Era-level crime are incorrect because it is not necessary to make all guns illegal,  but rather keep them out of the hands of dangerous people and by extent reduce the amount of purposeful violent acts with firearms.

Countries outside of the United States enact stricter gun laws for this exact purpose and as a result, countries such as Norway have extremely low levels of homicide and suicide by firearms due to strict gun control laws. Additional points to be addressed through stricter gun control is safety. A majority of unintentional shootings or deaths resulting can be prevented if proper safety measures are put into place and can prove to be even more effective if gun control for safety is implemented to help prevent more unfortunate accidents. Gun-related violence in America is a pressing issue and working towards effective solutions clearly involves stronger gun control legislation in response to the violence.

Through incidents such as the Parkland shooting in Florida, came the sentiment from the public that current gun control laws and those related are lacking and need to be changed to prevent additional tragedies. It is worth noting that following other mass shootings, such as the Pulse NightClub  shooting in Orlando, Florida that resulted in the deaths of 49 people, came the same outcry and call to action. However the question remains on what would be the most effective solution to begin to implement for the purpose to prevent more tragedies? In a panel of experts conducted by the New York Times to talk about effective solutions to gun control, the following were deemed as the 5 most effective for solutions proposed and even enacted in California and Nevada following the 2017 Las Vegas shooting: Assault weapon ban, bar sales to violent criminals, semi automatic weapon ban, high-capacity magazine ban, and universal checks for weapon buyers. These were proposed to be prioritized over other solutions such as guns that microstamp bullets and requiring gun safes for owners being considered less effective measures of gun control.

It is not to say that all of these measures will be implemented but it is worthwhile to work towards the highly effective ones such as assault weapon ban to ensure higher levels of safety. T

o encourage the stride towards higher levels of safety, the US could take after other countries’ measures for gun control. A country that resembles the United States in the aspect of high gun ownership is Norway who enacts tough gun laws and as a result has one of the lowest gun homicide rates in the world. In the United States, the attention brought to gun violence results in an increased need for action to combat it in the most effective ways possible.

Shootings have become a common occurrence, when there is one in the news it is sad but it is not shocking anymore. No one says they are surprised when a teenager had access to a gun and could plan such a violent attack, they say how sad it is that this happened and how bad they feel for the families. As much empathy as people can have it is awful that these events are not shocking to most people.

There have been protests in hopes to change this but until now everything has been pushed under the rug waiting for the next tragic news story to go live, schools are doing active shooter drills and are on high alert whenever any form of a threat is made. Elementary school teachers are taking formal training classes in case they have to protect the kids they teach, children are terrified to go to school because they do not know if they are going to make it home. These things are not dramatic, these are now common things, things that are happening every day because of the events that have occurred. And because of those events and actions,  people are speaking out; they are marching and protesting to protect the lives of children.

They are not protesting, or speaking out to take away guns but to make it harder to be able to harm and kill dozens of people in seconds, to make it harder for those who are not in the right state of mind to so easily access a weapon, and to set stricter guidelines and regulations so shooting will no longer be a common occurrence.

Read the opposing view.

 

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One Comment on “Opinion: Gun Regulation Does Not Equate to a Gun Ban”

  1. tuckerpokorney Says:

    A semi automatic weapon ban would equate to taking away everything that isn’t single action (Old Western Style Revolvers), double action (Modern Style Revolvers), Bolt action (Hunting Rifles), and Pump Action (Many Shotguns). This would band almost every weapon available to the public including most handguns produced and owned within the United States.

    Reply

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