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Where Blood Runs Through the Streets:A Proposal for the Development of New Gun Control Policies in the UnitedStatesBrett Michael CarmouchéWalden University1
Executive Summary The issue of gun control is indubitably one of the most divisive and frequently discussed public policy matters in the United States, and with good reason. For indeed, “each year tens of thousands of people are injured and killed by firearms; each year firearms are used to defend against and deter an unknown number of acts of violence; and each year firearms are widely used for recreational purposes” (Wellford et al., p. 1). In 2015 alone, America saw 372 mass shootings. In those shootings, 475 people were killed, and another 1,870 were wounded. There were 64 school shootings. Altogether, mass and school shootings excluded, 13, 286 people were killed in the United States and another 26, 819 people were injured in 2015 (Gunsin the US, March 17, 2016).Proponents of gun control measures submit that the disproportionately high rate of guns owned by Americans help to exacerbateand perpetuate existent gun violence. Conversely, opponents posit that suchpositions as advocated by proponents are not valid, and moreover, serve to infringe upon liberties expressly guaranteed via the United States Constitution. Neither side contests the fact that gun violence exists and is on the rise; the difference between the two rests in how it is the violence ought to be addressed regarding public policy. 2
Those who work in public administration are thus met with the heavy duty of designing and implementing policies on gun control that takes account of conflicting constitutional claims and divided public opinion and weighs the balance between the costs and benefits of private gun ownership(Wellford et al, p. 11). If this is to be accomplished, it is herein argued that policymakers must develop an approach that requires the design and implementation of one or more of the following: 1) interventions aimed at illegal firearm acquisition, 2) the development, formatting, and implementation of gun control legislation that prohibits the sale of high capacity magazines and firearms, expands background checks, and reinstates the federal assault weapons ban, and 3) the integration of increased mental health treatment and reporting (Fact Sheet, April 28, 2016). These potential steps, irrespective of the manner and method in which they would be enacted possess both merits and disadvantages; each, however, would serve to advance gun control policy. Naturally, these actionswill not and cannot eradicate gun violence altogether; they can and will, however, help to reduce gun tragedies and violence. Introduction & Problem DefinitionThe American people are no stranger to guns or the drastic consequences that come as a result of their misuse. Every day, citizens in this country and abroad are made aware of yet more individuals who have 3
fallen victim, in some form or another, to gun violence within our union.