Gun control

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Gun control

Postby syndramise » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:00 pm

It's an inevitable topic after a mass shooting event. What are your thoughts on gun control?
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Re: Gun control

Postby Elenorefangirl » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:17 pm

All assault weaponry needs to be banned. There's no reason someone needs a military grade weapon to protect themselves, their home, or to go hunting with with.
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Re: Gun control

Postby Manic » Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:48 am

It has gone too far. Guns should not be in circulation as they are. There is no reason for semi automatic rifles like the ar 15 to be accessible to the public. The only guns that should be allows are low caliber hunting rifles and hand guns and even then they should be limited in numbers. Looking at the facts it doesn't look like they will buckle down on the number of military like guns but they can at least make a effort on gun laws. For instance the background check to obtaining them, there is a basic fbi form but it's pretty lame and at gun shows there is no background check at all.
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Re: Gun control

Postby syndramise » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:26 pm

Registered gun dealers at gun shows do have to run background checks, but private sellers don't. That's the gun show loophole. In my opinion, "private" sellers shouldn't be at gun shows because they're no longer "private" sellers at that point. People who are against gun control argue that closing the gun show loophole wouldn't change anything, but the "it won't make a significant difference" argument doesn't fly with me.

The required FBI background check doesn't even have to complete before the gun is sold. In most cases, it completes quickly, but it doesn't always. In those cases, the FBI has three days to complete the check. If they haven't determined by then that the applicant failed the background check, the vendor can go ahead and sell the firearm. If the FBI later determines that the applicant failed the background check, the gun is supposed to be confiscated, but saying, "hey, give that back" is pretty weak. That kind of provisional sale is how Dylann Roof, the guy who killed nine people in the church in Charleston, bought his gun. That law desperately needs to be changed, in my opinion. If someone can't pass a background check on the spot, they shouldn't be able to buy a gun without completing one. Some would say that punishes people who end up passing the background check and who have to wait solely due to backlog or clerical errors, and the question of preserving people's rights is an important one, but that seems like a rather weak argument to me.

During the 10 years (from 1994 to 2004) of the "Federal Assault Weapons Ban" as it was known colloquially, 2002 was the first and only year since 1985 that there were no deaths in mass shootings in the U.S. Numbers of deaths in mass shootings were significantly lower during the ban, with the exception of 1999. Since the end of the ban, deaths from mass shootings have increased steadily. There seems to be something of an 8-year cycle, and apart from the years during the gun ban, the number of deaths during each cycle have increased. 2012 is the deadliest year in the past 30 years, and just seven months into 2016, we're running a close second. Some sources will argue that the firearms that were included in the ban were used in less than 5% of violent crimes before the ban and that during the ban, numbers of deaths from firearms (all firearms) didn't change significantly. However, deaths from mass shootings did change, and the use of firearms covered under the ban in violent crimes dropped from about 5% before the ban to 1.5% during the ban. Their use in violent crimes doubled once the ban ended.

In my opinion, a similar ban needs to be put into place. I have yet to have any gun advocates provide a legitimate reason to need to own one of the guns that were covered by the ban, and there is sufficient evidence that use of those firearms increases casualties in mass shooting events. The right of someone to own a high-capacity, high rate-of-fire weapon does not, in my opinion, trump someone's right to life.

I know that people on both sides of the discussion point to other countries and the success/failure of their policies. However, I argue that accurate comparisons are not possible, that cultural differences prevent an "if it happened there, it will happen here" conclusion.

I do not, however, believe that all guns should be banned or that existing guns should be confiscated. I don't think it's consistent with our national culture, and I know it's not Constitutional. In my opinion, anyone who calls for an abolishment of all firearms regulations and anyone who calls for an abolishment of all firearms are part of the problem. I believe that background checks need to be improved, that the gun show and provisional sale loopholes need to be closed, and that the assault weapons ban needs to be reinstated. Beyond that, I think it's important to see what happens. Trying to change everything at once is like trying to cross the Atlantic in a single jump. But something has to change.
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