Ignorance Isn't Bliss

April 4, 2013
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As Joe Biden said, “Guns are the single most contentious issue in the 22 years I have been here that relates to the criminal justice program.” Gun violence has become a hot national issue in only the past few months, but the logic that Congress is using to attempt to use to resolve the problem is flawed. Making laws to control shootings is a waste of time. After all, what criminal would act inside the law? I think that getting the information about this situation into the world is necessary, from the events leading to this attempted reform, what rules there are, what might be wrong with these laws, what alternatives exist, and my personal outlook.

How did we get to this point? Looking back, the most recent change regarding gun laws was in 1994 when the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Acts were passed. These laws established a five day waiting period and a background check on unlicensed individuals attempting to purchase a handgun. These acts also prevent the manufacture, possession, and importation of new semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding device (or magazines) for civilian use. However, these laws haven’t caused a complete halt to shootings. For example, 12 people were recently gunned down in at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. And in just this past December, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where six adults and 20 children were fatally shot. Where were the laws that failed to protect these people?

Some of the laws, or perhaps the lack thereof could have potentially aided the victims of the shootings, but what exactly are they? First off, there is no law that completely bans assault weapons from public use. Not only that, there is no specific law that places a limit on the amount of ammunition a single magazine should hold. To top it off, there is no law that requires a background check. Does that seem illogical? It probably should, considering the shooter in Aurora was using an assault rifle, so something came up short.
There are a few obvious problems with what is currently in place. For instance, what law will ever stop a criminal, who doesn’t follow them to begin with? What about the fact that background checks aren’t required by law? Consider this: in states where there were no required check, such as Texas and Florida, once a state law was put into place, crimes involving guns dropped dramatically. Not to mention we are giving assault weapons to citizens. What use could they have for it? The collections of weapons people accumulate are recipes for disaster. Naturally, these problems may be resolved soon, but how?
There are plenty of alternatives, but which one works? We could add more law enforcement officials to crack down on criminal activity. Another option is to ban assault weapons completely, though those against any ban wouldn’t take it lightly, neither would the owners of the perhaps 375,000 assault weapons that are in the United States, according to the website heraldnet. Finally, as it should have been in the first place, make background checks required. Although these are some good options, plenty of people have their own opinion.
I am one of those people with an idea that may not be unheard of. If the government could add officials, paid by the government themselves, to the workforce in order to protect the, according to the website edreform, 272,696 public, private, charter, and catholic schools that the U.S. has. This might actually start to solve two problems: gun violence and put a dent in unemployment. I am all in favor of banning assault weapons, perhaps because I don’t own one myself. And, isn’t it common sense to check up on who someone is when you are giving them a lethal weapon? One thing is certain; there must be changes.
From examining recent events, to redesigning the laws the U.S. has, to what could be wrong with these laws, how to fix them, and what I personally think, this topic is now a very popular discussion in Washington D.C. Joe Biden, the Vice President and the man that is in charge of fixing this mess, has been through this before, according to the New York Times website. “Two decades ago, he led the last major gun-control effort in the Senate, enacting a 10-year ban on sales of certain semiautomatics and imposing background checks for gun purchasers using licensed dealers.” the article states. This is the reality in the fight against gun violence; it is illogical at times, and this new controversy has been a long time coming. Everyone has a voice, and using it might make a difference. However, no matter what single law might be passed, it alone can’t stop this problem.

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