Understanding Gun Laws in the United States in 2018

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Hi Guys and a happy Thursday to you! I delayed today’s post for some time now to give the mourners of the Florida tragedy some time to cope with what happened on February 14th, 2018. However, it is time I start talking openly about what I think regarding gun laws. Gun laws have been discussed in the United States since I can remember. There were many constituents for gun control even 20 years ago, but the need for it is even more evident now. The 1999 Columbine High School shooting was scary and horrible, but it wasn’t until the 2012 Aurora theater shooting that the wrenching reality began to gnaw on me.

I think in 2018 we have moved past from the fallback conversation that gun control is a right wing vs. left wing issue. It truly is not when so many lives have been lost in the hands of gun carriers. The problem that lawmakers get into is the super partisan solution that we should just revoke the second amendment and not have any guns in the United States. And when we have such extreme views, the lawmakers think it is better not to make any rash decisions, which may appear as if they are doing nothing. However, there is ALWAYS a happy medium and that is regulation. So here goes…

Why was it written as the second amendment?

The right to bear arms or the second amendment was literally granted to individuals in fear that governments can oppress people and that they should have means to protect themselves. For more information about that historical context, click HERE and HERE. Now, taking that right away all together under the parameters set by our forefathers is a little rash and imposing on people’s individual rights. So please educate yourself before you do anything. A great place to start is HERE.

What is the problem with having guns?

Well, the problem is a little obvious these days when pretty much every now and then there is a mass shooting in a public place like a school or movie theater in the hands of mentally ill individuals. So they need to be regulated, which was my original point.

Regulation Solutions

Point of Entry For Regulation: If I was a lawmaker, which I am not, I would have the federal government play no part in regulating gun laws in states. I would even go as far as saying the current federal acts regulating guns should be tossed (Detailed HERE).  Instead, I would ratify having the individual states write their own mandates on what kind of background checks, including psychiatric tests, should be included when selling guns. What kind of guns to be sold should be regulated by each state as well. And what should be the punishment for misuse of these handguns?

Special Cases: Individual states should unanimously agree that mentally-ill individuals should not be able to purchase, keep, or carry any kinds of guns. How about funding states to create programs on how to teach gun safety or to give incentives to ensure civilians report suspicious behavior and activity to the police? See HERE. I don’t think anyone under 21 should be able to purchase or carry guns-period. Sure, these young individuals can go shooting with their dads and uncles in a safe designated space (I am not condoning treating animals as targets here, remember!), but they themselves cannot be responsible for guns. If there is any misuse by those under 21, individual states should decide how to proceed.

Lastly, a database: There should be a central database (maybe on a state level or managed by a private organization) that houses fingerprints and data on all sorts of criminals. That way if there is another school shooting (I really, really hope not), the states can prosecute the shooter according to their state laws. And if the moment comes when federal assistance is required, the state can provide data to the FBI in a timely and organized/coherent manner.

Call-To-Action

When thinking about what to write to your state officials or even when deciding where you stand on gun laws, consider the following questions:

  • Can you shoot animals or just immobile targets?
  • Are guns safe for a household with children?
  • Should you be able to carry guns anywhere?
  • Who is responsible if violence happens with guns?- Those responsible for the violence?The government? The people not reporting? Those people who sold the gun?

Other things YOU can do:

Register to vote! I have voted in elections since I turned 18. Look into Eighteenx18 when looking for a place to voice your opinion (See HERE). If you are wondering whether you are registered to vote or not, see HERE and if you want to register, click HERE.

Another initiative is the “March For Our Lives” that will be held in Washington D.C and other cities on March 24th. You can participate by signing their petition, donating, or marching (literally) to support gun law reformation.

In conclusion, I am not saying that we should revoke the 2nd amendment altogether. I think the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, in the United States Constitution, provides us with a right– a general and confusing one, but instead of throwing it away, we should refine it on an individual state level. Regulation is key to any right or law being successfully implemented. Please read up on this (start with the links on today’s post) before you decide to act in any way. Happy Reading!