Since 2013, there have been more than 300 school shootings in the U.S. That is an average of one school shooting a week. Guns are one of the leading cause of violence in the U.S. Guns are responsible for 33,000 deaths annually. 2/3rds of gun related deaths are related to suicides. The U.S. leads the world with more gun related homicides and suicides than any other country. Such incidents are typically American tragedies, and it is especially sad in them that they do not shock anyone. Anywhere in the world, a person can become enraged and try to harm others, but only in the United States, we regularly become witnesses and victims of mass shootings, only in the United States, as a result of violence with the use of firearms, one person perishes every 15 minutes. Two of the most deadly group shootings in modern American history have happened in the last six weeks. So let’s not just mourn the dead, lower the flags and say the sorrowful speeches (Spitzer, 2015). It is time to learn from these tragedies lessons, so that in the future there will be less of them. In particular, I propose to test a new approach to reducing violence with the use of firearms a public health strategy.
[Introduce Background Information: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW of issue]
- Firearms were initially used for hunting and occasional self -defense. It seems that on Sunday in Texas, one person living near the church grabbed his gun and tried to stop the attacker after he left the temple (Spitzer, 2015). Perhaps such use of weapons for self-defense and saves lives, and the National Rifle Association (NSA) often appeals to the view that weapons are necessary to deter violence with the use of weapons. But is it really so? Can anyone recognize what happened in Texas as a success of such a policy? We will not deny that weapons are used periodically for self-defense. One of the studies of the Center for Combating Violence found that in 2012, 259 murders using firearms for self-defense were committed by private individuals (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016).
- On average, 32 percent of families in the United States own firearms. The average death rate due to violence with the use of weapons is 10.5 victims per 100,000 people. The Legal Center for the Prevention of Violence using Firearms believes that in those states with more stringent rules for the use of weapons, there is a tendency to reduce the number of deaths. According to the scale introduced by them, the level of arms control varies from the most powerful “A” (in states such as Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York) to the weakest, “F” (in the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska). However, the problem is that liberal laws too often facilitate the acquisition of weapons not only good, but also bad guys. Evidence that more and more weapons and softer laws regarding their use lead to more severe deaths and injuries are abundant (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016).
- Second Amendment ratified in 1791 allows people to have in their homes arms for self-defense. Yes, it is because make the country safer is quite hard without the help of this amendment apart from this there are no ideal solutions (Spitzer, 2015). Every year to save more than ten thousand lives – a number of experts in the field of weapons policy consider such a scenario believable. So let’s not just shed tears for the dead, utter the sorrowful speeches and lower the flags. Let’s move on to action and start saving lives.
- In 1911, the New York State authorities adopted the so-called Sullivan Act – it introduced a certain procedure for licensing those weapons that could be hidden under clothing. In a sense, it’s strange that such a law was adopted so late and only in New York: it’s enough to remember that in 1865 Lincoln was killed in Washington, in the same place in 1881 Charles Gito inflicted a fatal wound to President Garfield, and 14 September 1901, after an equally “successful” assassination attempt in Buffalo, the re-elected President William McKinley died. Nevertheless, even Timothy Sullivan’s initiative was not aimed at limiting violence per se, but on placing it in the framework that was beneficial to the democratic group “Tammany Hall”, to which the “Big Tim” belonged – someone believed, that the law is directed against immigrants, someone believed that thus “Tammany Hall” keeps in check already co-opted street gangs, while limiting the appearance of new ones (Pollitt, 2018). The law, naturally, did not solve any of the problems facing the society, but the very appeal to the everyday life of whites and quite, it would seem, prosperous Americans was a valuable step forward in discussing the pros and cons of the Second Amendment.
[Body I: Logical Support Points for thesis](4-6 pages)Example: Social and Environmental Effects of Overpopulation
Guns are too easily obtained by any person, leaving a loophole in the legislation. It turned out that it is really easier to own heavy weapons in the United States than a car – indeed, this right to modern Americans guarantees the legal establishment of 1789.
