New Gun Laws: In the Line of Fire
Almost every night on the evening news there is a report of a gun related homicide, innocent children being killed (by stray bullets) or a deadly school shooting. The nature of gun violence is a highly debated issue throughout the United States. Gun violence is no longer just an issue for poor communities or no longer related only to gang violence-we are on a whole new level now.
According to the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence on an average day in America, at least 32 people are murdered by guns and 140 treated through medical facilities for assaults with guns, at least 51 people kill themselves and 45 people are accidentally shot or killed with hand guns-All this in just one day! Trust me, the numbers are only going to grow if more action is not taken to strengthen new gun laws.
While the second amendment of the US Constitution supports and protects gun ownership, gun policies and the nature in which they are used, the disagreement continues over “the right to bear arms” and the support of gun sales to criminals both domestic and foreign. Here we will discuss gun laws, what is being done to prevent gun violence and those that make change.
Gun Laws-How Far Does This Have To Go?
While gun laws protect the right to sell, use and possess firearms for those that choose to. The laws that govern those rights differ from state to state. Each one independent of any existing federal laws, some states choose to pick up expired federal laws adding restrictions for instance the “assault weapons ban” that expired in 2004.
The battle was lost in congress to renew the law however, a few states keep the ban in effect (New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey) continuing the ban to manufacture or sell in these states along with a limitation on bullets (10) and magazines owners could carry.
While many state legislators feel the United States federal firearm laws are too weak, some states are taking strong steps to adopt laws against gun violence to protect their communities. According to en.wikipedia.org these bans and acts are:
- Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
- Connecticut Children’s Safety Act
- Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban
- Federal Assault Weapons Ban
- Firearms Owner Protection Act
In most cases firearms owners must follow the guidelines of the state they are in, not necessarily the state they reside, seen by many offenders as a loophole to get a firearm.
New gun laws focus on efforts for more thorough background checks-including companies that sell ammunition getting licensing and background checks. At the same time responsible gun owners and lobbyists are fueling the battle to further protect the “stand your ground laws” and “shoot first laws”. For every battle won-there are several lost along the way.
In this case the battles that are won, do not outweigh the lives that are lost each day due to gun violence. A study from smartgunlaws.org states a staggering number of 100,000 Americans are victims of gun violence-every year, claiming 30,000 deaths attributed to guns and for every one person murdered, there are two more injured.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, school safety is suddenly on every parents mind. With this tragedy, the nation mourned the loss of these innocent children realizing then- gun violence reached a new level-as if bullying in schools was not enough. Taking a much needed closer look at what leads to these acts, the types of bullying in schools that lead to criminal assault with weapons and the guns in schools that are so easily accessible (smartgunlaws.org.)
Those That Make Change
There would be no new gun laws if not for the courageous fights of those who have lost everything they love to gun violence or have the passion for the fight. There is proof that tougher gun laws are very effective:
- Tougher gun laws reduce injury and death
- Keeps guns out of the hands of criminals or offenders not allowed to have them
- Takes action against illegal gun trafficking
- Stricter laws for gun and ammunition manufacturers
Even as the proof is clear to see, tougher laws to slow the process in which it takes to get firearms and stops them from ending up in the wrong hands, in most states adopting their own laws is the best defense. Controlling the margins, establishing a non-tolerance of the weakened federal laws.
There are many groups and individuals that spend countless hours dedicated to the fight against tougher gun laws. Here are some of the people that make a difference:
- EveryTown For Gun Safety
- Coalition To StopGun Violence
- Women Against Gun Violence
- Parents Against Gun Violence
- Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence
Due to the nature in which it was written, the Second Amendment of the US Constitution protects responsible gun owners rights while leaving enough room for change. It is up to communities, leaders and educators to keep the good fight going, adapting to need a new shooting causes. Unfortunately in America, changes does not occur unless a tragedy has created a need for new or adjustments for change.
Keeping gun violence and death rates down should be a combined effort of lawmakers and concerned citizens willing to vote for change. That is how we do things here- one vote at a time, one bill at a time each possible saving a life each day they are in effect. Gun violence finally reached a level where ignoring the facts is not going to work anymore. There is always a lesson to learn, here the lesson is for America to see the path of the bullets before they load them. See the destruction before it to late, speak out for your states hand gun and weapons laws-you can educate and save a life someday.