The Guns vs The People

Guns. Possibly one of the most controversial topics in America at the current time. Some want to keep them and some want to completely ban them and rid them from our lives in general. However, one thing all Americans can agree on is that there have been too many shootings in America. In 2019 so far there have been over 2,000 incidents, 813 deaths and 1,416 injuries involving guns (GVA). Obviously, we haven’t taken enough precautions to deal with shootings of all sorts whether its a mugging or mass shooting.

Guns are extremely dangerous, especially when in the hands of the wrong people. The numbers of mass shootings have only increased in recent years.

There have been 8 major mass shootings in the past ten years including Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, and others. This number also does not include smaller mass shootings or ones that don’t classify as a mass shootings. A mass shooting does not have an actual definition, but, if it follows the definition of mass murder than it would require 4 or more people to be shot without a cool down period (RAND).

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Between those eight major mass shootings, 222 people were killed and many more were injured. Along with that, almost all major gun legislation in the country hasn’t been passed through Congress in the past 10 years (USA). Examples of legislation failing in Congress are the likes of Sen. Grassley’s bill, “no-fly, no buy” legislation, and a bill by Sen.

Chris Murphy, D-Conn., requiring universal background checks, and makes it so if you are on the no-fly list for any airlines you shouldn’t be able to purchase a gun.

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Others that failed are a bipartisan bill by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that would have required background checks for private sales like internet sales and sales at gun shows, exempting most sales between family and friends. Other bills would have banned assault weapons, large capacity magazines, targeted gun trafficking and ‘straw purchasers’ — people who buy guns for other people. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa supported legislation that would make it easier to carry guns across state lines, but also those that would also address mental illness, target straw purchasing, illegal firearm trafficking and increase resources to prosecute gun crimes.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, proposed legislation to make it easier for gun owners who can carry a concealed weapon in their home state to carry it in other states. On April 18, 2013, the Senate rejected each of the bills. One major thing in the controversial conversations about guns that are overlooked all the time is the illegal black market sales that happen every day. “When asked where and how they acquired their most recent firearm, about 64 percent of a cross-section of American gun owners reported buying it from a gun store, where the salesperson would have conducted a background check and documented the transfer in a permanent record required by federal law. Another 14 percent were transferred in some other way but still involved a background check. The other 22 percent said they obtained their guns without a background check”.

So it may seem like most gun owners at least purchase in a legal or semi-legal fashion, but the truth is, the number of guns sold on the black market outweighs the ones that are sold legally by a substantial amount. “A national survey of inmates of state prisons found that just 10 percent of youthful male respondents who admitted to having a gun at the time of their arrest had obtained it from a gun store. The other 90 percent obtained them through a variety of off-the-book means: for example, as gifts or sharing arrangements with fellow gang members.”(Cook) If illegal gun sales continue to rocket rates of murder and gun violence will continue to either rise or stay at the current level which benefits no one.

One of the main solutions to the illegal sales of guns in America is stricter background checks and stricter regulations for selling these weapons to certain people. Second, the background check system puts a premium on speed, not thoroughness. “It is, after all, known as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), with most of the checks completed within minutes and 95 percent of them completed in less than two hours. Indeed, it is not a “background check” system at all; it is a “database check” system. The gun dealer contacts the FBI or a state equivalent, and a computerized check of various databases is performed to determine if the buyer is the subject of a disqualifying record. No matter how many red flags there may be in the buyer’s past, the purchase goes forward if there isn’t a qualifying record”.

With stricter background checks comes looking deeper into a person’s personal record, making sure to see if they are a documented citizen and or if they have mental health issues. Those are the two main causes of illegal sales (not black market) in the US. Most gun stores and certain states don’t look close enough into the person or don’t have the correct legislation to be able to. With stricter background checks more dangerous sales of guns to the wrong people can be reduced drastically. My personal opinion on gun control in America is that it’s completely ridiculous to think that guns will be completely banned. Certain companies like the NRA have grown too powerful to make sure that never happens.

I believe that things such as certain long rifles (hunting rifles), shotguns for hunting, pistols for self-defense and hunting should be allowed. That’s it in my opinion. I don’t believe there is a need for people to own assault rifles like an AR-15 or a SCAR and/or they don’t need a submachine gun like a vector KID. Semiautomatic rifles have been used in some of the country’s deadliest shootings, such as those in Newtown, Orlando, San Bernardino and Las Vegas (WAS) It’s completely unnecessary. The only things people actually use them for are shooting at ranges. My stance on pistols is that they are fine as long as we can limit certain attachments for them. Those attachments include things such as drum magazines, extended barrels, and select fires to make them a burst fire or a fully automatic weapon. Another would be the recently banned bump stock.

“A “bump stock” replaces a rifle’s standard stock, which is the part held against the shoulder. It frees the weapon to move about rapidly, harnessing the energy from the kickback that the shooters feel when the weapon fires. The stock “bumps” back and forth between the shooter’s shoulder and trigger finger, causing the rifle to rapidly fire again and again acting as more of a fully automatic weapon while maintaining accuracy. The shooter holds his or her trigger finger in place while maintaining pressure on the barrel and pressure on the grip while firing (NYK).”

The only people who I think can utilize a higher grade weapon like an assault rifle or a military-grade shotgun should be the police and the military, I also think it’d be acceptable if trained veterans had a permit to own one or two as long as they have no mental health issues and no criminal background as long as they can pass the entire process to obtain the permit. I think legislation for gun control has been prolonged far too long in America and some type of reform needs to happen. Now, however, I’m not talking a full out banning of assault rifles and all the attachments, but, we need to take it to step by step. Some of the problems with former legislation are they try to knock off too much at once and the conservatives will never let that happen.

Instead, we need to take it to step by step going through an entire process that could take years to complete, but, if we as a country can accomplish such a thing then that would be a huge accomplishment in our nation’s history. If such a thing is achieved, things such as murder rates, violence, gang-related violence, and other crimes would drop, and life could be just a tad more stress-free. In the end, gun control could make or break the survival of our nation, it’s an extremely relevant topic in today’s society with all the mass shootings. But if we don’t step up and do something as a nation to help put a stop to gun violence I believe more and more people will continue to be killed and hurt by it.

As technology advances and guns become deadlier each year with different types of hollow point ammo which is a military grade ammo that on impact with the body’s, flattens and widens so it can cause more internal damage and a bigger exit wound, or as different attachments come along to make guns shoot faster and more accurate. Gun control can either make or break our society in the long run, so let us as a united nation and for the benefit of our country, let’s speak up about gun violence and voice our opinions, we can no longer simply put off all the mass shootings. We owe it to every person that has died wrongly at the hands of a gun and its shooter.

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The Guns vs The People. (2022, Jan 05). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-guns-vs-the-people-essay

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