Gun dealers should be licensed
Unlicensed dealers can sell guns without performing a background check. Permission laws are characterized by a complete absence of the need to obtain any authorization or license to purchase and store weapons (Pollitt, 2018). Open wearing is considered legal both when traveling on foot or while driving by car or other means of transport. It is worth noting that, although in states where licensing laws exist for the open wearing of weapons, a person who applies this right may be detained by law enforcement agencies if his behavior violates public order in places where wearing weapons can cause general concern for example, places of mass congestion of people). Laws requiring state citizens to obtain a license to openly carry weapons reflect their essence in the title – to obtain the right to openly carry weapons, a citizen must obtain a permit. It is worth noting that in some states such a regime may have a prohibitive nature, since state authorities rarely issue permits in practice (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016).
Gun law loophole
Guns sold at gun shows, privately or online. Brady bill not being upheld. The Brady Bill is passed US Congress in 1998, which directs US government to verify history of gun owner (buyers) in the country implemented five days time on buys until their identities are verified.
- Minimum age makes it easy for kids/teens to get guns resulting in mass shootings
Unlicensed dealers can sell, deliver or transfer rifle or shotguns (including ammunition) to a person of any age. When buying weapons, a special questionnaire is filled in and the person is checked against the base of the criminals. In many states, the purchase of weapons does not require a license or registration, and you can buy as many trunks as you want. Also, most states allow open and concealed carrying of weapons (Howard, 2005). In 1990, a law was passed prohibiting the transfer of weapons to schools and universities.
[Example]How does the extraction of natural resources affect the environment?
For comparison, in Russia, at the age of 18, it is possible to acquire hunting weapons (smooth-barreled and with a rifled barrel), self-defense weapons (gas and traumatic pistols), sporting weapons (smooth-bore and with a threaded barrel) and cold bladed guns.
Federal law does not mandate gun owners or purchasers to obtain a license. State by state criteria. For a category of laws called controversial ( anomalous ), a distinction is made between the law within the state in different instances of local government. That is, within the state within the framework of the administrative-territorial division, the procedure for obtaining the right to openly bear arms may differ (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016). For example, in Arkansas, to clarify the situation with the regime of open arms carrying, a special act was introduced, which alone was interpreted as a permit, while others, respectively, prohibited the open carrying of weapons. As a result, in some parts of the state, carrying weapons is legal, while in others it is not.
People feel they need to have a gun for protection
Guns in the home make it less safe.
- However, the problem is that liberal laws too often facilitate the acquisition of weapons not only well, but also bad guys. Evidence that more and more weapons and softer laws regarding their use lead to more severe deaths and injuries are abundant. In one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it was found that the presence of firearms in the home is associated with an increased risk of death, in particular suicide, including, apparently, the murders themselves (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016).
- In 2015, Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, wrote on Twitter that he was “confused” by the fact that his staff took second place (after California) on requests for new weapons, although there were one million. “Let’s add a step, the Texans,” he wrote. Apparently, Abbott, along with the NSA, believes that possession of a large number of weapons provides the public with greater security, but statistics clearly contest this stance. Abbott is not prevented from looking at our charts (Howard, 2005).
Guns in the home likely to kill the resident more than the intruder of the home
Numerous incidents, some of which resulted in death, forced amateurs and opponents of shooting to talk about the need to tighten the rules for handling weapons. many gun owners do not even know how to properly put the gun on the fuse or how to completely discharge it. In the church of Grace Connection Church in the city of Saint-Petersburg, Florida, a 20-year-old daughter of the local pastor Hannah Kelly was wounded in the head (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016). The culprit was the 48-year-old parishioner of the church Moises Zambrana, who decided to defuse his 9-millimeter gun just before the meeting. Kelly is in intensive care.
