Gun control is one of the most contentious and divisive issues embattling the United States. And due to frequency of mass shootings the past few years, the rest of the world, who are mere spectators to tragic occurrences, have united with concerned Americans, to lobby a plea to the US government to initiate federal action to ward off recurrences. Various proposals have been presented amidst the gun control debate, not excluding the proposal to repeal the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution – the right to bear and keep arms, ratified in 1791 when the country was still in its infancy. Without a doubt, if the concerted efforts of the citizenry cannot bring about drastic change, change will have to start from the top, or worse, in the wake of yet another atrocious mass shooting. Gun control policy, while should not altogether eliminate the right to bear arms, should be massively overhauled so that only people who can be trusted with guns should be given the right to purchase, to ensure avoidance of tragic consequences that lax gun laws have regrettably allowed to happen over the past few decades.
Countless of gun control articles have been published espousing various ways to curb gun violence, with a majority not even reaching serious consideration from the US government. It is unarguable that stricter gun control is a tall order, and even truer is the difficulty in actually enforcing gun control policies, due to its social and political undertones. But whatever one’s stance may be on the issue, one thing that all American citizens should agree on is the fact that there are people that simply cannot be entrusted with deadly firearms. One of the many ignored gun control facts is the mental incapacity of the perpetrators of the Aurora, Colorado, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and Orlando, Florida nightclub shootings that took place relatively recently. All the perpetrators of these mass shootings had a history of isolation, emotional abuse, and being bullied, factors that were more or less responsible for their mental instability. Could exhaustive psychological testing have prevented these atrocities? Yes. In hindsight, these tragedies would not have taken place if the mentally-ill perpetrators had at least been unsuccessful in procuring scores of high-powered firearms.
Notwithstanding, periodic polls (unsurprisingly, after an occurrence) reveal that an overwhelming number of Americans are in favour of laws that will prohibit sale of guns to people with mental instability, or even the slightest history of violence. Without a doubt, screening gun purchasers who desire to acquire licenses emphasizes the importance of responsible gun ownership. Why? Prohibiting firearms altogether is next to impossible, considering the unpredictable political stability of the United States. It is yet another one of many gun control facts – gun control is possible, but not gun prohibition.
With respect to gun owners who wish to obtain license to carry guns in states that require them, gun control policy should take these into strong consideration before reaching a decision: 1) the specific reason for getting a license; if previously revoked, the reason ought to be thoroughly evaluated by independent mental health professionals; 2) How long has the applicant been exposed to firearms and has he/she been trained in gun safety? 3) Is the applicant willing to undergo continuous gun education to ensure awareness of state