“If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that then surely we have an obligation to try.” Says president Barrack Obama. On the morning of January 8th, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona at a town hall meeting held in a grocery store parking lot the last thing the meeting expected to hear was gunshots. By the time the last shot was fired there were six dead and thirteen injured. Among the victims of the shooting was United States representative Gabrielle Giffords, the main target of the shooting, she was shot in the head but survived. Just after midnight on July 20th 2012 in Aurora Colorado at the Opening of the new Batman, tragedy struck again. A man walked into the packed movie theater and opened fire, he killed twelve and wounded fifty-eight. Just a few weeks later in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in a Sikh Temple another shooting occurred leaving six dead and four wounded. December 14th 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut a man broke into the school and killed twenty of their first graders as well as six of the staff trying to protect the students. Forty percent of all firearms in the United States are purchased without background checks from gun shows, street corners, over the Internet or from friends that are all unlicensed dealers. These are the so-called loopholes in the universal background check. Another problem is that huge gaps exist in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System due to states not reporting the names of the people who have been legally labeled dangerously mentally ill such as the Virginia Tech Shooter who killed thirty-three people and him self in 2007. The shooter passed two background checks due to Virginia not submitting his mental illness to the NICS.
Required universal background checks for all firearm purchases could decrease crime. If gun control can be regulated, then the hopes will be to have less crime. Access to firearms without a universal background check can cause firearms to be misused which is why gun control is needed. Every time a gun is purchased from a federally licensed gun dealer the dealer is required to run a universal background check on the buyer by submitting his or her name to the NICS database. It is a crime for a federally licensed dealer to sell a gun without doing a universal background check. This applies to all dealers, including purchases at retail stores such as Wal-Mart, gun shows, and flea markets. The NICS consist of criminal records and mental health records provided by federal and state courts and agencies. The NICS is all about saving lives and protecting people from harm by not letting guns and explosives fall into the wrong hands. It also ensures the timely transfer of firearms to eligible gun buyers. The Brady Act required that every sale of a gun by a licensed dealer must be referred to law enforcement for further background checks by putting in place the “background check the buy system.” unlike the 1968 gun control act which had identified categories of individuals who were considered to high risk to purchase firearms but did not verify if they were telling the truth when the purchased the gun at a licensed dealer. On January 16th, 2013 President Barrack Obama put forward a specific plan to protect our children and communities by reducing gun violence. The plan calls for legislative actions that would help keep guns out of the wrong hands, ban assault and high capacity magazines, make our schools safer, and increase access to mental health services. The background check system is highly efficient and effective. During its fourteen years in existence, the system has kept more than 1.5 million guns out of the wrong hands. Although the number of mental health records available to the system has increased by eight hundred percent since 2004, a recent report...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document