For many residents of the American south, it is worth noting, any incident involving the careless handling of weapons is perceived as a personal tragedy. First, every accident (death) generates an investigation in which a dealer or a gun manufacturer may suffer (Howard, 2005). Secondly, every murder or suicide by negligence activates the activities of the pacifist liberals, who are advocating the complete elimination of the second amendment from the US Constitution. So, a 16-year-old teenager from the city of Elk River (Minnesota) shot his foot on the hunt. A powerful shot from a shotgun occurred after the trigger was caught in a loop on a hunting vest.
Children and guns in the home
The access to revolvers and rifles to children should be restricted. According to polls of pacifist organizations, two out of three children over the age of 10 know where their parents (grandparents) store weapons. For southern families, this is perfectly normal.
Since the beginning of the year, United States police have registered at least 500 incidents that occurred as a result of careless handling of firearms. The hunters, representatives of the law, sellers of pistols and rifles, teenagers and even small children shot themselves and themselves (Healy, 2013). That is, acting clearly according to the law, we cannot teach children the safe handling of weapons that are in the house, we cannot involve them in cleaning weapons and so on.
Second Amendment used to support gun control opponents
Believers state it gives them the right to bear arms. It’s their right
[The conflict associated with the content of the Second Amendment unfolded during its discussion in the Congress – some politicians pointed to the potential danger or insufficient argumentation of the amendment, but on the whole the conditions under which the founding fathers worked out the Bill of Rights led to almost unanimous support for the law of the population to carry arms. The new statehood was fragile, the big fears caused the risk of appearance inside it of odious forms of “tyranny”, as well as the possibility of aggression from outside – for this reason the phrase ” Since a well-organized militia is necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms “Was established among the fundamental constitutional foundations of US policy (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016). However, by the middle of the nineteenth century, the first court cases against the Second Amendment and its more polemical discussion pertained. The first reason of this kind was the process of Bliss v. Commonwealth in 1822, when a legal dispute concerned the ban on the wearing of concealed weapons, adopted in Kentucky. The ban was passed unconstitutionally and was lifted, and in 1854, as a result of another trial, Matthew Ward was acquitted, in response to the remark of his brother’s teacher who fatally wounded the latter with a shot from a gun hidden under his clothes.
[Explanation: A number of processes related to the discussion of the Second Amendment occurred in the 1840s: first and foremost, the cases of Aymette v. State (1840), State v. Buzzard (1842) and Nunn v. Georgia (1846). During the consideration of these cases, such details of the application of the Second Amendment as the daily carrying of weapons, the possession of unusual weapons, as well as the possibility for the states to somehow regulate the circulation of arms among the population, were discussed. Already these processes have repeatedly stressed the dubiousness of the current formulation of the amendment, namely, the mention of “militia” as a legitimizing cause: since in its need for the statehood already existed serious doubts, the appeal to the security of the States did not have the same weight (Healy, 2013).
[Refutation: The peculiar, but monstrous truth of this thesis is proved by one more case, which is very characteristic of the system of the Second Amendment – speech, of course, about the events in Kansas, 1854-1858, called Bleeding Kansas. The decision of Roger Tony, who died in old age even with the abolition of slavery to President Lincoln, in fact put the Negroes in the position of non-citizens – and once again confirmed that the Second Amendment could be used to suppress possible uprising of slaves. he law, naturally, did not solve any of the problems facing the society, but the very appeal to the everyday life of whites and quite, it would seem, prosperous Americans was a valuable step forward in discussing the pros and cons of the Second Amendment (Elliot, Frizell, 2016).
NRA one of the richest and most powerful lobbies in the U.S.
Powerful constituents. Spent millions to elect gun friendly government officials
[Despite the formal support of the law by the National Rifle Association (NRA), in the same year, 1934, a special Legislative Affairs Division was created inside of it – although until the 1970s, and the heyday of the political influence of supporters of legal arms possession was still far away, legal discussions with the adoption of the NFA acquired a completely different form (Elliot, Frizell, 2016).]
