Gun control remains the biggest challenge to security agencies in America. It has claimed several innocent lives thus leading to great moaning in the United States. Similarly, several people have been left crippled as a result of gun crime and violence. The challenge lies in the issuance and ownership of unlicensed guns in the United States. In order for the gun crime rate to decrease governments should control gun distribution and illegalize its possession with no exception to any circumstances. Gun violence can therefore be defined as the use of firearms to cause harm. The term also denotes the general misuse of guns. It therefore may be broadly be described as a class of crime and violence committed using firearms which may or not cover actions of self defense, law enforcement practices, sports, hunting among others (Alexander, 2003). It encompasses deliberate use of firearms to kill, cause injury or threaten individuals. It is common among adolescents and children who end up causing trouble among them and in the general public. The thesis of this paper is, “Gun control in America.”
Implementation of Gun Control Mechanisms
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There are several ways in which gun control can be implemented. Borrowing from the U.K experience and legislation, gun control should be the sole duty of the government as well as private security firms. There is need to decentralize security issues in the United States since the police seem to be overwhelmed by the sheer volumes of crime that they are expected to deal with gun violence in the United States is rampant and has claimed several innocent lives. There are various types of criminal activities ranging from pick-pocketing to international terrorism. Criminal activities are usually accompanied with violence which is fatal and costly. Crime has remained on the increase for a very long period of time. This has always threatened the security of many people, cased loss of lives and destruction of property among other costly effects. As a result, everybody around the globe including renowned leaders like the U.S President is worried of the current insecurity cases in the world. Although a lot of effort has been incorporated in the war against insecurity, recent findings reveal that cases of violence are still high. Many analysts argue that the war against crime in a collective responsibility which has to involve everybody regardless of gender, race or age.
Among many incidences which are reported on a daily basis, gun violence has turned out to occur more frequent than any other form of criminal activity. What amazes is how people are accessed to guns so easily including children. In fact, easy accessibility to guns is what makes the war against gun violence to be complicated and quite demanding (Alexander, 2003). There are a number of factors which have also been considered as major contributors to high rates of gun violence. It is important to note that gun violence can only be handled if there is controlled gun distribution and illegalization of its ownership. Although it is a collective responsibility, governments have a considerable bulky responsibility to undertake. As strategies to deal with gun violence continue being formulated, United States of America remains the leading country in the world with highest levels of gun violence.
Gun crime laws in USA and statistics
Approximately 60-80% of homicide cases in America are as a result of firearms. Despite these alarming rates and figures, gun control in U.S is very reluctant. This laxity in gun control is augmented by a number of factors including politics and politicians. Many influential people have vested interests and decide to use guns to fulfill their target. American constitution also affects efforts to deal with gun violence. For instance, the second amendment of the U.S constitution was as a result of conflict between federalists and ant-federalists in 1789. The clause recognizes the existence of militia groups which have to be organized to protect and give security to the state with un-infringed bearing of arms (Steve, 2004). According to the public opinion, many people believe that they have the right to own a gun without questioning. However, some people argue that the second amendment was meant to affect Americans serving in the militia service and not just any normal citizen as perceived publicly.
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According to Steve Pudlo, the first gun regulation in the United States of America was in 1911 after an attempt to assassinate William Gaynor who was by then serving as New York mayor. It was until the shooting of Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 and Martin Luther King that the federal gun control act was passed and became law. It has always been perceived that the United States later developed immune towards horrific gun crimes (Steve, 2004). This is because when of the incidence which occurred in 1999 where two boys shot twelve students and a teacher in Colorado. Although there was pressure from all over for the approval of gun control guidelines, the bill was buried in the House of Representatives. This analysis shows that control of guns has been the major cause of increased gun violence in the united of America making it ranked position one on the world map. What many people do not understand is whether politicians and other influential American personalities feel the need of controlled gun ownership and distribution.
According to National Crime Victimization Survey, U.S records the highest number of gun violence cases every year. As stated in the survey report, ten percent of all violent crimes that took place between 1993 and 2001 involved the use of firearms. In addition firearm crimes have always been on the increase in the United States for a long period of time. Many people continue to be confronted by gun armed gangs and individuals on a daily.
