Gun Laws: Are They Strict Enough?

Gun Laws: Are They Strict Enough?

The United States is the leading country for gun-related deaths, accounting for about 32,000 people that are killed by guns in our country per year. That number continues to rise with the lack of regulations towards purchasing a gun.

Regulations should include in depth background checks and mental health tests, to state a few. These are important factors for allowing someone to purchase a gun because many of the past massacres were executed by shooters that were mentally unstable.
Having mental health tests and in depth background checks should be necessities before someone is allowed to purchase a gun. These will help ensure that someone who is mentally unstable does not buy a gun. Having this as a law years ago could have saved the 20 students and 6 staff that were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Adam Lanza, the shooter, was supposedly mentally ill. He and his mother owned an AR-15 assault rifle, many other weapons, and over a thousand rounds of ammunition. Clearly Lanza was not suitable to even get his hands on his mother’s weapons, let alone purchase any of them.

Having strict background checks and mental health tests could have avoided the shooting at Sandy Hook, as well as the shooting of two Virginia Journalists in August 2015 and the Colorado theater shooting in 2012. Our country has a long list of massacres, but no in depth background checks or mental health tests that prove these shooters were fit to own the rifle they possessed.

“This would make it more likely that each individual gun owner will be responsible, and that fewer people will die from gun violence,” says Michael W. Austin of Psychology Today.
Not only should the mental state of buyers be checked, but the type of guns that are being sold and by who. As stated before, Adam Lanza and his mother owned an AR-15 assault rifle, which is typically used by the military. You and I are probably thinking the same thing right now: why on earth is a military grade gun in the hands of a civilian? My guess is that there aren’t strict enough rules as to what guns can be sold to ordinary people, and they’re just ending up in the wrong hands. If the federal and state governments keep tabs on what type of guns are circulating our country, then there would be a tremendous decline in the possession of military grade guns and possibly less mass shootings.

In my opinion, the only type of gun that a civilian should have the license to own is a small handgun with limited ammunition. Everything else should be kept under lock and key by the federal government and military. If Congress can pass a law that limits the type of gun sold to a civilian and requires one to pass a mental health test and background check, then the number of gun related deaths with dramatically decrease in our country.