Gun violence is a serious issue for the modern society. The United States of America is the country, which suffers from this problem most of all. This research paper is designed to give some regulations and approaches that will help to change current situation with gun violence. It indicates the main reasons that cause gun violence in the country. It explains how to deal with those reasons in order to decrease the process of purchasing and manufacturing of guns. The paper states my position whether the country have the total ban on weapons or not? It indicates the situation with gun violence in Japan. The research paper explains the attitude to this problem of Japanese people. It compares legal regulation of this issue in Japan and the United States. The paper highlights my position to new regulations towards the gun possession.
Keywords: gun violence, regulation, firearms, bear guns, law policy.
The United States of America is the country that is characterized with a special relation to arms. The history of the U.S. as an independent country originated from the arm conflict. From that time, it was common for regular people to keep weapons at their homes. The right to keep weapons in American homes is foreseen in the American Constitution. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. During the history of the USA, the situation with gun control wasn’t such a problem. The majority of population considered it as an integral part of their life. However, with the development of moral principles and legislative system, the situation with bearing arms began to change. Nowadays, more Americans have the position in favor of limiting rights to bear arms. The issues with gun violence and gun control in the United States of America are among the most debated topics in the country. After the series of tragic accidents, people, who are engaged in family relationship, are afraid for the future of their children. They are not sure that those accidents were casual. People believe that the general permissiveness to bear arms, the American way of live, hunting or violence on TV and many other things are the reasons why such a democratic country like the U.S. suffers from gun violence. Some measures should be taken in order to help the American society to cope with this problem. One of the best approaches is to see the position of other countries in relation to this problem. It is important to observe the experience of countries, which successfully live within their law frameworks.
Seeing the Problem at All Levels
As a developed society, the Americans should do something in order to stop purchasing and manufacturing of assault weapons and extend gun magazines. This is not a simple task, especially for the society that possesses and distributes arms from the beginning of its history. In order to accomplish this, it is important to consider this issue at all levels. At first, it is necessary to define levels or channels, through which the American population gets information and access to guns. After defining those channels, it would be much easier to find solutions and ideas of how to restrict the distribution of arms through the territory of the United States of America.
Guns in the Film Industry
There are four major reasons why American society suffers from gun violence. First of all, the development of the film industry in the country insensibly brought to the American viewers the idea that the use of arms in daily life is normal. For many years, Hollywood has used weapons in violence scenes in order to add to the movies the element of entertainment and action. As a result, it made a negative effect on the American society. It created the label that weapons could be used in solving any critical and tense situations. It showed that arms could be a part of the developed society. It is difficult to see the evidence of this, but all situations that we see on TV later become normal thing to live with. It starts from the childhood, when boys begin to run around with sticks or toy guns after watching the movie, where the violence with the use of weapons was portrayed. The problem of violence in the media has been discussed in public for a very long time. However, there wasn’t made any single attempt to restrict or reduce violence on TV screens. The effective way to decrease the desire in population to purchase guns is to limit the use of arms in movies. Instead, the film producers should concentrate their attention of film fans on something else that could bring only benefits for the development of the society.
The other reason why the USA is the country, where gun violence is widely spread is its history background. From the early beginning, the American nation used arms. Firearms were the main attribute of the first American colonists. The ability of colonists to shoot allowed them to protect their families from the enemies. That is why it was considered as a vital skill to operate with arms. It was especially important in time of gangs and when the legislative system and police service were poorly developed. The historical background established a firm belief that weapon is an integral part of the American society. During the whole history of the U.S., its residents used and possessed guns. However, the time of constant danger has passed. Americans have to realize that today is another page in the history of the country. It is the modern part of the country’s history that requires changing the old behavior. In order to integrate into society the idea that bearing arms is not the solution to all problems in the highly developed society, it is necessary to separate the old and modern history of the United States of America from each other. Americans should understand that in the old period of the country’s history it was important to use arms in order to protect families and survive. However, the modern part of the history does not need this, because today civilization has a highly developed legislative and police system. These two services were developed in order to regulate violence among population. Thus, as a society, we have to integrate this idea in order to raise awareness of the U.S. citizens. It is an effective tool to disease the level of guns possession.
