01 Mar Gun Control
The overall population of the US is around 326 million, and the number of guns in the US are 393 million. These two numbers give us a topographical overview of the gun procurement practices existing within the state, but once one dives in much deeper, the picture gets less pixilated, and the procurement laws and policies become more pellucid. In the aftermath of mass shootings in Sandy Hooks Elementary School and Mary Stoneman High School, an increase in public discourse on gun purchasing policy and gun control has been observed, but still, the overall picture remains pretty bleak when it comes to comparing the gun-related violence in America with other developed countries.
The US usurp Canada by 6 times, Sweden by 11 times and Germany by a staggering 16 times when it comes to gun homicide rate according to the UN data. Another statistic which has a direct bearing on the previous one is the number of civilian-owned firearms in the US which stands at 120.2 out of 100 people; leaving the second placed war-torn Yemen at 52.8 out 100 behind by some margin. The causal relationship between guns and deaths is glaringly evident not in the form of homicides only but suicides, domestic violence, and violence against police as well. The rate of suicides and homicides by guns related to children are 11 times and 19 times higher in opposition to non-gun related deaths. One of the underlying problems which underpins these harrowing numbers is the lack of adequate background checks while purchasing a gun or a firearm.
According to the latest study published in the Annals of Internal medicine, 22 percent of firearms sale in America take place without a thorough background check. Although the number has reasonably declined from 40 percent in 1994 to 22, the ignorance and reluctance to have an efficient background check still mars the gun violence scene in America. The study also elicited the fact that the states with more strict gun laws forced more people to participate in the checks. It was also observed that when it comes to private sales of guns which involves the online purchase or from a family member, 26 percent of these private sales also went without a background in states which required a background check for such transactions. The same number climbed to 57 percent in those states which required no background checks.
Notwithstanding the recent bipartisan background check measure passed by the House Judiciary Committee which would ensure background check for all gun sales and most gun transfers within the US, the situation still stays pretty grim. Hitherto, the Charleston Loophole had plagued the background checks in the US which required the agencies to have the inspection performed within three business days. And if it took more than three days, then thousands of people ended up getting access to ammunition to which they weren’t supposed to in the first place. The committee also voted to advance a bill for eliminating this loophole. Both the bills mentioned above will be taken on the house floor which boasts a Democrats’ majority.
Despite measures like these and the numbers quoted from different studies above, the proponents of the Second Amendment of the US constitution still believe that heavily armed citizenry will be much capable of preventing gun-related violence. With NRA (National Rifles Association) financially endorsing the political campaigns of the some of the candidates, especially the Republicans, gun rights of US citizens look like they are here to stay. So, what do you think, Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun?