Wednesday , 23 April 2014
Current Events

Gun violence requires a multi-angled approach

The tragic events at Sandy Hook brought about a renewed awareness of gun violence, but nothing notable has been done as of yet.

Unfortunately, it seems as though school shootings are becoming more commonplace.

According to an Associated Press analysis, there have been at least 11 school shootings since the increase in security after Sandy Hook.

The most difficult question to answer, of course, is how. How do we stop this recurring gun violence? While there are many factors that could be the cause of gun violence, there is no clear answer as to how we can stop it.

This doesn’t mean we can’t do anything, though. One approach would be to require a more thorough background check of someone who wants to buy a gun. Mental health checks and criminal background checks should be included in the process.

It shouldn’t be easy to obtain a gun. Yes, they are a form of self-defense. But they are also a tool used to kill.

In many states, it’s legal for a private seller to sell a gun without a background check being required. This happens in gun shows, hence the term “gun show loophole,” but it also happens outside them.

This speaks to a larger problem that many people who go around selling guns at gun shows aren’t licensed, but that’s not entirely their fault. If a seller only does business at gun shows, they don’t qualify for a federal firearms license, according to Marketplace.org.

The laws surrounding gun sales and regulations need to be rewritten.

Of course, we can’t pretend that this issue is one-sided. There are multiple approaches to this problem that are reasonable to try.

Another suggestion, for example, would be to increase the amount of gun training required before someone is granted a gun permit.

Last February, a Texas lawmaker advocated for loosening gun training requirements by reducing the number of hours required from 10 to four.  However, in a state where there are at least
461,724 concealed gun permits, according to Politifact, that may not be a smart option.

In schools, we can be more proactive in preventing these dangerous tendencies in teenagers. Schools should offer more counseling services and after-care programs.

Too often, we hear the troubled past that these shooters had and the question always comes up: if someone had known, could they have made a difference?

The answer is not to take guns away from people. Let’s be realistic. Such an alternative would not work and the mere mention of it gets people in a gun-buying frenzy.

But by tightening gun restrictions and being more active in helping troubled people, we might start seeing a reduction in the number of shootings.

 

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One comment

  1. Gun violence has been described as a three legged stool. “The three legs of the gun violence stool are a shooter with a gun, a victim and a criminal act. Remove any one of the three legs and the stool collapses — no gun violence.” Better enforcement of violent criminal acts would be a good step. Having the victim more prepared to fight back is a good step. Unfortunately, “shooter with gun” is not something that is stoppable.
    The “gun show loop hole” is so small as to not be a factor. People that go to gun shows to buy guns go because they already own guns and want to trade or purchase more guns. The “40%” number used by anti-gun groups is just a lie based on a guess prior to NICS.
    Training and practice are good and government should encourage such activities. Namely, every school should have gun usage and safety training as required course of study. Every local police department should offer low cost training and practice classes for citizens.
    However, only the person that has the duty of self protection can choose the training and tools needed. Police can not make such determinations since they have no duty or responsibility to provide protection to individuals (SCOTUS ruling).

    ref: http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/1-7-2014/More-guns,-less-crime-or-more-guns,-fewer-victims?/

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