The term “gun control” relates to legal measures that restrict or prevent the use and distribution of firearms. In many developed countries, gun control is stringent, but in other countries, it is mostly a political issue. The two sides often debate whether it is necessary for public safety or infringement of personal liberty.
A Weapon Ban in the USA?
The topic of gun control in the United States has been around for years, and it is very controversial. The Second Amendment states that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Although a person should have a right to protect himself, the percent of murders committed with guns (including mass murders) is very high.
There are two opposing sides to the argument. Supporters of gun control state that if we have less access to guns, there will be less crime and the lives of innocent people would be saved. Opposers of gun control state that gun control will have the opposite effect and law-abiding citizens wouldn’t be able to defend themselves against criminals who carry guns. Whether there is a law, criminals wouldn’t obey.
The first legislation enforcing gun control in the United States is the National Firearms Act (NFA). President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Administration introduced it in 1934. It imposes a tax on the transfer and manufacture of Tier II weapons. It also requires the registration of any shotguns, short-barreled rifles, heavy weapons, machine guns, suppressors, explosive ordnance or improvised/disguised firearms. Since then, several other gun-related laws were passed in the US. Some of them are:
- Federal Firearms Act of 1938 (FFA) – all gun-related businesses must have a federal license
- The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) – this act replaced the FFA and introduced additional clauses to it. For example imposing an age limit to firearms purchasing, prohibiting the selling of guns to the mentally ill and felons or banning the importing of military-style weapons
- Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 – introduced protections for gun owners
- Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 – the introduction of the criminal background check system and required the conducting of background checks with gun purchases
- Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 – banned the possession, manufacturing, and selling of military-style assault weapons, unfortunately, it expired in 2004
In the country, many murders, including mass murders, don’t even make it to the evening news. The ones that do inspire politicians to debate gun control but the topic is short-lived in every case. For example, some of the cases that made the national news were:
- The 2016 murder of forty-nine people in a nightclub in Orlando
- The 2012 Newton Elementary School massacre in which resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults.
Gun bans are controversial, and both parties have a point on some level. But in today’s world, prohibiting the weapons will eventually help to make us better, in my opinion.