[Refutation] The GCA toughened the existing ones and introduced new federal restrictions on the turnover of firearms. However, even he – largely due to the unfolded NRA lobby – was unable to introduce a nationwide registration of both the weapon and its customers (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016). Moreover, under the influence of the same “arms lobby” (in 1975 the National Rifle Association even established a special lobbying unit – the Institute for Legislative Action, ILA, and in just eight years from 1977 to 1985 the number of NRA tripled) as early as 1986 many the provisions of GCA were abolished by the Reagan’s Ownership Protection Act (FOPA). This law not only softened the state regulation of possession of weapons, but was guided by a new interpretation of the very Second Amendment – if in 1938 it considered guaranteeing the collective right of citizens to “militia”, then half a century later the Senate’s special committee characterized it as “the private individual’s right to own and carry weapons for peaceful purposes. ” Wearing a weapon for peaceful purposes is an oxymoron, imperceptible, probably, only to the most ardent members of the NRA (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016).
NRA states “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Claims gun laws will take guns from law abiding citizen and into the hands of criminals
[Example] The NRA and other structures continue to insist that a bad guy with a gun can only be opposed by a good guy with a gun. Apparently, the fight against illegal arms trafficking is a priori recognized as a matter of utter hopelessness and even harmful (well, for weapons companies for sure).
[Explanation] One of the most well-known organizations, which aims at the support of the US population of the rights to freedom of gun ownership, is the National Rifle Association (National Rifle Association ; the NRA ). This organization arose in 1871, and the original purpose of its activities was far from political disputes over weapons control. In 1934 and 1938, the Association even supported the introduction of the federal law NRA. In 1968, the NRA also supported a number of provisions in the Weapons Control Act (GCA). However, in the mid-1970s, the activity of this organization sharply shifted towards promoting its interests through political instruments. So, in 1975, the lobbying branch of the NRA – the Institute of Legislative Action was created. In 1976, the so-called, Committee Political Action ( Political the Action Committee ; type of organization, the purpose of which, as a rule, is the financing of election campaigns, “pushing” legislative acts, etc.) under the name of Political Victory Fund, whose goal was to finance the opposition of politicians, who advocated tightening control over the circulation of arms (Esposito & Finley, 2014).
Having a gun is no longer a necessity for feeding and protecting citizens. As a result, uncontrolled gun sales have led the schools, streets and other places within the United States to be unsafe. Strict gun control laws are essential to the development of a society less frustrated by the fear of gun violence.
The problem of controlling the circulation of arms in the United States of America is truly complex, all-encompassing. This phenomenon of American life perfectly reflects the heterogeneity that is so characteristic of the society of this state. In the context of this problem, questions of American federalism, party struggle, legislative debates, ideology and challenges to public security are intertwined (Filindra & Kaplan, 2016). The right, which was enshrined in the US Constitution to provide citizens with the opportunity to defend their beliefs against tyranny and, if necessary, to defend democratic values with weapons in their hands, has undergone evolutionary changes, has generated numerous debates and formed world-wide stereotypes about American love for arms.Since the very beginning of the existence of the United States, the weapons issue has not been a source of rest for American society, political and intellectual elite (Esposito & Finley, 2014).
This phenomenon is as old as the American state exists. Less than a quarter of a century has passed since the establishment of American statehood, and discussions about the permissibility of the civilian population to own weapons have already stirred the public. Already in 1813 a dispute arose between supporters and opponents of arms control, the right to own weapons acquires the first legal interpretation, as an individual citizen’s right. The right, it is impossible to interfere with the state and not violate democratic principles. Thirty years later, the dispute over arms control evolves, the right to bear arms acquires a second interpretation, like collective law,the use of which affects society and imposes a responsibility on each individual. This dispute between the individual and the collective (and more specifically between the local and federal authorities) had such force that it was resolved only two hundred years after the appearance.
