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Gun Control

'For an average child in America in 2018, being in a school where at any moment a kid can pull out his father’s handgun is scary.'

For an average child in America in 2018, being in a school where at any moment a kid can pull out his father’s handgun is scary. For the average adult, a grown man pulling out a new AR-15 on the entire mall crowd has a higher chance than what it may seem. The events are real, they have happened, they will happen again. Either a lost, damaged child is bullied until he feels as if the only option left is to slay 20 children in his own classroom. Or maybe, a grown man, 18 or 19, was tortured as a child, abused and scared deathly of everyone since his whole life he has taken mental abuse from his old classmates, and decided to buy a new AR-15 to approach his old school and kill 17 innocent, loving teenagers without any mercy. Living a day knowing that dying is a legitimate fear is not a world any American should live in. Going to school and getting an education should not be scary. Whether someone’s daughter will live through the day safely at school should NOT be a worry. Therefore, this paper will further in-depth explain why things should change, maybe why they should not, and how these issues correlate with everyone on a daily basis.

According to Aaron Smith in “This Is How Easy It Is to Buy Guns in America,” becoming a legal gun owner may only be about a week long wait (Smith, 2015). The process is easy. All that needs to be done is one walks in, takes an exam, and waits in the store while they call the FBI and NICS to complete a background check that takes only a couple of minutes. Due to such a simple process that takes only a week with hardly any second checking on if a person should actually own the weapon, less than 1 percent of the 100 million people looking to become a firearm owner is told they cannot purchase their desired weapon (Smith, 2015). After taking the initial exam and being passed onto the next step, the future gun owners must take a couple of gun safety classes and pass with an 80 percent or above. In addition, if the buyer fails the class, they may retake anything they failed as many times as they’d like since there are unlimited retakes in most states for gun safety courses. Once finished with testing and dealing with the simple background check, the only thing left for purchasing the firearm is simply paying for it. This system allows just about anyone turning 18 to go out and purchase any firearm that the significant store sells, putting a deadly weapon into a new pair of hands.

In Japan, the process for getting the desired firearm runs through a much longer and stressful process, but with a purpose. Due to such a dreadful process, the amount of gun-related deaths in Japan was about 10 deaths a year, while America was reaching almost 30,000 deaths a year. According to Karl Denzer in “Opinion: Behold the Four Month Process of Buying a Gun in Japan” published by The Washington Post, Japan’s regulations are extreme—and effective. To earn a "gun owner" title in Japan, the process takes about four months to complete, sometimes more if things are suspicious to the officers. Within the process, one must deal with exams, reviews, and their personal social life being a bit invaded. After requesting to buy a gun, one must attend a day-long class held only once a month. After the class, one is required to go to a mental hospital to be examined, asked a series of questions, and tested to see if one is mentally stable enough to have a firearm in their grasp. Afterward, one must go to the local police station and be interviewed by a couple of police officers. If successfully passing each of these tests, the only thing left to do is wait while those same officers show up to one’s work and home to speak to friends and family about them. If the officer is pleased with what they hear as responses to questions like “Do you ever hear anyone yelling?” and “Would YOU let this individual own a weapon near you?” then they will grant the citizen permission to own a weapon.

Due to insufficient reassurance on whether one should own that new rifle, according to the article “Gun Violence” written by the National Institute of Justice, 8 percent of the total crimes in 2011 were due to gun violence, higher than any other crime rate in the country (Gun Violence, 2016).

There were almost 500,000 victims of a shooting, a couple thousand of those being innocent lives being taken in part of a massacre on either a school, mall, or any public place where a shooting without reason would occur. Since 2013, there have been over 1,000 mass shootings in America, more and more adding to the list each year at an exponential rate (Whitaker, 2018).

How do gun issues relate to a person’s everyday life? Walk around. At any given moment, whatever adult one passes by on their walk to work could be the next shooter. Simply living in the United States increases your chances of meeting and knowing a shooter, simply due to the availability of a gun (T, 2016). Since 2013, there have been 1,236 fatalities due to shootings in the U. S, a higher number than the number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2011 (Pearl, 2015). In 2013 alone, there were more gun-related deaths (35,363) than there were car accident deaths (34,612)(Pearl, 2015). According to the same article, people ages 13-36 have the highest chance of getting shot and killed, whereas, before the school shooting outbreak, the age was 19-34. According to the FBI, there are over 25 active serial killers dealing with a weapon in the United States at any moment in time (T, 2016). According to research by The Washington Post, 869 people have been killed in mass shootings in the United States since August 1, 1966 (Mass, 2016). Also, in America, one has a 1 in 300 chance of being killed by an auto-rifle in a shooting, meaning out of one and one’s 300 friends, one of them will be killed in a shooting (Mass, 2016). With this knowledge, should one be afraid of being killed? That pistol that can one day soon kill someone that one knows could easily be taken away just by another law. One’s wife, children, family, anything, can be saved simply by applying stricter gun laws. The fear strikes through society without a doubt, making it tough to go a day without thinking; is this someone’s last time speaking to them?