The next reason of why gun violence is one of the characteristics of American society is a love of the country’s residents for hunting. Many years ago, hunting was one of the main tools to survive for the residents of the continent. It played a significant role for those, who relied on meat as a source of food. Today, the situation is a little bit different. The modern hunters kill animals mostly for entertainment. At the same time, it leads to the distribution of different types of weapons among population. Very often people, who keep arms for hunting, could use them in critical situation. For the society, it is necessary to limit the process of hunting. It is the task for the government to populate the shooting sport that does not include shooting at live targets. It is important to raise the question about animal rights and explain to regular Americans what actually the hunting is. “Hunting is a violent and cowardly form of outdoor ‘entertainment’ that kills hundreds of millions of animals every year, many of whom are wounded and die a slow and painful death” (IDA, 2012). It will be a good psychological approach that will explain to Americans that hunting is wrong. It will lead to decrease of buying arms process.
The Law Policy
The latest main reason of popularity of weapons in the USA is the Second Amendment to the American Constitution. It protects the right of American citizens to possess and bear arms. “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” (CNN, 2013). It is difficult to expect the low rate of purchasing arms if the right of it is written down in the Constitution. The American society will not be able to escape the distribution of weapons within the country until some changes in the American law policy are made. As a developed society, it is important to protect innocent people, who suffered from the gun violence. Making changes in the U.S. law policy is one of the ways to implement this task.
Other Measures to Decrease Guns Purchase
It is very essential to start from young generation. It is very difficult to explain the adults, who used to have arms, that it is wrong. However, we can educate the future generation that will be free from the idea of using guns in everyday life. It is a very ambitious idea. It requires many resources and capabilities. However, it is the most effective way to solve the issue with gun violence in the country. It is needed to provide some educational programs in schools and other educational facilities in order to accomplish it. The government should be responsible for all these measures. However, adults, who have children, have to realize that without their help, it is almost impossible to create a new children’s attitude to arms.
Guns Should Be Banned
The gun violence that American society faced in the 21st century should be regulated with the help of American law policy. There is no other way, such as ban or severe limit on the possession and wearing guns for American residents. People should not legally possess firearms for their own protection. The reason why the United States has to have a total ban on guns is that the possession and bearing guns cause more problems that are impossible to solve. The statement of people, who believe that fewer guns mean more cold hand arms, is not right. There is a very big difference between killing someone with guns and killing someone with cold hand arms. It is much easier for a person to pull the trigger and shoot someone than to use knives. It is more difficult from the physical and emotional point of view. The main advantage of gun is that it keeps the distance of the attacker from the victim. It is the psychological effect that makes shooter think that he is detached from the situation. Additionally, it is very difficult to escape for the victim from gun then from knife. Such combination of events turns people, who would never shoot or kill people, to persons, who are ready to commit a crime with cold blood because it is not very hard to do.
More Guns, More Violence
The free access to guns in the United States of America makes people think unsafe unless they possess guns for themselves. It is a tricky situation, when people have to buy guns in order to feel safety due to the fact that other people have guns. Too many guns force people to increase even more the total number of weapons in the country. The number of guns is equal to the homicide rate. “The United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world – by far. And it has the highest rate of homicides among the advanced countries” (Farley, 2012). It is a very serious situation in the country. Scientific studies proved that places with more guns had the rate of more violent murders and deaths than those, which had less gun owners. These studies are related to both suicides and homicides. There is a huge possibility to die for women and children if there is any type of guns at home (Rosenthal, 2013). Many experts claim that having more guns is leading to decreasing total crime numbers. However, the decent part of the population is not sure about this statement.
Guns Do Not Help to Protect People
The former director of the International Action Network on Small Arms Rebecca Peters stated that “A society that is relying on guys with guns to stop violence is a sign of a society, where institutions have been broken down” (Rosenthal, 2013). She made that statement after the solution to place a guard with the gun in every school. It is the part of the National School Shield Emergency Response Program (N.R.A.) that was provided after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. She convinced that in our society, due to the distribution of guns, the innocent people are more terrorized than protected (Rosenthal, 2013).
Attitude to Gun Violence in Japan
The United States of America has to change its policy towards free possession and distribution of guns. In order to understand that the American approach towards bearing guns is wrong, it is necessary to look at the experiences of other counties that have almost zero or little cases with gun violence. The bright example is Japan, which has insignificant problem with gun violence. “In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. Japan experienced only 11 that is fewer than those killed at the Aurora shooting alone” (Fisher, 2012). It became the national scandal, when the next year the number reached 22 persons (Fisher, 2012). It is an important example to observe how Japan treats violence in the country. A small rate of gun violence is equal to the national scandal. It is definitely what is not possible to see in the U.S.
