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Increased cases of gun violence in the United States have resulted in increased calls for stricter gun control regulations. In 1994, an armed civilian named Nicholas Cruz entered a Florida school and shot at students using an AR-5-style rifle and killed a number of them. Debates on gun control in the United began in 1994 after the shooting occurred in Florida (Bingham and Amy, 2017). The debates resulted in the enactment of various laws on gun control. AR-5-style rifles were afterward prohibited under the federal assault weapons ban that was passed by the U.S Congress and signed into law by Bill Clinton (Spitzer and Robert, 2012). Gun control measures applied by the United States government in its endeavors to curb gun violence in the country include banning possession of certain types of guns, arming teachers and extensive background and mental screening for gun buyers. Gun control in the United States is necessary for combating gun violence.
Firstly, lack of gun control measures results in possession of guns by inappropriate individuals. Mental and background screening is one of the strategies proposed to curb gun violence in the country and is aimed at ensuring that firearms are possessed by psychologically fit individuals (Winkler and Adam, 2011). According to Winkler and Adam (2011), 5% of the total gun killings experienced in the United States have been perpetrated by mentally ill individuals. Even though the statistics are meager, it is evident that psychological aspects contribute to gun violence in the country. Moreover, individuals from violent backgrounds such as neighborhoods that harbor gangs should be restricted from accessing guns. Easy access to firearms for gang-affiliated individuals is probably one of the reasons that neighborhoods harboring gangs experience more cases of gun violence compared to other areas (Bingham and Amy, 2017). The U.S government has established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that is used to screen potential gun buyers. The system is meant to identify individuals that are domestic abusers, convicted felons and mentally ill and prohibit them from purchasing guns. The program has not been very useful in regulating the purchase of guns because many private sellers are still unregulated. The U.S government should implement the program effectively since it is likely to be effective in curbing gun violence. Screening background and mental status of gun buyers will ensure that guns fall into the right hands hence, reducing cases of gun violence in the country.
Similarly, effective gun control will ensure that appropriate guns are sold to the public.
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