The twentieth century posed new challenges for the United States, requiring the adaptation of the country’s social and political life to the established realities. Technological progress and social changes required the American state to take decisive measures to maintain the situation within the country within the framework of civilized development (Esposito & Finley, 2014). In 1934, the first federal law regulating the circulation of arms was adopted, a law adopted in the light of the tragic events that took many lives of citizens of the country. This law has established a new trend: henceforth, the intervention of the central government in this issue will be influenced by social upheavals that require decisive action, since the reality of American life will pose more and more challenges on the way to universal prosperity. In 1968, in response to the tragic loss of such outstanding people as J. Kennedy, Malcolm X, ML King, the second most important federal law was adopted, aimed at curbing the alarming power that American society gives to the free possession of firearms. From that moment, the discussion that formed the current status quo between supporters and opponents of arms control also begins (Elliot, Hennigan, 2018).
Since 2008, the problem of massacres involving the use of firearms, committed in most cases by mentally unhealthy people, does not cease to worsen; acts of violence of a truly horrific nature are committed (Elliot, Hennigan, 2018). The tragedy at Sandy Hook Primary School, during which 20 children of six years died, shocked American society so much that perhaps for the first time in the history of this state the percentage of people supporting federal intervention in the sphere of arms control exceeded half the population. The discussion between supporters and opponents of arms control resumed with renewed vigor, many scholars and experts in this field began to talk about the “window of opportunity ” that opened for American society (Elliot, Hennigan, 2018). President of the United States B. Obama has made great efforts to ensure that this opportunity to change the status quo has not been missed. In 2013, the Democratic Party initiated a review of the bill, largely repeating the previously adopted ban on the distribution of assault weapons (Assault Weapons Ban 1994) and canceled by the administration of George W. Bush under the influence of the National Rifle Association. However, as in 2004, the NSA made every effort to ensure that this ban did not pass through the Congress.
Despite the failure, the Obama administration has not abandoned attempts to revise the current legislation in the sphere of arms trafficking. So, on January 6, 2016, the US president issued a decree, according to which all enterprises involved in the arms trade must obtain a federal license, the activities of the National system of inspections of arms buyers are expanded, improves the ability to diagnose mental illness in people and prevents the receipt of weapons by these people, and also sends funds to increase the number of civil servants working on the issue of control and development of technologies in the field of ” smart ” weapons (for example, one that can only be used by one specific person for example).
This decree is undoubtedly a significant advance in the sphere of state regulation of arms turnover. However, Obama’s presidency ends in November 2016 and the future of this initiative will depend on the desire of the next president to keep the decree in force. Actually, the two main candidates out of three openly supported the strengthening of state control over the circulation of arms: H. Clinton and B. Sanders, being the same party members of B. Obama, have the same positions with him on this issue. D. Trump, a member of the Republican Party, if he takes over the presidency, will undoubtedly cancel the presidential decree on January 6, if not on the first day, then very quickly. Thus, the future of arms control in the US directly depends on who will become the next head of state.
Elliot, P., Hennigan, W.J. (2018). Why is the GOP touting new un restrictions after Parkland? Follow the money, Time, 191(10), pp15-17
Elliot, P., Frizell, S. (2016). The new politics of gun control, Time, 188 (10), pp 48-51
Healy, M. (2013). 23% of young people hurt in assaults owned a gun, USA Today, para 1-2
Howard, P. (2005). Parents’ beliefs about children and gun safety: Continuing Education Series, 31(5), pp 374-379
Pollitt, K. (2018). Teens versus guns: Nation, 306(8), pp 6
Esposito, L., & Finley, L. (2014). Beyond Gun Control: Examining Neoliberalism, Pro-gun Politics and Gun Violence in the United States. Theory in Action, 7(2), 74–103. https://doi.org/10.3798/tia.1937-0237.14011
Spitzer, R. J. (2015). The politics of gun control, sixth edition. Politics of Gun Control, Sixth Edition. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315636306
Filindra, A., & Kaplan, N. J. (2016). Racial Resentment and Whites’ Gun Policy Preferences in Contemporary America. Political Behavior, 38(2), 255–275. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-015-9326-4