Gun Violence

It can be reduced

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How Universal Background Checks can help!

Fact or Myth: guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Fact! People are responsible for getting the gun that kill people and pulling the trigger that actually kills the person. The idea that guns are the problems in society is false. Guns are legal for a reason they help to protect individuals from criminals and other people or things that might try and hurt them. So if guns are meant to protect against dangerous people, why do they more often than not hurt innocent people? The answer lies with the individuals who own the guns. Convicted felons, mentally ill people, and minors are not allowed to purchase nor have guns for a reason. Yet private sellers do not know whether or not they are selling a gun to one of these ineligible people because they don’t run background checks. Federal law only permits background checks for gun purchases from federally registered dealers. It is then up to the states to implement any further restriction on gun purchases. Many states decide to leave the law the way it is and only follow federal law. Other states like New York, Washington, Delaware and our nation’s capital Washington D.C., have decided to strengthen their gun background check law to also require private sellers to conduct background checks.

Gun Death Rates

States like California, New York, and New Jersey, who have strict gun control laws, that include universal background checks have a lower gun death rate grade.

Why we need increased background check laws

This change in legislation has proved to be beneficial because it makes purchasing a gun harder for ineligible people. People often think criminals will get a gun if they really wanted to. That thought isn’t completely true. By requiring private sellers to conduct a background check sometimes requires a fee, which means the seller would then have to increase the price of their guns. Others believe that many criminals get guns from stealing it from people, yet the truth is criminals don’t just go from house to house looking for a gun in someone’s house. The way most criminals, minors, or mentally ill people access guns are from private sellers, at gun shows, online or at underground markets. If the government can help to eliminate 2 out of those places the gun violence in this country would reduce. By requiring private sellers to conduct background checks helps to make sure that only people who are eligible can have access to guns.

Study on Missouri Background Check Law

In 2007 Missouri decided to repeal their permit-to-purchase handgun law, which according to an article titled “Study indicates Missouri’s spike in murders result of repeal of permit, background check law” written by Jennifer Cruz in February of last year, “required a license showing that the person attempting to purchase a firearm had passed a background check.” The study was conducted by Daniel W. Webster, Cassandra Kercher Crifasi, and Jon S. Vernick of Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. "This study provides compelling confirmation that weaknesses in firearm laws lead to deaths from gun violence," said Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and the study's lead author. The study was astounding the data collected showed that “the spike in murders in Missouri following the PTP law repeal only occurred for murders in Missouri committed with a firearm and was widespread across the state's counties” according to Webster and his colleagues.
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Photo credit:

"The map shows the number of firearms originally purchased in Missouri which landed in other states after the repeal of permit-to-purchase handgun laws.


Temiloluwa Taiwo

Comm 205 - 504