The Gun Control Act of 1968
Thesis Statement: The paper will discuss the Gun Control Act of 1968 that restricted people from obtaining a gun through the mail and interstate trade of guns because it was necessary to keep the guns away from the hands of criminals and it shows the role of states in controlling the guns in America.
The Gun control Act of 1968 and its significance:
The Act of 1968: It restricts gun purchase via email and requires the dealers to have a proper license when selling the arms to other states or arms dealers. It also requires the age to buy a gun to be 21 years.
Significance: It initiated check and balances of gun purchase. It necessitated the licensing of gun dealing to ensure the safety of the public.
Role of policymaking:
- Divided public
- Constitutional barriers to gun control
- Public involvement in the gun control
- The interest of the policymakers
There should be proper gun control to ensure safety and reduce gun-related violence.
Gun violence is one of the major issues of American society today. Thousands of people are killed due to the mass shooting and one of the reasons for the abundance of the occurrence of gun violence is the availability of guns. Although the US government has tried to regulate guns with several policies and laws, the gun violence is still prevalent. The paper will discuss the Gun Control Act of 1968 that restricted people from obtaining a gun through the mail and interstate trade of guns because it was necessary to keep the guns away from the hands of criminals and it shows the role of states in controlling the guns in America.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 was significant because it restricted people from buying guns through the mail. It initiated check and balances of gun purchase raising the age buying guns to 21 and encouraging record keeping (Spitzer, 2015). It necessitated the licensing of gun dealing to ensure the safety of the public. It was initiated due to the increased number of gun violence and especially the gun violence perpetrated on the public figures such as President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King (Zimring, 1975). It was a response to the public outrage. However, not all the people agree guns are the cause of violence. They blame mental illness for the gun control although the research shows that many people with mental illness are not violent nor they are involved in many of the cases of gun violence in the United States (McGinty, Webster, & Barry, 2013).
Hence, the public, as well as policymakers, seem to confront a dilemma regarding gun control. Many of the people perceive that regardless of gun control policies, gun violence will persist making the gun control laws useless. However, gun violence occurs due to the presence of guns and easy access to guns and the gun control policies can play a role in controlling them (Erikson & Tedin, 2015). Nonetheless, policymaking is complex as it is influenced by many factors. The Gun lawmakers are reluctant to come up with policies to band the gun violence as it is against the constitutional rights of people as well as the interests of politicians. And the Gun Control Act of 1968 shows the complexity and reluctance to control the guns unless the public demands for it as they did in 1968.
To conclude, the Gun Control Act of 1968 is significant in initiating the gun control laws in America and restricting dealers and underage people from obtaining guns. It is also significant in highlighting the need for gun control to reduce violence. Moreover, it points out the gun policymaking is a complex issue that needs the involvement of states as well as the people.
Erikson, R. S., & Tedin, K. L. (2015). American public opinion: Its origins, content and impact. Routledge.
McGinty, E. E., Webster, D. W., & Barry, C. L. (2013). Effects of news media messages about mass shootings on attitudes toward persons with serious mental illness and public support for gun control policies. American Journal of Psychiatry, 170(5), 494–501.
Spitzer, R. J. (2015). Checks and Balances Will Directly Come Into Play Politics of Gun Control. In Politics of gun control. Routledge.
Zimring, F. E. (1975). Firearms and federal law: the Gun Control Act of 1968. The Journal of Legal Studies, 4(1), 133–198.