Would Federal Assault Weapons Ban Likely to Reduce Violent Crime in the U.S.

2021-05-24 23:45:30
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Cramer, C. E. (2016). Assault Weapon Bans: Can They Survive Rational Basis Scrutiny?.Available at SSRN 2764549.

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The article starts by providing a definition of assault weapons (AW) as semi-automatic weapons which are similar to sporting rifles that have been used in America for hunting and sporting activities. In 1989, the law in California was passed banning the use of AWs which were thought to increase violent crimes against the person. However, the ban was not in totality but focused on just a fraction of the weapons have been classified as being more harmful than others. This has led the judiciary to have divisions of the importance of the classifications other arguing on the functionality of the weapon as opposed to the brand name or number. To examine this, the authors used various studies conducted by other researchers from 1980s, 1994 when a ban on AWs was passed to 2004 when the ban was lifted.

The author cites the study of Koper and Roth who examined the significance of AWs ban in describing the number of deaths occurring as a result of violence. The authors observe that the violent crimes committed using such weapons form a small and insignificant fraction of crimes to warrant such publicity and attention. Their study concluded that the ban on the use of such weapons led manufacturers of the banned weapon to make cosmetic changes to the look of the weapons to ensure that the weapons remained legal. On the other hand, the study found out that AWs were used at a minimal rate in crime than other weapons that have not been banned citing that other subtle weapons that can be acquired by anyone such as knives cause more deaths than AWs.

Sorenson, S. B. (2015). Assessing views about gun violence reduction policy: a look at the type of violence and expected effectiveness. Preventive Medicine, 79, 50-54.

The authors focus on the public opinion of people who are the affected in regards to the laws on owning guns. The authors cite a polling report conducted in 2015 which indicated that the public favored background checks before owning guns by 90%. However, this opinion was not owned by the Congress who is the representatives of the people in law making as they did not pass it into law. The research conducted stratified random sampling to get 1000 students who participated in an online questionnaire exercise.

The students evaluated the effectiveness of seven gun policies including the possibility of increasing violent crime rates. The results indicated that people are content with most of the policies as being effective. However, they disagreed with the policy of increasing more guns on cite by having police officers in public areas such as schools. The study concluded that people believe that gun policies are effective and improve the situation even if they dont support them. This is the exception when it comes to the use of guns for suicide. Respondents indicated that a ban on assault weapons would decrease the number homicide cases than in suicide.

Stroebe, in the article Firearm Availability and Violent Death: The Need for a Culture Change in Attitudes toward Guns. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy

The authors describe that guns are a means of killing but the possession of the same is not an outright definition of an intention to kill. The study used literature compiled on the relevant topic from different authors. The information was from different countries and used to compare with the United States of America and other European nations in the use of guns as a factor in homicides. According to the study, in the US guns are a cultural tool that can be owned by a majority of the citizens. Whereas in other European countries only likened individuals who have been able to prove their reasons for owning guns can do so. Similarly, not even police officers exhibit their guns in public all the time unless it is necessary.

The authors suggest that Americans may possess and carry guns in public as a means of self-defense knowing that any other person can be in possession of one. Therefore, it is easy for Americans to use guns in to kill in self-defense since they are easily accessible to them.

In addition, the article introduces two conflicting assumptions about guns and their ability to cause homicide. One argues that the ease in acquiring guns increase the risk of using them for murder. On the other hand, the other point argues that owning a gun protects individuals and lowers their chances of becoming homicide victims. The study uses an analysis of a thirty year period to assess the relationship between gun ownership and homicide in the US. The study concluded that the use of bans to reduce violent crimes is not effective on its own and requires an overall change in the culture of the citizens and the use of assault weapons.

Weinberger.et.al in the article Firearm-related injury and death in the United States: a call to action from 8 health professional organizations and the American Bar Association. Annals of internal medicine, 162(7), 513-516.

The article focuses on showing the effects of the use assault weapons not only by assessing deaths but also injuries from the perspective of healthcare practitioners. The authors analyze reports that concern the unintentional use of guns causing injuries and mass shootings that account for the majority of deaths by use of assault weapons. Therefore they suggest that it is necessary to enroll people with mental problems and substance abuse for professional help. They indicate that such people that were enrolled in professional clinics were less likely to harm themselves and others.

The authors conclude that there is need to conduct background checks for people wanting to purchase guns. They also propose for further research into the topic and formulation of laws that do not blanket people with mental illness as being susceptible to committing homicide. Similarly, they suggest a regulation on the previously banned assault weapons as a way of protecting the general public.

Synthesis

The articles provide research and findings of the different hypothesis of the use assault weapons and the conclusions of the authors. Whereas some authors show that a ban would not be effective from their research, others show that restrictions are necessary to control the level of violent crimes. In addition, the authors give different reasons for having the restrictions even with limited evidence of their effectiveness. In the third article, the authors indicate the importance of culture change of the people as opposed to simply having laws to restrict the ownership of assault weapons which manufactures find ways of modifying them to ensure they are still able to sell.

References

Cramer, C. E. (2016). Assault Weapon Bans: Can They Survive Rational Basis Scrutiny?.Available at SSRN 2764549.

Sorenson, S. B. (2015). Assessing views about gun violence reduction policy: a look at the type of violence and expected effectiveness. Preventive Medicine, 79, 50-54.

Stroebe, W. (2015). Firearm Availability and Violent Death: The Need for a Culture Change in Attitudes toward Guns. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

Weinberger, S. E., Hoyt, D. B., Lawrence, H. C., Levin, S., Henley, D. E., Alden, E. R., ...& Hubbard, W. C. (2015). Firearm-related injury and death in the United States: a call to action from 8 health professional organizations and the American Bar Association. Annals of internal medicine, 162(7), 513-516.

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