Why the Assault Weapons Ban is Crucial to our Nation’s Safety
In 2012, 26 people were shot dead, among which 20 were children after a young man armed with a semiautomatic rifle forced his way into an elementary school in the US. The increasing misuse of assault weapons calls for a ban on the nation’s safety. While DiMaggio et al. (2019) explore the benefits of the assault weapon ban legislation running between 1994 and 2004, Kingsbury (2019), in the New York Times article, argues how gun control and assault weapon bans lead to higher catastrophes and loss of lives. The Assault weapon ban is essential for US security monitoring and public safety, while it could also impose a critical security threat to the public.
DiMaggio et al. (2019) highlighted the security changes transformation in the US between 1994 and 2004 when the assault weapon ban was active in the US. The study found that the number of deaths across the states associated with illegal gun possession reduced tangentially while the government, through the security agents, exercised mechanisms to control gun violence. The polarizing debate on gun control has remained one of the leading causes of insecurity in public places and schools in the United States. This could be alleviated by establishing stringent measures that depicted the consequences for those caught mishandling the weapons, whether they were licensed or not. The study further adds that the ban could form an adequate platform for eliminating the weapons as the previous mechanisms led to a 55% reduction in the recovery of assault weapons, an indication that they had reduced in the public domain. Similarly, bans have the potential to reduce mass shootings, deaths, and injuries in the country (DiMaggio et al., 2019). The only key requirement is proper mechanisms to deploy the rules.
Nevertheless, Kingsbury (2019) defied the essence of the assault weapon ban, indicating that it is too late to deploy such mechanisms because these weapons are already in the public domain. According to the article, the number of assault weapons in the US is relatively high, and the most appropriate mechanism was to develop ways in which society can coexist with these weapons. Considerably, there is an immense political influence that limits passing the ban legislation as every time there is an attempt to do so, much rebellion results. Considering that the guns are already in circulation and people would continue using them illegally, there is a complication for any law that could introduce the indicated bans.
The assault weapon ban controversy between DiMaggio et al. (2019) and Kingsbury (2019) is a clear indication that the US may continue struggling with alleviating gun crimes. Although it would be beneficial in alleviating gun-related deaths and injuries as previously witnessed in the country, as DiMaggio et al. (2019) depicted, there are immense constraints considering the political polarization and the incidence of these weapons in the public domain (Kingsbury (2019). To some extent, the newspaper opinion concurs with the journal regarding the enhanced security of the American population in the absence of assault weapons; it considers the challenges associated with the ban as catastrophic and beyond the ban proposal.
The catastrophic effect of gun violence in the US cannot be ignored despite the existing controversy about the ban law. Indeed, American society lives in a critical situation considering the immense distribution and use of assault weapons across various jurisdictions. An appropriately implemented assault weapon ban would be adequate for national safety only if the existing constraints can be alleviated and the various stakeholders take responsibility for ensuring a serious lobby for best practices across institutions mandated to safeguard the nation. This issue is important for policymakers and the citizens to understand their safety and what can be done for intervention. However, more research on the issue should be done and engage public participation for better decisions.
DiMaggio, C., Avraham, J., Berry, C., Bukur, M., Feldman, J., Klein, M., … & Frangos, S. (2019). Changes in US mass shooting deaths associated with the 1994–2004 federal assault weapons ban: Analysis of open-source data. Journal of trauma and acute care surgery, 86(1), 11-19.
Elegbe, J. (2019, August 17). It’s too late to ban assault weapons. The New York Times – Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/09/opinion/ar15-assault-weapon-ban.html