Gun Regulations in Japan
The Japan policy towards guns is completely different from the U.S. model. Almost no one keep guns at homes. Most people, who bear arms in Japan, do it illegally. There are many onerous restrictions on bearing guns and there only some regulations that allow doing it. In general, the Japanese as a nation has a negative attitude towards guns. The country was working on this issue very hard and came up with effective solutions with the help of severe regulations. The citizens of this country for holding handgun or possessing unlicensed bullets could be punished up to ten years in prison. These types of weapon are strictly forbidden in Japan. Small-caliber rifles have not been allowed for people to sell, buy or transfer for many years. The only type of weapons that could be purchased by Japanese was air rifles and shotguns. However, the regulations are so strict that it is not easy to buy them for people, who had problems with law in the past. In order to have the right to get the gun, the regular residents have to come through the written test and shooting range class. Then, people have to pass a mental and drug test. The final stage is to pass through checking of person’s background for criminal record. And only then, when a person passed though all of these stages, he or she could get air rifle or shotgun (Fisher, 2012).
Japan and American Attitudes to Guns
The approach to gun ownership in Japan is completely different to American one. The United States regulations in relation to guns begin with the right to bear arms that are written down in the Second Amendment. The U.S. government is trying to narrow those rights down from that point. The Japan regulations begin with the law that states that no one is allowed to bear a firearm and sword (Fisher, 2012). In other words, the Japan law is designed to prohibit guns, in turn as the U.S. law gives a free access to guns. Of course, it is important to highlight that Japan and the United States of America have different cultural and historical backgrounds. However, Japan is a country that has regulations that protect it from gun violence and the U.S. should follow those regulations, or at least strive to integrate them into the American society.
Previous Measures to Decrease Gun Violence in the U.S.
The United States has a serious problem with gun violence in the country. It is a sign for the government to do something about it. After several shootings in schools, the situation is so critical that any measures would be a good idea. It is a time to do something instead of debating about it. The previous laws that were introduced and integrated to the society were not well developed. Additionally, they were not very strict. In my opinion, too little has been done for the last decade in order to prevent and reduce gun violence in the country. I think that attempt to make some changes in 2004 failed. Those regulations were not strict, and as a result, they did not make any changes with crime rate and murder statistics. I did not agree with those regulations that American law makers came up with earlier. However, a new attempt of President Obama in 2013 is going to change it.
Assault Weapon Ban of 2013
The president Barack Obama began to make some attempts in order to restrict gun possession. “Democratic lawmakers formally reintroduced a bill Thursday that would ban military style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, the most ambitious – and politically risky – element of proposals unveiled by President Obama to limit gun violence” (O’Keefe, 2013). This regulation is going to ban manufacturing, selling, transfering more than 150 items of specific firearms. The “Assault weapon ban” was introduced to the public. Many experts have already considered this bill as a tough one (O’Keefe, 2013). According to a new poll that was conducted by Washington Post ABC News, many Americans support the tough bill that prohibits the distribution of assault weapons. “In the poll, 58 percent of Americans support the ban, which expired in 2004 after 10 years; 39 percent oppose” (O’Keefe, 2013). It was interesting for me to find out that approximately 45 percent of gun owners also agree with new regulations.
My Opinion about the Work of Law Makers
I completely agree with new measures of President Obama and law makers in relation to prevention and decrease of gun violence in the United States of America. Despite the fact that it could undermine and damage position of hunters in the country, it is the first strong step that was made by the current government. It is time to create for the future generation the country, where all people could feel safety and do not worry about any threat from other people. Of course, the step that was made by the President Obama will not provide the desirable security. However, it is the first step on the road to this goal. I think that the situation with gun violence in Japan showed that strict measures are one of the ways of how to deal with this issue. It is important to keep in mind that it won’t be very easy to accept this law for people, who used to have assault weapons. However, they should understand that the security of innocent people is more important.
The United States of America is a country that has one of the highest rates of gun violence in the world. The history of this country started with the Second Amendment that allowed for regular residents to possess and bear arms. Current situation in the country is related with historical background, hunting and film industry. It is also important to notice that some part of American population does not want to change anything because they used to keep arms at homes. However, it is time to change something. It is time to take the experiences of other countries, which successfully deal with gun violence and apply it in the U.S. It is necessary to decrease the number of guns, since each gun is designed to shot and too many times it ended up with killing people in the United States.