The ban on gun ownership in the United States was enacted in response to a number of recent shootings (Wellman 145). As a result, several controversies have erupted over whether possession of such devices, which have taken many lives, should be controlled. Notably, gun possession has been a political concept in America for decades, with many people buying weapons of their choosing. Based on the few murder cases, the possession was often chastised. However, the issue sparked widespread outrage after a series of major shootouts in a variety of states. For certain ways, the masterminds behind the mass killings were people with dubious histories. As a result, those who continued with the support of the ownership of the guns called for a careful consideration by the security forces before allowing a person to own a weapon. However, the narrative of killings did not change. In fact, many other homicide cases emerged and raised more suspicion on how the security system was working in the country. The first attempt to regulate ownership and even ban the use of guns became controversial when the current president of United States (US) Donald Trump supported ownership (Milne 1). Considering his influence on the political setting at the time, the administration faced many challenges in its attempt to regulate by banning the ownership of guns. Essentially, the ban of the military guns has led to reduced cases of mass shooting besides minimizing gun trade.
The journey towards the end of free ownership of guns traces back to many years back but the most notable include the April 20, 1999 incident when two students from a high school caused many lives (Wellman 145). The two entered Columbine school in Colorado armed with four guns and over thirty bombs. Then, they killed a teacher and twelve of their schoolmates wounding over 24 others before committing suicide. After the incident, many critics began to raise concerns on how minors were able to access such powerful weapons. The debate went on for a long time with those opposing it claiming that the guns were not to blame. They asked authorities to establish the motive behind the incident rather than relying on the figures based on the casualties. Investigators, tasked with a duty of establishing the motive, spend a long time joining suspicious elements together as time lapsed. On the other hand, security forces spent time defending their position as critics lamented why the kids were allowed to possess guns. Many others dismissed federal investigators for failing to detect the impending crisis. In the end, there was nothing but a trail of blame games that served no purpose of apprehending similar tragedies in the future.
Remarkably, before the sad experience of 1999 disappeared in the memories of many, another incident occurred in December 2012 (Klarevas 123). A shootout occurred at Sandy hook elementary school located in Newtown. When that happened, the world realized the need for a regulation that will curb further deaths in future. Hence, the government established a presidential taskforce to oversee the rising cases of mass shootings. However, two opposing forces emerged and took a near-political perspective, a matter that seemed to threaten the possibility of finding a lasting solution. The opposing forces claimed that the issue was on the culture of the people rather than the ownership of guns. It follows that they recommended for the use of armed guards in school and other public places. On the contrary, the other side called for a restriction on the purchase and ownership of guns. Observably, it became almost impossible for change to take effect because of the divergent views of the people. Needless to say, the fact that liberalism has taken roots in the states further complicated the matter. Influential persons took positions and slowed the process of change.
Considerably, the constitution as well as the history of gun ownership in a country has been a major impediment in the regulation on the ownership of guns (Fox and Jack 32). For example, in America, regulating gun possession is contentious because of the loophole in the constitution. The constitution allows the right to own arms. Apparently, gun ownership, according to the constitution becomes a right rather than a privilege. The ownership does not require the state authorities to consider many factors before allowing a person to own a weapon. It follows that even a mentally disturbed person could get a gun and uses it on the grounds of self defense. If the state could regulate and ensure that it is only accessed by those permitted to guarantee security, then the issue of minors and psychotics owning guns would end and perhaps the cases of mass shootings would decline. At the same time, America has had gun ownership for centuries and trying to regulate it has been faced with stiff competition with those who want to maintain the status quo. There are questions as to why there are many cases in the millennium when there were no such cases in the past. As a result, the opposing forces have convincing reason that the authorities should look at what has changed rather than disturbing the existing system.
Arguably, as the world continued debating on gun ownership, another massive shootout ensued in Las Vegas in October, 2017 (Milne 1). In the end, 59 people were dead and over 500 sustained injuries. The killers used assault rifles and it seems the damage was excessive enough to awaken the democratic senators to introduce a legislation banning such weapons in the country. Thus on November, the bill that aimed at banning the sale, transfer, manufacture as well as importation of such weapons came to the floor of the house. Immediately the law took effect, gun crimes reduced significantly with researchers putting the figure at 17 per cent in some identified states such as Miami, Baltimore and St Louis. Debatably, it is too early to applaud the ban as related to the reduced cases of mass shooting since the statistics only identify the homicide cases. Some researchers have also indicated that there has been intensify security scrutiny in most public places that may have subjected suspected culprits to intense fear. However, other scholars argue that as long as the assault rifles will reduce in circulation, there are higher chances of minimizing the killings of people by gun enthusiasts.
Some studies have indicates that there has been massive buyouts of guns across many states in America as those opposed to the regulation want to take advantage before the full implementation (Beckett 1). It follows that the ban will do more damage since the forces of opposition may decide to ridicule the authorities by conducting attacks similar to those in the past. Seemingly, suspected criminals are taking advantage of the disposal by some stores that fear that their business is coming to an end. On the contrary, many other researchers have indicated that some gun stores were considering closing down their businesses while others had already closed their doors as the push for the ban intensified. A study based on the manufacturers of the weapons show that there is a low production for the guns meant for local consumption. Many companies have opted to wait for the order to be given by the buyers rather than producing weapons that are facing the ban. Consequently, the manufacturers might be forced to reduce their workforce and thus threaten the source of livelihood for many of employees.
In conclusion, the Republicans in America were the most resistant to the call for ban (Klarevas 1). The Democrats, however, were more liberal and majority voted in favor of the ban. Although the ban was recently introduced and passed, the same had occurred in 1994 which targeted the military-style types of weapons. The law allowed Americans to continue owning the guns they had in the past and they included the assault rifles. The current development targeted also the assault rifles after a number of incidences of mass shooting. Despite the positive development, America has to consider also the regulation on who owns a particular weapon. Observably, the killer of one of the major mass shootings, Devin Kelly, who possessed a semi-automatic rifle managed to acquire the weapon through a legal means in San Antonio. Ironically, the person had criminal record as well as mental health problem. In other words, there is need to look beyond the issue of ownership and the type of weapon and also incorporate the regulation on individuals to carry weapons.
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Beckett, Lois. Americans aged 18-34 most likely to oppose assault weapons ban, poll finds. The Guardian, 19 November 2017, p.1
Fox, James A, and Jack Levin. Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder. , 2014. Print.
Klarevas, Louis. Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shootings. , 2016. Print. Bottom of Form
Milne, Jonathan. Fear of firearms in NZ is mostly irrational; stigma is a worse weapon than guns. National, 10 December 2017, p.1
Wellman, Carl. Constitutional Rights What They Are and What They Ought to Be. , 2016. Print.