Addressing Gun Violence in the United States


Gun violence in the United States is a critical issue that demands immediate attention. This essay delves into the pressing need for comprehensive background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions, as an essential step in mitigating the rampant incidents of gun-related violence. By addressing the loopholes in the current system, we can effectively prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands, contributing to the creation of a safer society.

The year 2013 has left an indelible mark with tragic incidents such as the Vegas shooting and gruesome murders in Orange County, California.

With an estimated 300 million guns in personal hands in the United States, both legally and illegally owned, the alarming rate of gun infiltration into society raises profound concerns. The urgency of this issue is underscored by the fact that close to four million guns find their way into the market annually. This essay contends that the pervasive nature of gun violence, as acknowledged by President Obama in the State of the Union Address, necessitates a robust solution.

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Specifically, this solution involves requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, including those by private sellers currently exempt from such scrutiny.

President Obama's Proposal

President Obama's proposed plan to combat gun violence comprises several key components. The primary objectives include sealing background check escape routes to keep guns out of the reach of criminals, a complete ban on high-capacity magazines and military assault weapons, safeguarding schools and public environments, and enhancing access to psychological health services. The proposal responds to the disturbing statistic that up to forty-five percent of all households in the United States have a gun in their possession.

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This stark reality necessitates a comprehensive approach to gun control, as mere rhetoric or incremental changes may not suffice in addressing the depth of this crisis.

Comparison with Canada

While some advocate for a total ban on guns, drawing inspiration from Canada's stringent gun control measures, it is crucial to acknowledge the unique challenges faced by the United States. Canada's approach involves few guns per capita, with each firearm registered with the national government. This model has its advantages, notably reflected in Canada's remarkably low rate of firearm homicide compared to the United States. However, the implementation of such measures in the US context presents significant hurdles due to profound cultural and value differences. It is essential to navigate this complexity to arrive at effective and practical solutions tailored to the American socio-cultural landscape.

Challenges to Canadian Approach in the US

The notion of transplanting Canada's gun control model to the United States is met with challenges stemming from the stark differences in circumstances. Understanding whether American values and culture can adapt to the benefits derived from Canadian-style gun control is a critical aspect of this discussion. Striking a balance between safeguarding public safety and respecting individual rights becomes an intricate dance that requires careful consideration and comprehensive dialogue.

Public Support for Gun Control

The urgency of implementing gun control measures is echoed not only by President Obama but also by public sentiment. The president's proposals align with the views of many voters, garnering substantial support for universal background checks and stricter penalties for wrongful gun purchases. This alignment extends to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who, despite receiving a positive rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), emphasizes the need for gun control measures. The resonating voice of the public, particularly those directly or indirectly affected by gun violence, propels this issue to the forefront of the national agenda.

Ineffectiveness of Current Background Checks

Despite the existence of background checks in the United States, their effectiveness has been compromised by glaring loopholes. The current system requires a check only when someone purchases a gun from a federally licensed dealer. However, an alarming 40% of all firearms purchased in the United States occur without these checks, as they are not acquired from federally licensed firearms dealers. This significant gap in the system allows for the unregulated flow of firearms into society, contributing to the escalating rates of gun violence. Understanding the inadequacies of the current system is crucial to appreciating the need for comprehensive reform.

Case Study: Adam Lanza and Privacy Concerns

Examining specific cases, such as that of Adam Lanza, underscores the critical importance of extensive background checks. Lanza's tragic actions at Sandy Hook Elementary School highlight the potential consequences of inadequate scrutiny when it comes to gun ownership. Balancing concerns about privacy violations against the imperative of public safety becomes a central theme in this discourse. While privacy is a legitimate concern, the greater significance of preventing gun violence and safeguarding lives necessitates a recalibration of this balance.

Public Opinion on Background Checks

Public support for extensive background checks is a cornerstone in the quest for effective gun control. A poll conducted by the Huffington Post in January 2013 indicates that over 92% of Americans endorse such checks. This overwhelming support reinforces the notion that, in preventing gun violence, the adoption of comprehensive background checks is not only necessary but also widely accepted by the American populace. It underscores the collective understanding that prioritizing safety over privacy is a crucial step in addressing this national crisis.


In conclusion, the imperative for adopting universal and extensive background checks becomes evident when confronted with the stark reality of gun violence in the United States. This essay has articulated the pressing need to address existing loopholes, preventing criminals and individuals with mental health issues from gaining access to firearms. Given the alarming rise in gun-related deaths, it is imperative for the United States government to mandate criminal background checks for all gun sales, including private transactions. This comprehensive approach is not only crucial but also aligns with the widely supported measures advocated by President Obama and echoed by the majority of the American public. It is time for collective action to significantly decrease, and eventually eliminate, gun violence in the United States.

Updated: Jan 11, 2024
Cite this page

Addressing Gun Violence in the United States. (2016, Aug 08). Retrieved from

Addressing Gun Violence in the United States essay
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