Term Paper: We Should Increasing Gun Control to Increase Safety

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¶ … Gun Control to Increase Safety

We Should Increase Gun Control to Increase Safety

The aim of this paper is to tackle the sensible topic of gun control and the individual approach to recur to violence in desperate times. Without any doubt, if the individual is not guided in the right direction, he is not capable to make the right decisions. This is where the law should intervene. The paper includes a presentation of the current status of the national society in terms of violence, a proposal for solving this violence and implementation methods in this case.

From one year to the other, we can notice the increasing number of incidents involving gun misuse, leading to more and more victims. Unfortunately, among the developed countries, it seems that the United States of America has the highest homicide rates. Statistics confirm that the most homicides are committed in the urban areas and especially in the southern and western states. United States is confronted with a major problem since "more Americans were killed with guns in the 18-year period between 1979 and 1997 (651,697), than were killed in battle in all wars since 1775 (650,858)" (Peter Rutten & Albert F. Bayers III and the World Rank Research Team, Where We Stand', New York: Bantam Books, 1992, pp. 297,289. What is more concerning is the increased gun violence among youths.

A recent example is the Virginia Tech massacre on 16 April 2007, when a student killed 32 students and wounded 25. It is sad and unacceptable that 4,000 youth under the age of 20 were killed only in 1998 and other 18,000 have been injured. In the case of adults, these numbers are much higher: 327,173 Americans died in the 80s, while in the 90s there are 350,000 deaths caused by firearm incidents that are estimated and it therefore becomes the deadliest decade of the century.

The increasing gun incidents show that the United States of America is no longer a safe place. Mostly, people use guns for malevolent reasons in violent crimes such as assault, robbery or rape. In public places often occur armed robberies, in schools and universities many youth violence which resulted in gun confrontations have also been reported. In situations like these the victims are caught by surprise and become terrified without being able to react. It is a totally different situation when guns are used in self-defense. The victims use guns to protect themselves against criminals by threatening them. Only rarely they resort to shooting when critical situations occur.

Although there is a strict legislation in this field, these incidents continue to increase. People who actually use guns are "sufficiently jealous, angry, drunk, drugged, insane, irrational, pathological, and self-destructive or deceived enough to seriously contemplate killing someone" (Peter Rutten & Albert F. Bayers III and the World Rank Research Team, Where We Stand', New York: Bantam Books, 1992, pp. 297,289). There are many factors that can be identified, like economical or social factors (poverty, inequality) contributing to the current situation in the American society. Criminal incidents involving guns can be caused by reasons of economic rivalry which appears between business associates or even between colleagues at the working place. Another important reason is the personal pique, which is often found between gang members as more and more incidents are reported with violent street gangs. In the case of drug dealers, the main reason is represented by money, but there are also secrecy and confidence issues. On the other hand, repeated violent acts in the domestic life can lead to gun usage. In juvenile crimes and many other cases, the major cause has a psychological nature. But the violent acts like robberies, assaults or rapes are definitely the consequence of deep childhood scars, malevolent intentions and abusive personality.

Beyond any shadow of doubt, something must be done to prevent and to decrease further undesired events. It is absolutely necessary to create a national system for registering not only the guns, but also the people who possess these weapons. The restrictions on sale and gun usage must be very strict, especially when it comes to youngsters. Anybody who attempts to buy a gun should be carefully tested psychologically and his or her background should be checked before taking any decision. As a general proposal, we include the fact that the National Government is the sole authority capable of stopping this negative social aspect. It has the legal means to create regulations that would prevent people from getting killed or injured in public or private institutions. In the next paragraph, we will tackle the specific proposal, meaning the solution's implementation method.

The implementation method regarded by the author of the paper as being appropriate in this case is to hire a lobby agency that will enable and speed up the legislative process. The current status of the American society, with negative examples everywhere - TV, Internet and everyday life, imposes urgent and prompt measures. First of all, the lobby organization must emphasize the disastrous figures indicating the ever increasing juvenile violence, even in school institutions. The reason behind the quick action strategy consists in the fact that negative examples travel very quickly, thanks to the media - who stresses out the number of accidents, killings and other social aspects which should be treated with discretion and be carefully analyzed before being presented to the large public. This paper does not intend to forbid the freedom of speech, but wants to limit the access of young people, a sensibly easy to handle and manipulate mass of the American society, to negative information that would alter their social behavior. The lack of action in the past is translated by the escalating number of victims across the country. Third of all, the lobby organization must promote a stronger gun control - extensive psychological reports must be issued for every gun holder, and these certificates must be renewed every year. Also, another efficient measure could be that of extending the legal punishment (years of imprisonment) for the illegal possession and use of weapons. Besides the fact that the people found guilty of this crime do not obey the law, they pose a great danger to the ordinary citizens they get in contact with.

The positive effects of the gun control measures will be noticed on the short and medium run. The legislation that will be put in force, after the law abrogation, will impose gun restriction that will distort the behavior of possible criminals. In addition to that, the idea of many imprisonment years would further more restrain the actions of the above mentioned person. Young people, especially those from the troubled neighbourhoods, would not be exposed to negative media, and would not receive inappropriate examples. The use of a lobby agency is the most efficient and rapid way to succeed with the issue on gun control legislation, especially if we consider the time needed to abrogate such a sensible regulation. Not to mention the huge influence the weapons manufacturer have on the members of the Congress, and the decreasing State revenues resulted from the gun production decrease.

There is another issue that should be treated with great consideration. A large section of gun holders may declare that the reason why they carry a weapon is the need to protect themselves against criminals of all kinds. We can see here, that the current situation is worsening - the increasing number of terrorist and non-terrorist attacks in the last years, have produced an explosion in the number of gun holders. The fear of individuals for their life and the protection needs worsen the situation. This is the motive behind the logic that the authority responsible for issuing gun possession certificates must precisely evaluate the reason why a certain individual decides to acquire a gun - whether it is for protecting himself and his family against the local criminal gangs, or against people who react violently on matters which should be discussed and tackled amiably or whether that person may be a potential criminal. The result of the legislative modifications will make the life of potential killers harder by imposing stricter conditions for possessing a weapon, increasing the sanctions in case anyone does not abide the gun control legislation and it will limit the negative exposure youths receive from mass media means to a certain extent.

The latest developments on the political scene have offered hopes for imposing a stronger regulation which would make the life of everyday Americans more peaceful. The efforts of the people involved must be concluded in abrogating a more solid piece of regulation that would change the current status of the American society, which is perceived both from the inside and outside as being a violent one. Violence can also be explained by the lack of trust of the citizen in respect to authorities, and by the perception that they can take the matter in their own hands, and solve them with desperate measures (using guns, hurting or killing other innocent… [END OF PREVIEW]

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