Featured Image Credits ABC News
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“Guns don’t kill people, Stupid motherf*ckers with guns kill people” – Chris Tucker, Money Talks.
It can be said that without a finger to pull the trigger, a gun is just a piece of metal. But once it is in the hands of someone with cruel intentions, that gun becomes a thing of nightmares.
Credits Werner Media
With the recent massacre in Las Vegas, many people are questioning their politicians and asking why there aren’t tougher gun regulations.
The Second Amendment is a civil right that all Americans have.
It states, “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.”
This Amendment has caused much controversy in recent years, it is safe to say that the Fore Fathers of America never thought that one day their flintlock rifles would become fully automatic weapons of death and destruction.
In America, roughly 32 percent of Americans are gun owners with the average gun owner having eight firearms. An estimated 371 million firearms are privately owned by civilians and domestic law enforcement in 2014. 146 million of these firearms were handguns. in 2012, the civilian population accounted for 80% of non-military gun industry revenues, according to market research.
Sadly, an estimated 9,675 murders were committed by firearms in 2014 as well.
Firearms are generally classified into three types: handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Rifles and shotguns are both considered “long guns.”
The process to getting a firearm:
In some states, the process of getting a firearm is as simple as a filling out a form and waiting. Essentially, the form asks:
*Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
*Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?
*Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any other depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?
*Are you a fugitive from justice?
*Have you ever been committed to a mental institution?
Using these questions, the FBI will determine whether or not you are eligible to purchase a firearm. It should be noted that if the FBI does not give a response within 3 days, the buyer is by default allowed to purchase the weapon. The infamous killer, Dylan Roof obtained his firearms this way, which he proceeded to gun down nine innocent lives at a black church in South Carolina in 2015. Dylan Roof also had a criminal record which included drug possession.
Since the federal background check system came into place in 1998 to 2014, approximately 202.5 million background checks were conducted through the FBI system. An estimated 1.2 million or 0.6% were denied.
In July 2016, a federal law was passed that does not prohibit suspected members of terrorist organizations from purchasing or possessing firearms or explosives.
What is amazing is the fact that, between February 2004 and December 2014, 2,233 firearm and three explosives background checks for people on terrorist watch lists were processed through the federal background check system. Of these, 91% of the firearm transactions and 100% of the explosives transactions were allowed.
Under federal law, individuals who have been convicted of a felony offense that would typically prohibit them from possessing firearms can lawfully possess firearms if their civil rights are restored by the requisite government entities.
The system is definitely not perfect, using a fake driver’s license with fictitious names, investigators with the Government Accountability Office had a 100% success rate buying firearms in five states that met the minimum requirements of the federal background check system.
Meanwhile, individuals who have been convicted of a felony offense would typically be prohibited from possessing firearms, unless their civil rights are restored.
To make matters worst Private sellers at gun shows are not legally obligated to ask purchasers whether they are eligible to buy guns or to verify purchasers’ legal status through background checks.
However, in some states such as California, every transaction must require a background check.
But are firearms really the issue? Or does the real issue lie elsewhere. Here are some statistics that might show a different point of view.
It is clear to see that, with the introduction of “right-to-carry” laws, the homicide rate in Texas and Florida have gone down substantially, whereas in the state of Michigan, the rate fluctuated, yet was still significantly lower.
Judging from these graphs, there may be a correlation between civilians owning more guns and murder rates in these states.
But the real question remains, does tougher gun control laws effectively reduce homicide rates?
Stepping out of the United States, in the U.K. had 0.07 gun homicides for every 100,000 people in 2011. To gain a firearm certificate, applicants must be over age 14, and must demonstrate they have satisfactory security and “good reason” to own a rifle. Applicants must declare all criminal convictions and name two references to support the application. Applications must be renewed every five years. Any applicant with a prison conviction of three years or more results in a lifetime ban.
In Japan, Civilians cannot possess handguns, automatic assault weapons, semi-automatic assault weapons, military rifles, or machine guns. Hell, Japanese civilians aren’t even allowed to own swords. Touching or possessing a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years. For perspective, there are 122,800,000 people in Japan. In 2006 there were 2 gun homicides and in 2007 there were 22, which became a national scandal.
In Australia, there were 30 gun homicides in 2010. Australia has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world. A law promoted by Pro-gun Conservative John Howard, banned all automatic and semi-automatic weapons and instituted strict licensing rules involving background checks and waiting periods for purchases.
The conservative government also implemented a buyback program, where people were paid for turning in newly illegal automatic and semi-automatic rifles; 650,000 weapons were voluntarily handed in and destroyed at a cost of roughly $359.6 million.