USA Gun Violence: Threat to Civilisation

In the past months the world has watched and sympathised with the victims of the US gun violence. Up to now, many are still in shock and in disbelief. We have all watched the horrendous shooting incidences, which we  dare not talk about. Many have lost their lives, and many still continue to lose their lives. We have all raised our eyebrows on whether the United States of America is really a safe place for the innocent children. We are all still in shock and in disbelief over the alarming and shocking rate of gun violence in the US. Nobody could really imagine that in this 21st century in a so called civilised country, one could just load his/her gun and dash into the streets to shoot randomly at any object in sight-including human beings.

Across the world, many analysts have also questioned the gun law legislation in US, especially in light of the numerous gun violence incidents which has gone viral like an epidemic. In the first place it’s worth asking why the US citizens need guns.As the debate on gun violence has started gathering steam, many arguments have emerged. Firstly, should it be made harder or difficult to buy, own, carry and use a gun in the USA? However, the issue of US gun violence had stayed under the radar of public debate in the previous years. As from 2012 to date, the recurrence of gun violence in US has been a disturbing trend indeed. The White House also seem unclear and hesitant to initiate tight gun control measures. This reluctance, therefore mean that incidents of gun violence will increase rather than decrease in the near future. I am of the view that, as long as guns continue being sold like candy in grocery shops, gun violence will continue being on the upsurge in the USA.

To this effect, there should be some regulatory legislative measures to control the global arms sales. The buck should stop with the manufacturer. Something should be done sooner rather than later.According to the New York Times, there are about 310 million guns in the USA as to date. What a shocking figure! It has also been reported that almost 40% of households own these guns. Research indicates that America tops in terms of gun ownership amongst other countries on an international level. To this effect, we should also note that there are various gun control laws in USA as to date. However, these laws seem to be ineffective. This can be evidenced in the numerous reported incidences of gun violence that has hogged the limelight of the international media in the previous months. According to the New York Times, the US has the National Firearms Act of 1934 which restrict civilians from owning automatic weapons, short-barreled shotguns, hand grenades and other powerful arms. It also has the Gun Control Act of 1968 which prohibits mail-order sales of weapons and compels anyone involved in the gun business to be federally licensed and keep permanent sales records. Furthermore, it also prohibits knowingly selling a gun to those with prior criminal records, minors, individuals with mental health problems, and a few other categories of people.

Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 requires licensed gun dealers to perform background checks. Background checks are not required for private gun sale. As of now the White House is busy crafting and announcing the so called White House Proposals on Gun Violence. Personally, I see these proposals as the usual loud sounding nothings. The same vague gun policy rhetoric on background checks will not work. It therefore remains unclear and highly unlikely whether we are going to witness a decrease in gun related shooting of innocent civilians. A lot needs to be done. Addressing gun violence is both a policy and political decision that should involve a bold and tough decisive measure. As much as an individual may have a right to own and use a gun, one should not put the security of other innocent civilians at danger. Otherwise gun violence will remain a threat to civilisation!

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