First of all, let’s begin with the basics. The term “gun control” is generally used to explain laws and other policies that put serious restrictions on using, manufacturing, selling, possession, transferring and modification of any kinds of firearms. Gun control may also refer to another meaning, which explains limitation on some types of magazines and ammunition, or some other technological features.
Gun Control Issues Over The Past 25 Years
Attitudes towards gun control have been controversial. The number of violent crimes has been remarkable decreased over the last 25 years. If in 1992 reports about violent crimes and murders, according to FBI’s Inform Crime Statistics, reached 757 per 100,000 people in the US, by 2012 the number has fallen down to 386 for every 100,000 people.
The reason for that could be a prohibition of many types of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines from 1994 to 2004, however from now on the law hasn’t yet been renewed, exclusive of a few states, who have their own bans towards the assault weapons’ usage.
In recent years through the debates around gun control phenomenon have been focused on buyers’ backgrounds, allowing only tested people without any criminal records, mental diseases, drug addiction etc. to possess weapons and carry them around. Nowadays, the current situation in the USA, specifically the latest mass shooting in Oregon, has forced President Obama and the country’s government take serious executive actions regarding the laws on gun control.
The Current Situation In The USA
White House has admitted that Barack Obama has been lately worried about the gun control issue when Oregon mass shooting occurred. So far, this is one of the deadliest school shootings, which became familiar across the country.
On Oct.1, 2015 a gunman opened fire in a classroom on the southern Oregon campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. The massacre started with the assailant, armed with 3 handguns and one assault rifle, entering Snyder Hall, as he fired and attacked students, asking about their religion.
The shooter turned out to be 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, who was shot shortly after he was chased down during the firefight with law enforcement officers.
As a result of the massive attack by Chris Harper Mercer, Oregon Live reports that he managed to kill 10 people, including a teacher and some students, who had hardly reached 18. Policemen narrate terrible scenes, occurring at the college. The chaos was also noticeable, as the victims were taken away by ambulance.
Here’s what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters earlier: “This issue is our priority and will continue to be until we see any progressive actions.” In addition, he said that everyone’s criticism over the president, who hadn’t yet voiced any specific suggestions about gun control throughout his conference isn’t reasonable since the White House kept his work on determining new executive actions on guns in secret.
He also adds that the White House isn’t stumped and they’re continuing to review the law and consulting not only with legal authorities but also others, who may offer wise solutions how to keep guns away from criminals. He approves Hillary Clinton’s proposals for gun control, though he admitted during her proposal there were no specific details announced.
Furthermore, he couldn’t help criticizing the gun control “gaps” in laws, which allows criminals and people with mental disorders to purchase firearms. Indeed, in last few years the list of incomplete criminal cases is constantly replenishing due to uncontrollably of small-scale sellers, doing great businesses out of illegal gun trade – so-called gun show loophole.
Who May Carry Guns and Where?
Laws on carrying guns vary. Most states have no requirements regarding carrying weapons in public, however, as it was mentioned earlier, some states have very severe gun check systems than the general federal law does. For instance, some states like California, North Carolina, Nebraska and many other require permition to purchase weapons, and other states like Massachusetts, Illinois, New York etc. demand to own license.
Not only there’s a difference in rules about having a license or not, specific requirements about settings, such as campuses or houses of worship, vary as well.
For example, Rhode Island State allows anyone, who has a special permit to carry concealed weapons, to bring it to public school (basically, if you are 18, you can easily get loans with no credit check or simply save up a little and get a gun?!), although in Massachusetts carrying a gun onto the grounds of public institutions can’t be done without a written permission signed by school officials, which is actually quite difficult to receive (though it seems like it is still possible at some point).
What makes the situation more critical, it’s the contrary opinions of Democrats and Republicans, who seem like moving in two different directions. In 2015, only 26% of Republicans supported gun control versus 75% of Democrats. The great gap in 47 votes has become an issue that’s widely intertwined with political identity, likewise the controversy in opinions about abortion or gay marriage.
There’s no guarantee that the problem regarding gun control would end up as soon as the executive laws come into force. Although, that doesn’t mean US government has to stay inactive and delay issuing the law restrictions and latest events clearly show that. After all, we should remember that in some states any teenager can easily get a loan to purchase any gun he wants and there would be no obstacles on his way.