Gun Control Prevention – Task Two
With the escalating rate of the gun-related crimes and violence, the United States of America has once again found itself at a crossroad on the gun issue. The presence of guns in homes which was aimed at improving security has in turn increased insecurity with those states with most guns having a higher rate of unintentional firearms-related death as compared to states with fewer guns. To cut the unacceptable numbers of gun victims who die per year, legal action, policy, and public health and safety measures must be incorporated (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Privacy Rule and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)). The safety procedures that have been employed to deal with the crisis that includes an absolute ban on firearms to curb the menace seem to bear no fruits. To win this battle, a change in problem approach has to be adopted which include a gap address on the current law that has left room for gun violence.
As a matter of fact, anyone can agree that perpetrators of domestic violence, drug users, mentally ill, and violent criminals should not be allowed to own guns (Jonathan M. Metzi& Kenneth. MacLeish, 2015). These groups of people are prohibited from owning guns under the federal law. A background search of an individual is required in order determine if a person qualifies to possess a gun under the law. However, these instant checks do not happen on gun transfers from private sellers. As a result, opportunities are opened for those ineligible to possess a gun to bypass the checks and obtain weapons without raising a question.
Legislation mandating background checks on an individuals criminal record should be enacted for all gun sales in line with Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011(S. 436), which should include gun transfers within homes (Jonathan M. Metzi & Kenneth. MacLeish, 2015). The results would help to ensure that no firearm gets into the hand of criminals or anyone barred from firearm ownership by law.
Conducting criminal background checks is an important strategy, but it would give positive results only if it works correctly. Since the passage of Brady Handgun Prevention Act (1993) on background checks, the FBI has prevented over a million illegal firearm transfers (Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Cutting Gun Death in Half By 2025). However, for this system to work efficiently the names of all individuals who are ineligible to own guns should be included in a government database to ensure that those people who pose a threat to the community do not get access to guns.
Individuals convicted of crimes involving domestic violence are barred from owning firearms. Domestic violence is considered low-level violence which can result in fatalities. Since this type of violence involves people with intimate or blood relations, keeping guns away from them can help to prevent violent instances that might be injurious or fateful. However, stalkers should also be barred from possessing firearms in the federal laws (Choe. J.Y, Teplin L.A& Abraham K.M, 2008). Stalking which involves harassing a person aiming at putting them in fear of personal security can easily escalate into physical violence and disarming individuals convicted of it can make a difference in saving lives.
Passing of legislative laws like the Bipartisan legislation-the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorist Act that prevents suspected or known terrorists from acquiring guns. Thus, they are not able to buy guns from licensed dealers that could be used in terror attacks (Tanden. N, Stachelberg. W, Gerney.A, & Baussan. D, 2013). The legislation provides a process that provides an administrative and a legal framework to block anyone misidentified as a suspect from acquiring a gun.
Assault weapons like military grade weapons should be regulated and taken off the hands of criminals since the federal law banning such weapons expired in 2004 (Jonathan M. Metzi& Kenneth. MacLeish, 2015). The Congress should enact legislation that would protect the U.S public from such deadly weapons. The U.S administration can also consider legislation to restrict the transfer and licensing of existing rifles.
The adoption of smart gun technology by President Obama that requires the manufacture of personalized handguns with a biometric sensor or a digital passcode would help in responsible gun use. Since only the owner of the gun can use it. Therefore, the accidental incidences involving guns would significantly reduce. Under his recommendations on gun control, he proposes a new federal policy. In this case, the FBI would get access to mental health records of individual social security recipients, aiming at improving methods of identifying people, who might be prohibited to own and buy guns. These moves are necessary steps towards confronting gun-related violence which Obama pledged to fight with or without the Congress support (Shear & Lichtblau, 2016).
Gun-related violence can significantly reduce by adopting better ground checks on an individuals criminal history to ascertain the eligibility to possess a gun can. Gun possession prohibition list should also be provided and put in a national database where all licensed firearm dealers can access and verify the eligibility of their customers to hold guns can reduce fatalities and injuries that result from firearm violence. Also, the government should consider taking military assault rifles from criminal hands and from the streets to save Americans lives.