New England Journal of Medicine researchers Wintertime, Brag, and Kennedy (2011) stated “In 2007, a total number of 12. 632 people In the united States were murdered with firearms, and it is estimated that another 48,676 were treated in hospitals for gunshot wounds received In assaults. ” One of the main reasons that numbers associated with gun violence are so high is because guns are falling into the hands of people who should not have them. If we can prevent criminals from acquiring guns, we can drastically reduce gun violence. If someone wishes to buy a gun in the united States, he or she will do so in one of two ways.
The first method is through a federally licensed dealer; all sales through a licensed dealer are regulated by the government. They are well-documented, and Include screenings and background checks. Private- party sales are the second method. They are not illegal, but they are a major problem. They are completely unregulated and undocumented because they can be anonymous and undocumented; private-party sales are the obvious choice for criminals. Willamette et al. (2011) reported, “Some 85% of all guns used In crimes and then recovered by law-enforcement agencies have been sold at least once by private parties.
This statistic shows that all gun sales should be required to go through a licensed dealer because private sales are unregulated, and they do not require background checks, which is why private sales provide easy access to guns for criminals. Unlike sales through a licensed dealer, private party sales are completely unregulated or monitored, which allows anyone to quickly stockpile a vast supply of weapons. If a buyer wishes to purchase a gun from a federally licensed retailer, he or she is required to complete several processes that record the sale of the gun.
First, proper Identification must be presented to the dealer. After that, a lengthy form must be filled out; the purpose of this form is to verify that the purchaser is buying the gun for himself and not for someone else (Wintertime et al. , 2011). Every purchase that is made from a licensed dealer is recorded, and every gun that is sold has a recorded purchaser. That purchaser Is responsible for the use of the gun, and If a gun is used in a crime, the owner of the gun can be traced. Also, this process of documentation can alert the government of suspicious activity, such as frequent purchases.
For instance, Wintertime et al. (2011) have noted, “If you buy more than en handgun from [a] retailer within 5 business days, the retailer must report the details of your purchase to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (TAFT). “Large or unusual gun purchases, such as multiple purchases in a short period of time, will be flagged; this may result in a brief investigation to ensure that illegal activities are not being planned or taking place. On the other hand, a private party gun sale Is completely undocumented, and It often consists of nothing more than an exchange and a handshake.
No one would ever notice if an individual was building n arsenal of guns or planning to commit a crime, therefore sales through a licensed ‘OFF Private party gun sales do not require background checks, which allow anyone, regardless of his or her past, to purchase a gun. The right to bear arms is a constitutional right, but there are individuals who should not be permitted to own a gun. When compared to other nations, the United States’ gun crime rate is much higher than average; this is due to the vast amount of guns that are available. Researcher Feared (2012) stated, “There are 88. Firearms per 100 people in the U. S. In second place is Yemen, with 54. , then Switzerland with 45. 7 and Finland with 45. 3. No other country has a rate above 40. ” We know that guns are readily available, and that is not going to change, but we need to prevent guns from being sold to criminals or at least make it more difficult for them to obtain guns. Thorough background checks are the best solution. Researcher Van Hotter (2011) pointed out, “Under federal law, a prospective purchaser only hast undergo a background check when buying a gun from a licensed dealer. This is the biggest problem with private party gun sales. A licensed gun dealer cannot sell a gun to anyone who fails the aground check; this does prevent guns from being sold to criminals, but there is nothing to stop that criminal from buying guns from a private party. Private party sales are a loophole in the law that allows criminals to buy guns, and this loophole should be closed by requiring all gun sales be performed by a licensed dealer. Background checks prevent criminals from purchasing a gun from a licensed dealer, but unfortunately private party sales provide an easy alternative option.
It is far too easy for a criminal, or anyone else for that matter, to purchase a gun through private party sale. If someone is interested in purchasing a gun, a quick internet search can provide thousands of results. The seller does not need any information on the buyer. A meeting can be set up, and no one other than the buyer and seller has to know. This is an ideal situation for a criminal who wishes to purchase a gun. Some may say that requiring citizens to purchase guns through a licensed dealer is infringing on their freedom or rights. The Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. This is a right that should be upheld.
However, this right is being abused y criminals and something must be done to stop them. This system of documentation and screenings would not interfere with a gun purchase by a law- abiding citizen, but would serve as a safety measure to prevent criminals from acquiring guns. It would also provide some accountability for gun owners to make sure that their gun is used in a proper form. Both pro-gun control and anti-gun control parties need to realize that the gun violence in the United States is a serious issue, and something must be done to reduce it. Yes, there is a vast supply of guns in this country, but that is not the problem.
It is a matter of preventing guns from falling into the hands of people who should not have them. Having a system of recording and tracing all gun sales is necessary. Every individual who wishes to purchase a gun should be required to complete a background check. Federal law requires that licensed gun dealers perform background checks, and properly document and record every sale. This is a step in the right direction, but sales through a licensed dealer are only a portion of total gun sales. According to Wintertime, et al. (201 1), licensed dealers accounted for roughly 60% of firearm sales in 2008.
The remaining 40% were private party sales. In order for all gun sales to be properly regulated, they need to be processed through a licensed dealer. This would make it difficult for criminals to acquire a gun and would cause a drop in gun violence, which is something everyone can agree upon. People need to put aside the political agenda of this debate and realize that this is a matter of safety. Lives are being unnecessarily cut short by gun violence, and these lives are not blank faces. They are fathers, mothers, siblings, and friends. Surely we can do something to prevent these tragedies.