Some people still hold on to the belief that gun violence is not a current issue

February 7, 2019 Critical Thinking

Some people still hold on to the belief that gun violence is not a current issue. The National Firearms Act or 1934 is the first documented federal regulation aided around the overall use and possession of firearms. This act was put in place as a form of protection to the users of firearms as well as innocent bystanders. This law requires a $200 tax to be paid on the manufacturing or sale of sawed-off shotguns and full auto machine guns (Veen, 2016). To have stricter gun laws or not to have stricter gun laws is a major debate in our country. Some find the laws in place to be helpful, while some find it to be inconvenient and not helpful. Individuals feel the need to carry and possess firearms for many reasons, whether its protection, safety, or sport. Over the years there have been many different gun-related crimes and senseless injuries. Causing some states to put more restrictions on gun use and purchasing. Gun violence has been an increasingly important issue over the years. Firearms can be purchased easily by individuals after a simple background check and mental health check is performed. The increase in crime and murders that involve fire arms continues to rise. The little regulation, knowledge and, carelessness posses a huge threat to the lives of innocent individuals as well as the person behind the firearm. Many changes need to be made to see even the slightest change in gun violence and gun-related issues. Essentially, firearms are necessary because of the amounts of protection they can provide. Furthermore, gun violence has become an increasing issue in the U.S, firearms are being used to commit large scale violent crimes (NEED NAME). Because of the repercussions that gun violence causes, stricter regulations are essential. Therefore, firearms should not be universally available without making ways to obtain them tougher.
If someone is interested in purchasing a firearm they must go through and successfully pass a background check to do so. All federally licensed gun dealers must run cheeks on every buyer, whether a purchase is made in store or at a gun show. The checks work like this: A buyer presents his or her ID to the seller and fills out ATF form from with personal information such as age, address, race and criminal history, if any (Smith, 2016). The seller the submits the information to the FBI via toll-free line or over the internet and the agency checks the applications info against databases. The process can take a few minutes (Barbieri,2016). A couple of the questions that are asked on the application are: Have you ever been committed into a mental institution? Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Are just two of many questions asked (Smith, 2016). If the FBI feels that an individual is high-risk, physically and or mentally a gun license application will be denied. Although there is a systematic way to test an individuals background history to deem them “responsible” to carry a firearm, there are many things that are left out of an initial background search that are just as vital. For example, privacy laws in many states create a wall to the sharing of information. when someone is clearly violent, health care providers are discouraged from reporting them unless they are a danger to themselves or others. These regulations prevent patients from being flagged (Mihalek,2018). To solve this problem the United States should implement a recognized system, that includes a virtual medical database that is being shared with the FBI when the background check is being made. This will allow a deciding officer to see all a patient’s medical history such as: Doctor visits, notes from therapy sessions and all concerns and notes that the Dr has made in some one’s medical file.
An Updated medical tracking system will allow the FBI, Doctors and gun retailers to learn about an effective tracking system and to understand the reasoning and format. Over 80% of Americans agree that a medical background check prior to purchasing a firearm is warranted, according to several polls. The firearms industry has advocated for a better NICS system (Mihalek, 2018). There is a need to have one universal system that everyone uses. With this system each party will be less likely to not receive vital information that should been known across the board before a person purchases a firearm. If there is a simple data base entry portal that medical personals can use to submit their information such as medical notes and therapy notes all which are important. Such creativeness combined with a sleek, well-run database system will increase data input participation by Doctors, Physicians and Psychiatrist.
New and more laws will require the United States to invest in additional education on the new database system to be used. Everyone will have to be educated and trained properly on the do’s and the do not’s when it comes to imputing and uploading information into the virtual database portal. Everyone will have to be taught on the importance of the new system and the reasoning to the new change. Systems tend to fail if new procedure and protocols are not followed by clear instructions. Several studies show that employee training can be more problematic than productive. A 2010 McKinsey & Company report found just 25% of respondents felt that training programmes had a measurable improvement on performance. A 2015 study from online training company 24×7 Learning found that only 12% of employees apply new skills learned in training to their jobs. (Borzykowski,2017). A new system will be accompanied by a thorough training program.
Gun laws vary depending on the state that someone resides in. Maine Gun Laws state “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.” (Gun with no Laws, 2014). Whereas Montana Gun Laws state “The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons” (Gun Law, 2017). One of the many causes to the increase in gun violence would be the different rules and regulations that each state has in place. These regulations are fine but in a sense everyone must be on the same page in at least one aspect when it comes to firearms. This new system and education should also be combined with a steady movement away from the old systems that are being used. Although the system may be the system most doctors and psychiatrist rely on. They should be disposed of legally and ethically keeping the wellbeing of our nation in mind.
Critics of gun violence often mention that in depth background searches, deeper medical history and, psychiatrist cooperation as reasons that making it tougher to obtain a firearm will not lead to treating gun violence. Forty percent of all firearms purchases in the US are sold without background checks because the guns are not purchases from a federally licenses fire arms dealer (Neyfakh). Meaning that any purchases falling under this category unfortunately are processed without the proper background checks. Despite all the objection to this proposal, the rate of gun violence is increasing at a rapid high rate. To prevent unfortunate tragic yet avoidable events the American people must put a strong plan in place. It boils down to should we perform extensive background checks or risk the possible violation of citizens privacy.
This idea of universal and extensive background checks has already been accepted by over 92% of Americans. According to a poll taken by the Huffington Post in January of 2013. If an extensive background check would have been done on Adam Lanzas mother, who was the owner of the guns that he used to commit such a heinous crime. After the crime was committed 26 children and teachers were injured/killed, if an extensive background check was ran they could have been aware that their son who has autism, main gain access to her military-grade weapons. Many still hold on to the belief that public safety is far more important that personal privacy in regards to gun violence.
In conclusion, universal and extensive background checks may be the most important gun violence prevention measure that the Unites States government could enforce. This plan will tie all the loose ends that the system seems to have. These loose ends greatly attribute to the increase in gun violence that has stricken our country. This new system will prevent the slightest mentally ill individual from gaining access to such a firearm. Approving this form of background checks by incorporating it into the initial application is necessary because if the FBI deems an individual incapable of being responsible with a firearm their application will be denied. The more we can screen an individual the closer are to decreasing gun violence in the United States.