Florida: Final Analysis Paper Concerning Assault Weapon Ban Law Failed
In early to mid-2019, Florida Legislature passed 195 bills. One of the bills that did not pass was the Assault Weapon Ban law. According to Referred Committees and Committee Actions, the bill “Prohibits sale, transfers, or possession of assault weapon or large-capacity ammunition magazine”. The passing of this bill would have made a huge impact on today’s society as there is no gun control whatsoever. “As of December 1st, which is the 335th day of the year, there have been 385 mass shootings in the U.S” (Silverstein Jason). This number is outrageous because that would account for more than one shooting a day for the entire year.
I decided to choose this issue because it is something that affects all of our lives on a daily basis, it’s a scary thought to want to even bring children into this world knowing what today’s society has come to. In the summer of 2016, I will never forget the gut-wrenching feeling of watching the news after the Pulse shooting took place. You see these mass shooting that happen all over our country, but you would never believe that it would happen 15 minutes from your own home. As that one hit too close to home, it made me terrified to be out in public. In October of 2018, I experienced this firsthand. My friends and I went out to eat to Miller’s Ale House, and we were having a nice time before , we see women running inside from the back patio and a someone screamed “he’s got a gun, run!”, in that moment, I completely froze. That was the moment when I thought I was going to die. Thankfully my boyfriend picked me up and pushed me, and we just ran out of there and ran for our lives as we heard gunshots in the background. That feeling is seriously indescribable and was one of the scariest days of my life. This is why I decided to choose this issue because luckily the issue wasn’t what I thought it was in the moment, but it just shows the fear and impact these mass shootings have on society. But on other occasions, innocent people have lost their lives as they needed to take a trip to Walmart, or just attend school. 2019 has had the most mass shootings than any other year in history of The United States.
I believe legislatures decidedly correctly about the failure of passing this law because citizens do have the right to own a gun for self-protection, as stated in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. If that is taken away, it denies people a sense of safety and self-defense. Gun control laws that are passed may help in some areas, but it doesn’t stop criminals from obtaining guns or breaking the law. What I believe legislatures have done wrong, is not changing the requirements of purchasing a firearm. When purchasing a firearm, there should be strict rules and requirements such as, real background checks, age requirements, mandatory safety features and psychological exams. One strategy that may work is, for every mass shooting, the NRA and other gun organizations should be fined. They should be fined for not having an intensive and thorough background check on the people that they allowed to purchase a gun legally through them. There is difficulty to changing gun laws, but there should be at least some action taken forward to decrease the pattern of frequent mass shootings.
If I was a legislature, I would not pass the ban of assault weapon as it takes away a citizen’s self-defense and prevents citizens from protecting themselves with invaders. With banning guns, it gives too much power to the government and can lead to government tyranny. The policy that I would put forth is stricter requirements on the purchase of a firearm and more education on guns and gun safety to help people. My inspiration and driving influence to put forth this policy would be all of the innocent lives that have been taken due to mass shootings. According to Nicole Javorsky, “Universal background checks are associated with a nearly 15 percent drop in the homicide rate. Measure that prohibit people who committed a violent crime from owning a handgun are associated with an even larger reduction in homicide, 18 percent”.
Doing background checks has shown positive effects and can be effective when purchasing a gun. There have been other countries that have taken action on gun control and have shown positive results. According to Nick Evershed, “People must have a license to own guns, and the license requires background checks…Another requirement was that all guns must be individually registered, with all gun sales tracked to record changes in ownership” In result of these changes, the articles states that they have found a drop in the rate deaths from firearms, particularly with suicides. This shows that here have been positive results of these types of gun control laws, and the United States should take action on doing the same.
As far as providing more education on gun safety, “95% of all US gun owners believe that children should learn about gun safety. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. And people need more gun education and mental illness screening to prevent massacres” (Pros & Cons-ProCon.org). This statement is a very strong one and I couldn’t agree more. With more gun safety education, kids and even adults, will be more aware on how to handle a gun if they were put in that situation. Gun safety can result in saving many young lives.
In conclusion, there should be more restrictions on the handling of guns and the purchasing of guns. It doesn’t make sense that as an 18-year-old, you are able to purchase a shotgun and a rifle, but you can’t drink until you’re 21. It shouldn’t be easy for anyone to buy a gun, and it should be purchased for protection and self-defense only. There needs to be stricter requirements and then there will be more positive outcomes for this country and even a better Florida. There would be less shootings and less kids that have to worry about going to school as there has been some of the largest mass shootings here in Florida. I hope that legislatures can make a policy that is similar so there is change. There cannot be any more innocent people dying or it will just progress into the future.
- Evershed, Nick. “Strict Firearm Laws Reduce Gun Deaths: Here’s the Evidence.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 19 Mar. 2019, www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2019/mar/20/strict-firearm-laws-reduce-gun-deaths-heres-the-evidence.
- Javorsky, Nicole, et al. “More Research Indicates That Gun Control Works.” CityLab, 5 Apr. 2019, www.citylab.com/life/2019/04/gun-control-firearms-law-deaths-shooting-state-data-research/586363/.
- “Referred Committees and Committee Actions.” HB 455 (2019) – Assault Weapons and Large-Capacity Magazines | Florida House of Representatives, 2019, www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=63332.
- Silverstein, Jason. “There Have Been More Mass Shootings than Days This Year.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 1 Dec. 2019, www.cbsnews.com/news/mass-shootings-2019-more-mass-shootings-than-days-so-far-this-year/.
- “Pros & Cons – ProCon.org.” Gun Control, gun-control.procon.org/.