Failure Of Gun Control Laws Essay

Whenever a mass shooting shocks America, people ask if tighter gun-control measures could have prevented the slaughter.

Gun violence researchers say that no law can eliminate the risk of mass shootings, which are unpredictable and represent a small minority of gun homicides over all. But there are a handful of policies that could reduce the likelihood of such events, or reduce the number of people killed when such shootings do occur. And several of them have strong public support.

These are findings from surveys we conducted a year ago about the recurring problem of gun violence in the United States. We asked dozens of researchers in criminology, law and public health to assess a range of policies often proposed to prevent gun deaths. We also conducted a national poll to measure public support for the same set of measures.

The policies in the upper right corner of our matrix are those that were deemed effective and popular. The most effective one, according to our experts, would be restricting gun sales to anyone found guilty of a violent crime. Under federal law, such limitations apply to those convicted of felonies or domestic violence crimes. That idea has not been debated much among federal policy makers.

Expanding background checks for gun purchasers to a wider range of gun sales was also judged effective and popular. It is an idea that was considered by Congress in 2013, but failed to win enough votes to become law. Some popular measures, like strengthening sentences for illegal gun possession, were deemed less effective. And some measures that experts thought could reduce deaths, such as banning all semiautomatic weapons, were less popular, though a majority of people in our survey still approved.

In general, the public was more accepting of measures limiting the types of people who could obtain weapons than of restrictions on the types of guns and accessories available on the market.

The attack at a Las Vegas concert on Sunday was unusual even among mass shootings. Stephen Paddock, the shooter, appeared to have used modified semiautomatic weapons that fired at the rapid pace of a machine gun. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California has proposed legislation that would prohibit so-called bump stocks, the devices found on several of his guns. At least some Republicans in Congress have expressed openness to the idea.

We did not ask specifically about “bump stocks,” but we did ask about a broader set of gun modification restrictions that were part of a 1990s law known as the assault weapons ban, and about outlawing large-capacity ammunition magazines that enable rapid fire. Our experts thought both ideas could reduce the death toll from mass shootings, but they were not among the most popular ideas with the public.

When we developed our list of measures, we focused on policies that were not part of federal law. And we gathered ideas from advocates on the left and the right – some part of the mainstream political conversation, and some extremely unlikely to be considered.

No state has adopted more than a handful of the ideas our experts deemed to be effective, but some states have adopted more of our experts’ preferred measures than others. Nevada has adopted relatively few. In the accompanying table, we compared Nevada with California, which has been particularly aggressive about passing gun-control measures, and Mississippi, which is among the most permissive in its approach to firearms. The table omits policies that could be instituted only by the federal government.

What Has Nevada Done?

In 2016, Nevadans narrowly approved a ballot measure that called for instituting a universal background check for all gun purchases. Currently, people who buy guns from a federally licensed dealer must undergo a background check, but not those who buy guns from individuals, including at gun shows or through internet classified sites.

The ballot initiative has not yet been enacted. The governor and attorney general, who oppose the policy, have said it is unenforceable because the F.B.I. has not agreed to conduct the checks for the states, as specified in the measure. Advocates have protested, and are preparing to bring a lawsuit this month if no further action is taken.

How We Made Our Matrix

To build a list of possible policies, we consulted the academic literature on laws from American states and foreign countries and spoke with advocates for gun rights and gun control. Both surveys were conducted in June 2016.

For our measure of popularity, Morning Consult conducted an internet survey of 1,975 voters, who were asked whether they approved of the possible laws.

For our effectiveness survey, we asked experts in gun policy to evaluate each idea on a scale of 1 to 10, according to how effective they thought it would be in reducing fatalities. We asked the experts to ignore considerations of political or legal feasibility.

Our expert panel consisted of 32 current or retired academics in criminology, public health and law, who have published extensively in peer-reviewed academic journals on gun policy. We know our sample is small and may not include every expert that readers would like consulted. But we feel it represents a useful, if imperfect, measure of what people steeped in the research think might save lives.

