Reasons behind the US government’s refusal to implement stricter gun legislation

Reasons behind the US government's refusal to implement stricter gun legislation
Reasons behind the US government's refusal to implement stricter gun legislation

The shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, which killed 19 children and two adults, was the country’s 27th school shooting this year. It’s also been ten years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which killed 20 children. Despite the country’s high rate of gun violence, lawmakers and citizens continue to oppose improvements to gun legislation.

gun legislation in US

According to a New York Times story, 13 states, all of which are controlled by Democrats, have implemented or increased background checks for new gun transactions since Sandy Hook. On the other hand, 14 Republican-controlled states have enacted legislation enabling residents to carry weapons without a permit. The political divide over gun regulations is still wide.

According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in 2021, Republicans remain adamantly opposed to additional gun laws, claiming that the Second Amendment is sacred and should not be violated by nearly any legislation.

“A properly regulated Militia, being essential to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, must not be infringed,” says the US Constitution’s Second Amendment. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of expression.

One of the fundamental and distinguishing traits of gun owners, according to the Pew Research Center survey, is that they equate the ability to possess weapons with their personal feeling of freedom. Around 74% of gun owners believe this is necessary. Personal protection is another common justification given by gun owners. American gun owners have frequently said in prior studies that possessing a gun is an important part of their personal identity.

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The large and influential National Rifle Association is one of the most vocal opponents of gun regulation (NRA). Following Sandy Hook, the NRA’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, stated that gun prohibitions would not protect Americans, but that gun-free zones would attract killers. This is consistent with the guns-for-protection theory, which holds that boosting gun sales, rather than banning them, is a better way to combat mass shootings. He stated that the NRA will assist in the establishment of a National School Shield Emergency Response Program. Surprisingly, 77 percent of NRA gun owners are Republicans or lean Republican (Pew Research Center).

In December 2021, Republican Chuck Grassley vetoed a motion to go forward on gun legislation that would prevent weapons from being transferred between persons without a background check was conducted by a registered dealer or manufacturer. It is “inimical to legitimate gun owners and lawful weapon transactions,” according to Grassley. He further said that background checks would “transform ordinarily law-abiding folks into criminals” and that they would not prevent crime.

According to the Small Arms Survey, the United States has 390 million weapons in circulation in 2018. In addition, three out of every ten adults in the United States possess a firearm (Pew Research Center).

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence in March 2021, Republican Senators presented gun control measures as part of the country’s racist heritage. Their argument, which was based on the history of gun ownership and the limits imposed by Whites on African Americans, was that gun control laws violate minority populations’ rights.