Gun control policyThis paper is a research paper and I decided to do it on gun control. I have not written a conclusion yet, however.
The history of gun control is a rather long and misunderstood, making it rather interesting. There have been gun control laws dating back to the early 1900s. The Constitution has been interpreted for gun control since the 18th century when the Constitution was written. It seems as if people think this is a recent trend and the first time gun legislation has been pushed and there are several misinterpretations out there. There are several examples of failed gun policy, such as in Australia and Canada. When gun legislation was put out in 1997, Australia made significant changes to their gun legislation. However, "over the past six years, the overall rate of violent crime in Australia has continued to increase" while violent crime decreased in the United States(Mauser). In addition to this, "the total homicide rate, after having remained basically flat from 1995 to 2001, has now begun climbing again.(Mauser)". When changes were made to Canadian policy from 1991 and then again in 1995, "violent crime in Canada has increased while in the United States the violent crime rate has plummeted.(Mauser)". The final costs of this are estimated to reach $3 billion(Mauser). However, it could be noted that gun control policy is not comprehensive enough, with NRA interference and incrementalism. It is possible that the incrementalism is not highly effective, Gun laws "are an often incoherent patchwork of provisions"(Rostron).After Hurricane Katrina, gun control incrementalism worked highly inefficiently. According to David B Kopel, "the NRA enthusiastically supported a different gun control law, the Federal Firearms Act of 1938 (FFA). The FFA required persons engaged in the interstate business of selling or repairing firearms to obtain a one-dollar license before shipping or receiving any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce". "In April 2007, the NRA took a victory lap around Louisiana, holding rallies at gun stores across the state to celebrate enactment of the anti-confiscation legislation and to squeeze further attention out of the issue."(Rostron). Hence, the history of gun control is rather misunderstood and highly inefficient.
Gun control policy has been around since the New Deal Era. Prohibition had a significant impact on legislation."The repeal of Prohibition by the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933 removed gangsters from the alcohol business and corresponded with a precipitous drop in gun crimes."(Kopel). However, "President Roosevelt's Attorney General, Homer Cummings, was already spearheading a drive for major national gun control."(Kopel). The first legislation was put into place. First "was the introduction of the National Firearms Act (NFA). As introduced, the NFA would have imposed a $200 tax (in inflation-adjusted dollars, equivalent to $3,255 in 2010) for possessing any machine gun and short-barreled shotgun."(Kopel). Then came the idea of registration for owning a gun, which did not get passed.(Kopel). Interpretations of the Constitution have been around since the 19th century, one example being Justice Scalia's interpretation. It is quite a common misconception that there was a consensus on gun laws when the Constitution was written. "The notion that there was a general consensus on the meaning of the Second Amendment that supports an individual right with no connection to the militia is simply gun rights propaganda passing as scholarship."(Cornell). Historical context is important as well when discussing the constitution. Originalism is also a highly flawed viewpoint. It is important to realize that "[o]riginalism without the interpretive theory that the Framers and the ratifiers of the Constitution expected the courts to use in construing constitutional provisions is faux originalism"(Cornell). There is also "the Founding Era's Blackstonian rules of construction and effectively erases the preamble."(Cornell). Hence, the history of gun control is highly misunderstood.
Gun control in England and Wales has been ineffective. "The Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1988 was brought in by the Conservative government following the Hungerford incident and the Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1997"(Mauser) after a tragedy in 1987. "In contrast to North America, where the homicide rate has been falling for over 20 years, the homicide rate in England and Wales has been growing over the same time period. In the 1990s alone, the homicide rate jumped 50%, going from 10 per million in 1990 to 15 per million in 2000 (Home Office 2001)"(Mauser). "Police statistics show that violent crime in general has increased since the late 1980s and, in fact, since 1996 has been more serious than in the United States."(Mauser). "The Home Office has also tightened up on enforcement of regulations to such an extent that the legitimate sport-shooting community has been virtually destroyed"(Mauser). "For example, shotgun permits have fallen almost 30% since 1988 (Greenwood 2001)"(Mauser)."The British Home Office admits that only one firearm in 10 used in homicide was legally held."(Mauser). Gun control in Canada has significantly impacted public policy. It has been a slippery slope since its first occurrence. "At each stage, the government either restricted access to firearms or prohibited and confiscated arbitrary types of ordinary firearms"(Mauser).As well, "police search powers have been increased"(Mauser). This has lead to demonization of average gun owners. "Firearm registration and owner licensing threatens long-standing Canadian liberties and freedoms."(Mauser). This sentiment is also increasing around the world.
However, incomprehensive gun policy is a potential cause of this. An example of incomprehensive gun policy is Virginia Tech. There are laws, but they can be slipped through. For example, "although Virginia provides to NICS the names of people disqualified by mental illness from having guns, Virginia authorities did not submit Cho's name, apparently because of confusion created by small differences in the wording of state and federal law."(Rostron). In addition to this, "while Virginia law did not disqualify Cho from having a gun because he was never declared incompetent or incapacitated, federal law disqualified him, and Virginia therefore should have submitted his name for inclusion in the NICS databases"(Rostron). This lead to a more comprehensive policy passed."McCarthy emphasized the fact that the NICS databases included only a small portion of those disqualified from having guns on mental illness grounds."(Rostron). "In less than two months, legislators and interest groups from both sides of the gun control debate hammered out a satisfactory compromise"(Rostron). The National Rifle Association has had a big impact on public policy. One of the first times of interference was when the NRA propped up the FFA in 1938.This law "required persons engaged in the interstate business of selling or repairing firearms to obtain a one-dollar license before shipping or receiving any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce."(Kopel). Because of this, "licensed dealers were required to keep a record of firearms sales and were prohibited from shipping guns in interstate commerce to anyone indicted for or convicted of a violent crime or otherwise prohibited from owning firearms under state law"(Kopel). Johnson called for more gun policy in the 60s. "On June 16, 1968, several of the major American long gun manufacturers, desperate to stave off gun prohibition, announced their own gun control plan"(Kopel). They "stressed that Congress should force the states that did not adopt the Model Bill to do so. The NRA, however, continued to oppose any new federal gun controls, and said that if gun owner licensing were to be done at all, it should be by the states, not the federal government"(Kopel).