Among the biggest threats to American national security, today is a gun crime. In October 2017, the Guardian estimated that the US is home to 88 arms for every 100 individuals and sees mass shootings more than 11 times as often as every other developing country. Latest incidents of mass killings, such as those at the Texas Church and Las Vegas bar, in which 26 and 58 were killed and dozens injured, respectively, demonstrate the levels of gun violence.
Under the second amendment to the American Constitution, the freedom to carry and bear arms leads to gun violence because it can encourage firearms to be in the wrong hands of offenders and the mentally challenged. In regard to this, there have been calls to place restrictions and regulations on guns leading to heated debates between those in support and those against. The calls have demanded for a background check system to ascertain a purchaser is not legally prohibited from having a gun, ban the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons capable of shooting more than 10 rounds of ammunition without reloading as well as large-capacity ammunition magazines and conducting regular gun buyback events. There has been heavy opposition on the other hand especially from the National Rifle Association (NRA) who maintain that interference to the second amendment is a violation of the citizens’ rights. They further argue that guns are just tools like knives used and are therefore not the problem.
Gun violence is undeniably on the rise hence restrictions and regulations are a necessity, calling for cooperation among federal, state and local governments. The U. S. Federal government has to review the second amendment through its legislative arm, the Congress, and put in place stern laws and qualifications for gun ownership and limit the types of guns accessible to citizens. The executive arm should promptly implement and execute the changes as well as provide funds to enable the process. The judicial arm should ascend to the changes and further interpret and apply the law equally on all American citizens. The judiciary should therefore punish those who break the law without favor or lenience.
The state governments should support background checks and regulations to gun ownership in the states as well as incorporate the federal laws in their constitutions. In those states that there are more cases of gun violence, the governments should even come up with more stern policies on gun ownership. For state governments are charged with the day to day running of the states and livelihood of the people, it remains their duty to put the regulations and restrictions in place.
The local governments in addition to ensuring that regulations and restrictions put in place are well implemented should come up with further stricter and tighter rules in accordance to gun violence rates at these localities. The local governments are best situated to execute regulations on public carrying of guns compared to the other levels of government.
Gun violence in America is clearly a big threat to the national security which has been compounded by the right to keep and bear arms. This therefore calls for regulations and restrictions on gun ownership. The federal, state and local governments need to come together in unison, support and execute regulations and restrictions to gun ownership to save the Americans from further sufferings of the gun menace.
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Blocher, Joseph. “We Can Regulate Guns at the Local Level, Too.” The New York Times, 10 December 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/12/10/opinion/we-can-regulate-guns-at-the-local-level-t.html. Accessed 28 November 2017.
Lopez, German. “It’s Been 5 Days Since the Mass Shooting in Texas. And America is Already Moving on.” Voxth, 10 November 2017, www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/10/16633072/mass-shooting-texas-desensitized. Accessed 28 November 2017.
McCarthy, Tom, et al. “America’s Passion for Guns: Ownership and Violence by the Numbers.” theguardian, 3 October 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/02/us-gun-control-ownership-violence-statistics. Accessed 28 November 2017.