Seeds: Since the mobster-led era of the 1920s America has had varied degrees of gun control legislation. Under FDR, gun sellers were required to hold licenses and couldn’t sell to individuals under indictment or those convicted of violent crimes. After both Kennedys’ and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassinations, all convicted felons, drug users, and mentally ill people could not buy firearms. In 1994, semi-automatic assault weapons were banned for 10 years. Since these laws, the greatest argument in American gun control legislation revolves around the interpretation of the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights:
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Core: Around the world, gun control legislation has been much more significant in other countries. Here are some examples:
Canada - you have to be at least 18 years old and pass a background check and public safety course in order to purchase a firearm. Automatics are completely prohibited and semi-automatics and handguns are restricted, which means citizens have to obtain federal registration in order to purchase them.
Germany - if you’re under the age of 25 you have to pass a psychiatric evaluation.
United Kingdom - handguns are illegal for private citizens, and in order to buy another kind of gun you have to interview with a police officer explaining the legitimate need for it, whether it be sport or shooting vermin. As well as this, gun owners must pass background checks that include reviewing criminal records, mental illness, home life, attitude towards guns, and more.
Australia - automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles are all but prohibited and those wishing to purchase a gun have to go through a background check and explain “genuine need” for a firearm.
Norway - pistols and semiautomatic weapons are prohibited
If you want more info about how these laws affect homicide rates and other factors, here.
Skin: Gun control debates are always spurred on by massive casualties. With the Orlando shooting devastating the nation, gun control activists are making speeches, filibustering, and imploring in general for greater legislation. Proponents of gun-rights are pushing back, citing that other elements were the cause of this attack, such as mental instability and the shooter’s religious zealous.
Leaves: Over the next few days lawmakers will undoubtedly keep pushing for gun control legislation. The most recent (and possibly least partisan) law that is attempting to pushed though states that people on the terrorism watch list should not be able to purchase a gun.
Food For Thought: Do you think that the 2nd amendment includes the right of every citizen to own a firearm? Do you support gun control legislation? Do you think fewer guns would prevent more attacks?