Table of Contents
Gun safety ensures that gun holders handle them with care to prevent violence involving firearms, such as mass shootings. In the past, gun violence has been on the rise, and it is 25 times higher as compared to other developed countries. Similarly, suicide cases involving guns are eight times higher in the US than in any other country (Cook & Donohue, 2017). Gun safety will minimize cases of violence such as mass shootings, domestic violence involving guns, and other crimes associated with improper gun handling. Gun safety is important because it will prevent improper handling of guns, keep families and communities safe, and reduce mass shootings, especially those involving children.
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Preventing Improper Gun Handling
Ensuring that guns are appropriately handled and stored will prevent improper handling by unauthorized persons like children. According to the Gun Control Act of 1968, a citizen must be at least 18 years to purchase shotguns, ammunition, and riffles and at least 21 years to handle handguns. Equally, fugitives and people considered a danger to society, such as those held in mental hospitals, are prohibited from owning guns (Rowhani-Rahbar et al., 2016). Even though the Second Amendment provides for the right for people to own and keep guns, the federal government sets out regulations restricting use to have better control of handling, sale, and distribution of firearms. Failure to adhere to these restrictions leads to the handling of guns by unauthorized persons, such as those deemed mentally or legally unfit. Gun safety will create awareness of the need to ensure that only those meeting the criteria should handle guns (Rowhani-Rahbar et al., 2016). it includes training gun users to create awareness of firearms use, storage, and disposal. Ensuring that only those meeting legal qualifications and training in gun safety have access to firearms will minimize cases of mishandled arms at domestic, community, and national levels. Thus, gun safety is important because it will prevent improper handling of firearms through training and awareness on the essence of proper use, storage, and acquisition of firearms.
Keep Families and Communities Safe
Improper handling of guns keeps families and the community at risk of harm like mass shootings, threats, and intimidations. Children and other at-risk members of families will continue to be in danger in the absence of gun safety. Gun safety will help in introducing regulations and a course of alarms for suspected mishandling of guns. When a family or community deems an individual unfit to handle guns because of reasons ranging from health, age, or criminal history, there will be an elaborate and effective manner of handling such issues (Rowhani-Rahbar et al., 2016). Through gun safety, the community or family will be aware of the proper use and storage of guns. Most guns involved in causing alarm within families and communities are either improperly acquired or stored. Improper storage of guns will expose them to unauthorized users, such as those with criminal histories, children, or mentally unfit persons. Gun safety will eliminate anxiety and fear within families and communities because there will be certainty and confidence that people with guns are responsible and accountable (Hagos, 2021). The presence of guns in the hands of irresponsible and unaccountable persons emanates from a lack of gun safety awareness among issuers, authorities, and members of families and communities. Thus, gun safety is important because it will keep members of communities and families out of danger of attack from other people with ill motives.
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Reducing mass shootings and especially those involving children
Gun safety will help in reducing mass shootings involving children. Recently, cases of mass shootings where perpetrators are children have increased. This year alone, over 40 mass shootings have resulted in death or injuries. Most of the perpetrators of these incidences are children below the legal age to handle a firearm, which indicates inadequate gun safety. Other incidences are caused by people with psychiatric needs, indicating the lack of proper due diligence before the sale or issuance of a firearm. For example, the perpetrator of the latest shooting at St Louis School left a note stating that he has been living a life of loneliness and isolation, leading him to contemplate such a heinous act, according to the Guardian (2022). In a society with working gun safety, it would have been impossible for such a person to acquire a firearm because of his psychiatric needs. Equally, gun safety would have made it difficult for such a person to access a firearm (Hagos, 2021). Operationalizing effective and efficient gun safety will help enforce regulations and laws controlling access and handling of guns, reducing mass shootings in the country.
Gun safety will eradicate preventable crimes such as mass shootings, domestic violence, and improper firearms handling. Gun safety involves creating awareness of the proper use, storage, sale, and acquisition of firearms. Federal laws stipulate the criteria such as age, mental fitness, and criminal history to be used in licensing firearm holders. Gun safety involves enforcing strict laws controlling access and handling of firearms. The effectiveness of gun safety is important because it will reduce mass shootings involving children, keep families and communities safe, and prevent improper use and storage of firearms.
- Cook, P. J., & Donohue, J. J. (2017). Saving lives by regulating guns: evidence for policy. Science, 358(6368), 1259-1261.
- Hagos, A. (2021). Effective Gun Control Policy in the United States
- Rowhani-Rahbar, A., Simonetti, J. A., & Rivara, F. P. (2016). Effectiveness of interventions to promote safe firearm storage. Epidemiologic reviews, 38(1), 111-124.
- The Guardian. (2022, October 25). St Louis School shooter had more than 600 rounds of ammunition, police say. The Guardian. Retrieved October 27, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/25/st-louis-school-shooting-latest-gunman-ammunition