In a case study titled “DOES GUN CONTROL REDUCE CRIME OR DOES CRIME INCREASE GUN CONTROL?” written by J. C Moorhouse in 2006, it is being examined if gun control will actually help society, or if things will balance out like they usually do. On page 6, it is showing that gun control actually does decrease violence inside of a society. It reveals there is a direct contact with shootings and a high chance of having a mentally related issue. Over 63 percent of all mass shooters have some mental issue that could have been caught and examined through tests at a mental hospital (Moorhouse, 2006). All while 45 percent of them grew up with guns around them at an above average rate, again, due to insufficient gun control laws within the nation. On page 5, it is stated more than 67 percent of mass shootings have a tie in with that area and previous violence relating to the shooter (meaning the shooter typically strikes where the reason for striking occurs). Although the odds are typically in favor of an issue relating to the shooter's past, over 85 percent of the shooters' success directly deals with the availability of a gun. Meaning, due to such easiness with getting a weapon, the chances of everything happening is much higher. On page 8, it is explained when people’s opportunity to do something purely out of anger is taken away, the chances of it happening will tend to decrease dramatically. On the final page, everything is concluded with the idea that gun control does indeed decrease violence relating to guns. The process will take a couple years and everything will not be in effect right away, but everything, over a little period, will balance out and 35 percent of the adult American population will no longer own a weapon that they should not be allowed to own (Moorhouse, 2006).

How does the nation feel about creating stricter gun laws? It is a very controversial topic, being discussed between millions of people a day and a common conversation for Congress. According to Mark M. from Business Insider in “How Americans really feel about gun control,” there are a lot of people who back the idea of a stricter process. Through an event titled “gun shows,” weapons are cheaper, easier to buy, and require no background check or owners permit. It is basically a more public street purchase, completely legal. 84 percent of adults believe that the gun show event should be outlawed and the simple loophole of purchasing a weapon legally should be taken away from any 18 years or older person (2). Within that 84 percent, 77 percent of the 100 percent they analyzed are actually gun owners, showing that even the people with a weapon in their holster believe the situation is unsafe (1). On average, a gun owner possesses a total of eight guns, a number that 78 percent of 1,500 people believe should be dropped down and limited to four (2). While a large number of people believe that there should be higher limitations to the process of owning a weapon, a much smaller amount of people believe banning a style of weapon is the true way to go. According to Khalid A.’s study in “NPR Poll: After Parkland, Number of Americans Who Want Gun Restrictions Grows” produced by National Public Radio, certain types of weapons and details about a weapon would be banned if the situation was decided on a majorities vote. 72 percent of Americans surveyed believe that banning the assault rifle type of weapons is the answer to school shootings and massacres (4). 73 percent believe that banning clip/magazine sizes larger than 10 rounds is the solution, all while 81 percent believe that the issue lies within things like bump stocks or attachments to improve the speed and quality of the weapon (4). According to the same article, 94 percent, the largest majority yet, believe that in order to purchase any firearm no matter the situation, should be run through a more intense background and mental illness check in order to qualify for the purchase (5).

In conclusion, the overall system of purchasing a weapon should be a much more intense, stricter process. Many studies show that the majority of America believes that owning a weapon without a new screening process will only cause more future problems, possibly resulting in yet another shooting or massacre within another school or public place.

References

Denzer, K. (2017, October 05). Opinion | Behold the four-month process of buying a gun in

Japan. Retrieved from

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/behold-the-four-month-process-of-buying-a-gun-in-japan/2017/10/05/72283fea-2375-11e7-b503-9d616bd5a305_story.html?utm_term=.2550153a4cfe

Gun Deaths Increased in 2017, Gun Violence Archive Data Show. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://www.thetrace.org/rounds/gun-deaths-increase-2017/

Gun Violence. (2016). Retrieved April 22, 2018, from

http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/pages/welcome.aspx

Khalid, A. (2018, March 02). NPR Poll: After Parkland, Number of Americans Who Want Gun

Restrictions Grows. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2018/03/02/589849342/npr-poll-after-parkland-number-of-americans-who-want-gun-restrictions-grows

Mark, M. (2018, February 15). How Americans really feel about gun control. Retrieved from

http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-gun-control-beliefs-las-vegas-shooting-polls-surveys-2017-10#another-83-of-american-adults-believe-people-on-the-fbis-no-fly-list-should-be-blocked-from-buying-guns-but-civil-liberties-groups-have-decried-previous-attempts-to-push-such-legislation-through-congress-arguing-the-no-fly-list-is-arbitrary-frequently-inaccurate-and-discriminatory-against-muslim-americans-3

Mass Shootings and the Fear of Being a Victim. (2016, June 24). Retrieved from

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-are-we-afraid-of-mass-shootings#3

Moorhouse, J. C., & Wanner, B. (2006). DOES GUN CONTROL REDUCE CRIME OR DOES

CRIME INCREASE GUN CONTROL? Cato Journal, 26(1), 103-124. Retrieved from https://0-search-proquest-com.library.svsu.edu/docview/195598468?accountid=960

Pearl, M. (2015, October 19). How Scared Should I Be of Getting Shot? Retrieved from

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7bd77q/how-scared-should-i-be-of-getting-shot-593

Smith, A. (2016). This is how easy it is to buy guns in America. Retrieved April 22, 2015, from

http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/19/news/guns-background-checks/index.html

T. (2016, February 12). Retrieved April 22, 2018, from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=83&v=HuPlDT6xfb0

Whitaker, L. (2018, April 03). MAP: Timeline of mass shootings in the US since 2000. Retrieved from

https://www.metro.us/news/map-timeline-of-mass-shootings-in-the-us-since-2000/tmWmll---14WH11UWCww

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