Gun violence
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By Edet Ikotidem

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Gun violence in the United States can be attributed to gun control laws which are strongly supported by the majority of American citizens, but most Americans don’t realize that criminals also use guns to commit crimes on a daily basis.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 600,000 people were arrested for firearm possession in America in 2008. Of those arrested, approximately 45% were not convicted of any crime, meaning they probably wouldn’t have been caught if they hadn’t been caught with a firearm. While gun availability may be slightly more prevalent in the United States than in other countries and has led to an increase in violent crimes and gun-related deaths, there is hope for change moving forward.

gun violence
Breonna Taylor kilned by American police

The community has to take a stand first, as well as state and federal legislators. It’s also important to hold discussions with young people who use guns with friends or think about becoming gun owners because of their patriotic ideology or ethnicity.

Guns are a massive problem in America. In some ways, we have more than 177 million guns, or one for every man, woman, and child. This is a huge number of weapons. And it has been on the rise in recent years.

We know that, and we’ve been trying to do something about it for years. But despite all of our efforts, gun violence remains a common occurrence across the United States—and no one really knows why this is so.

What factors contribute to armed violence?

Exposure to violence in one’s own community, low sense of community safety, unsupervised access to firearms, and involvement in risky community behaviors such as drug dealing

What is the solution to gun violence in the United States?

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gun violence
America’s Police on the neck of a victim he killed

1. Through comprehensive gun licensing policies.

  1. Restrictions on large capacity magazines.
  2. Secure gun storage and extreme risk protection orders
  3. Police reforms
  4. The fight against the social determinants of health and the reduction of structural racism.
  5.  Expand background checks
  • Expand background checks to include private sales. The current law requires that a person who buys a gun from a licensed dealer must undergo background checks, but it doesn’t require the same for those buying guns online or at gun shows. As we saw with the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, this gap has led to many horror stories: there have been cases where someone who shouldn’t have had access to weapons purchased them illegally before they committed crimes.
  • Expand background checks to include sales at pawn shops and flea markets as well as purchases made over-the- the Internet (which can be particularly difficult for law enforcement agencies).
  • Create an easy-to-use system that allows law enforcement officials to look into suspicious activities involving firearms
  1. Oppose gun control measures that are likely to be ineffective

If you support gun control measures, it’s important to recognize that many of the most common proposals are unlikely to be effective. For example:

  • The federal government could pass legislation banning assault rifles or high-capacity magazines, which would restrict the number of guns available in circulation.
  • While this may sound like a good idea on paper—the problem is that these kinds of bans have been tried before and failed spectacularly (e.g., in Australia). As long as there are people willing to circumvent such laws through smuggling or theft, they will continue being passed over time with no lasting impact on crime rates whatsoever.
  • Gun buyback programs have also proven ineffective at reducing violence rates in places where they’ve been implemented; for example, Australia threw away millions upon millions worth of guns after its 1996 national firearms amnesty program ran its course without having any noticeable effect on crime levels anywhere else around town…and yet still ended up with more homicides than ever before!

 8 Support gun control measures that are likely to work

The first step in addressing gun violence is to support laws that have been proven to reduce it. These include:

  • Requiring background checks for all gun sales, including private transactions between friends and relatives.
  • Banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines (these are military-style weapons), as well as bump stocks (which can be attached to semi-automatic rifles).
  • Tougher penalties for people who commit violent crimes with guns—for example, increasing sentences for repeat offenders and allowing judges discretion when sentencing convicted felons who use a gun against someone else (this last one is controversial).

9 We need to focus on the policies with the best chance of working.

First, we need to focus on the policies with the best chance of working.

Second, if you’re trying to get something done in your community or state, it’s important to work with other people who have similar goals. You can do this by joining a local campaign like #EndGunViolence or getting involved with one of our partner organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Conclusion

We can’t ignore the fact that most gun violence occurs in poor neighborhoods and communities of color. But we also need to focus on our current policies, because they have worked before. And we should not be afraid to try new ideas. If we do this right, America will be safer and our democracy stronger than ever before.

 

 

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