The panel of academics included: Cathy Barber, Magdalena Cerdá, Jay Corzine, John Donohue, Laura Dugan, Liza H. Gold, David Hemenway, David Kennedy, Louis Klarevas, Gary Kleck, David Kopel, Tomislav Kovandzic, Adam Lankford, John Lott, Jonathan Metzl, Matthew Miller, Carlisle E. Moody, Andrew Papachristos, Charles Ransford, Peter Reuter, Mark Rosenberg, Robert J. Sampson, Michael Siegel, Gary Slutkin, Robert Spitzer, Stephen P. Teret, George E. Tita, Eugene Volokh, Daniel Webster, April Zeoli and others.

To see our full, original findings, including our experts’ assessment of which measures would do the most to reduce overall gun homicide deaths, read our article from January.

100% of Americans Support

No sales to “known or suspected terrorists”

Expand mental health treatment

Stronger sentences for illegal guns

Report lost or stolen guns

Universal checks for gun buyers

Bar sales to all violent criminals

Bar sales to convicted stalkers

Centralized record of gun sales

Bar sales to mentally ill

Universal checks for ammo buyers

Govt. buyback of banned guns

Honor out-of-state conceal and carry permits

Guns that microstamp bullets

EXperts say not effective

High-capacity magazine ban

Demonstrate a need for a gun

100% of Americans Support

No sales to “known or suspected terrorists”

Expand mental health treatment

Report lost or stolen guns

Universal checks for gun buyers

Stronger sentences for illegal guns

Bar sales to all violent criminals

Centralized record of gun sales

Bar sales to mentally ill

Universal checks for ammo buyers

Govt. buyback of banned guns

Honor out-of-state conceal and carry permits

Guns that microstamp bullets

High-capacity magazine ban

EXperts say not effective

Demonstrate a need for a gun

100% of Americans Support

No sales to “known or suspected terrorists”

Universal background checks

Expand mental health treatment

Bar sales to violent criminals

Bar sales to mentally ill

EXperts say not effective

Demonstrate a need for a gun

Select Measures That May Help Prevent Mass Shootings

NOTE: Starred measures have been passed by legislature or ballot initiative but have not yet been fully enacted.
SOURCE: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

100% of Americans Support

Universal checks for gun buyers

EXperts say not effective

100% of Americans Support

Universal checks for gun buyers

EXperts say not effective

Essay on We Need Gun Control

1485 Words6 Pages

We Need Gun Control

Baton Rouge, Lousiana--October 17, 1992--8:30 P.M....A Japanese exchange student, Yoshihiro Hattori, was searching for a party he had been invited to. Thinking he had found the house in which the social would take place, Yoshihiro knocked on the door. Not knowing that they had the wrong house Yoshihiro and his companion startled the proprietor. After having the front door shut in their face the two boys began walking back to Yoshihiro's car. Yoshihiro Hattori and his friend, Webb Haymaker, then turned back towards the house upon hearing the carport door open behind them. Instead of seeing the party's host, these two boys were greeted by a " 'Freeze' " and a .44 Magnum-carrying Rodney Peairs. Yoshihiro, thinking…show more content…

Assault weapons are characterized by the ability to fire large numbers of bullets in a very short amount of time. These soldier-type weapons are made for armies and police forces, not hunters. " 'I've got several guns, but I don't see any reason why armor-piercing bullets and concealed weapons should be sold legally in this country. They are only used to kill human beings,' " - Former President Jimmy Carter (Graves 3) Hunters, usually needing only one shot for their intended kill, have no need of any such weapon.

" 'When its time to hunt birds, you need a good gun like this Ruger Red Label (a firearm designed for hunting). Twenty-five years ago, in the war in Vietnam, people hunted me. They needed a good weapon-like this AK-47. But you don't need one of these to hunt birds.' " - Senator Bob Kerry (Toner 26)

Sighting the Second Amendment conservative Americans and the Republican party in general do not believe that a federally imposed restriction on firearms would be good for the American public. "The (Republican) White House, which has long opposed all forms of gun control," declares that firearms of any type, including assault, is be protected by the United States Constitution. (Ifill 19)

While I agree with the Republicans in that it is every American's constitutional right to bear arms, I do not agree that this right is best for the country today. The Second Amendment was

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