Policy Recommendations for Gun Control
Although control of gun distribution and ownership in America and most parts of the world has remained a mirage, many people are optimistic that a permanent solution to the problem exists. As mentioned by Victor Spooner, the best solution to the problem of gun violence can well be understood by getting to the root cause of this security plague that continues to threaten world security. He critically analyzes the role the media in encouraging gun violence in America and around the world. He notes that since the discovery of various media channels, societies have significantly been changed (Victor, n.d.). Although, media educates and augments elimination of some vices in the community, it has as well contributed moral degradation and promoted antisocial behavior among the youth and the general public. Victor Spooner, a social analyst and author of many books covering social life goes a head to analyze how media elites of companies like Hollywood have influenced American's perception over the use of guns in relation to heroism.
According to Spooner, Hollywood is one of the major vocal advocates for gun control. He argues that these elites promote antisocial behavior like gun violence through music and movies which not only watched in America alone but across the globe.
The government has the greatest responsibility in dealing with criminal activities. It must guard against illegal ownership of gun. It is important to limit people who are supposed to own guns. In relation to these conditions thorough survey should be done prior to allowing the use of a gun by an individual (Alexander, 2003). Such survey should mainly cover the history of an individual in terms of mind soundness and social stability. It would of great importance for people to undergo psychiatric tests before accessing guns. This would ensure that people with mental instability are not allowed to own guns because of their likelihood to misuse.
In addition, parents have to emphasize the need of peaceful coexistence among families. It would be better if neighbors embraced good interpersonal relationships for the purpose of ensuring peace and lowering of gun violence cases in the society. Religious teachings should be embraced at all times (Patrick, 2009). This is because of their strong opposition with regard to gun violence and other anti social behaviors. In addition, personnel weapons which work for only one person should be introduced to avoid sharing of firearms. Firearm finger printing can also be used to trace lost and found guns. A serious ban on guns like the one in United Kingdom can work well for the U.S. This would limit the number of people who are legally allowed to posses guns.
Although a lot of efforts have been incorporated in the war against Gun violence, it remains rampant in the United States. The war itself is far from being won with everybody being called upon to join hands in combating this global scourge. However, as all these efforts are being involved, it is important to note that governments have the biggest responsibility in dealing with crime. Laws have to be formulated to control distribution of guns and illegalize their ownership.
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American politics have also been mentioned in regard to causes of gun violence and the uncontrolled distribution of guns across the nation (Obanyi, 2008). There has been laxity in politician's efforts to formulate laws which would cover gun ownership and distribution. For instance, the second amendment of the American constitution legalized militia groups and ownership of guns. According to Spooner, most media channels expose the use of guns as an achievement. This is very common in media violent material like horror movies in which the use of guns is considered as an achievement; many gun users are seen prosper and move from one stage to another without being nabbed by security units (Victor, n.d.). As a result, many youths end up emulating actions taken by most of these actors especially in relation to use of guns to commit criminal activities. Although the media industry denies having links with gun violence, many people believe that this is mainly a form of propaganda that is aimed at promoting and protecting the interests of the entertainment industry. Victor Spoon concludes his analysis by stating that televisions, movies and other media channels inspire gun violence through thuggish music and videos.
In addition, the United States government should also develop a policy that is in tandem with the societal problems. For instance, areas known for high crime prevalence should never be allowed to have many individuals possessing guns. Community policing perhaps comes in handy towards ensuring that gun control becomes a success in the United States. The U.K has been so successful in this aspect.
The security agents should obtain special government license to carry out random checks in order to crack down on the number of illegal guns owned by some of the United States residents. This will ensure that there is a bit of responsibility when it comes to gun ownership. In the U.K. the police can be able to tell approximately how many individuals own guns. This has bolstered gun control magnanimously.
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Obanyi, T.R. (2008). Security in the United States. Cambridge: Oxford University Press.
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