The United States government should have the authority to restrict and regulate American citizens from buying or owning firearms. Gun Control laws are necessary in a state because they decrease violence and increase government protection in the state. Gun laws are the cause of much violent crime in America, and they need to be changed to better background checks, tracking the movement and sale of weapons, and prohibiting the sale of high capacity magazines.
First of all, an updated background check system will help prevent gun violence (“Updated”). In 1968,Congress passed the first federal laws to limit access to guns, by prohibiting dangerous people, like felons, drug abusers, and the mentally ill from purchasing or possessing guns (“updated”). In 1993, Congress passed the Brady bill, named for President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary James Brady, who had been critically wounded in the assassination attempt on President Reagan. The Brady Bill created a system of background checks that helped to make real the purpose of the 1968 law (“updated”).
Unfortunately, incomplete records and loopholes in the law have stopped background checks from doing their job (“updated”). Everyday, 34 Americans are murdered with guns, and most of them are possessed illegally (“updated”). Since 1968, more than 400,000 Americans have been killed with guns (“updated”). We need a better background check system and it needs to be fixed now. The first step into regulating the system is to get all the names of people who should be prohibited from buying a gun into the background check foe every gun sale (“updated”).
The next step is to close the loopholes in the background check system by requiring a background check for every gun sale (“updated”). The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is used to conduct background checks on prospective gun buyers, is missing millions of records (“updated”). To ensure that people who are mentally ill are listed in NICS, the system should include people who have been suspended or expelled from a federally funded college or university because of mental illness (“updated”).
It should also include people who are compelled by a court to take medication for mental illness or to get other mental health care (“updated”). Even if the NICS database included the name of every person prohibited from having a gun under federal law, it would still be easy and legal to obtain guns with no background check, no questions asked (“updated”). That is because the current law only applies to gun sales by federally licensed dealers (“updated”). The new law would require that non-licensed people selling guns ensure that the buyer has undergone a background check in NICS (“updated”).
Secondly, tracking the movement and sale of weapons will also help prevent gun violence. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Tracing Center (NTC) is the country’s only crime gun tracing facility (“ATF”). As such, the NTC provides critical information that helps domestic and international law enforcement agencies solve firearms crimes, detect firearms trafficking and track the intrastate, interstate and international movement of crime guns (“ATF”).
America would be the safest nation in the world, since we own an estimated 270 million firearms-approximately 90 guns for every 100 people (“stronger”). Convicted felons and other prohibited persons are able to buy guns easily from unlicensed sellers in undocumented transactions (“stronger”). Permitting unregulated citizens to have guns is destroying the security of this free state (Ivins 389). I strongly believe in Molly Ivins theory about the comparison between the sell of automobiles and guns.
She says “ we do, license automobiles and their owners, restrict their use to presumably sane and sober adults, and keep track of who sells them to whom” (Ivins 389). At minimum, we should do the same with guns (Ivins 389). Finally, prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines will also help minimize the crime in America. A bill was recently passed that prohibits the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 157 of the most commonly owned military-style assault weapons (Feinstein).
It also bans an additional group of assault weapons that can accept a detachable ammunition magazine and have one or more military characteristics (Feinstein). The bill bans large-capacity magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition (Feinstein). These devices allow shooters to fire numerous rounds in rapid succession without having to stop and reload (Feinstein). I believe this bill is a big step toward ending the mass shootings that have devastated families across the country.
That’s why I believe the United States government should have the authority to restrict and regulate American citizens from buying or owning firearms. Gun Control laws are necessary in a state because they decrease violence and increase government protection in the state. Gun laws are the cause of much violent crime in America, and they need to be changed to better background checks, tracking the movement and sale of weapons, and prohibiting the sale of high capacity magazines. Its time for a change and we need to stop the violence now before it gets worse.
- An Updated Background Check System Will Help Prevent Gun Violence. Guns and Crime. Ed. Christine Watkins. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012.
- At Issue. Rpt. from “A Plan to Prevent Future Tragedies. ” MayorsAgainstIllegalGuns. org. 2011.
- Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 4 Feb. 2013. ATF Fact Sheet. N. p. , Mar. 2010. Web. <http://www. atf. gov/publications/factsheets/factsheet-national-tracing-center. html>.
- Feinstein, Dianne. “Feinstein Introduces Bill on Assault Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines. ” N. p. 24 Jan. 2013. Web. <http://www. feinstein. senate. gov/public/index. cfm/press-releases? ID=5dffbf07-d8e5-42aa-9f22-0743368dd754>.