Gun violence is critical social vice that is on the rise across the United States. Gun violence is notable at the family level, community level, and even from a national perspective. The educations sector in the country has been a prime target for gun violence in recent years. Deadly shooting incidents in different schools have cost the lives of many students, teachers, and other staff members. There are numerous outstanding causes of gun violence including poor upbringing, lack of moral standards, laxity in legislative frameworks, and depression among others. Unemployment is also an indirect factor behind the escalation of gun violence across the country. The jobless individuals turn to gun violence as a form of survival. The government and other essential stakeholders must be proactive in terms addressing this pertinent issue. The enlightenment of the public can also contribute massively towards reducing the rates of gun violence across the nation. These aspects illustrate that the different stakeholders must cooperate in order to enhance the success of different interventional measures for gun violence. This will enhance security standards, and hence boost the economy.
Gun violence refers to the criminal activities and illegal shooting incidents associated with guns. This is a widespread problem in the United States especially due to the high number of people who lose their lives because of the illegal shootings. During the last decade, there have been a series of deadly shooting incidents in different schools within the United States. This has caused widespread controversy and criticism about the gun policies in the United States (Doeden, 2011). Gun violence in the United States has also caused extensive political debate about the constitutional validity of private gun ownership in the country. The issue of gun violence is thus among the most sensitive socio-economic issues in the United States. This research zeros in on this topic while focusing on the most pertinent dimensions concerning the issue.
Gun Violence-Broad Overview
Gun violence is mostly predominant in the low-income neighborhoods. Based on the outcome of different research programs, illegal gangs in low-income neighborhoods are the commonest culprits in gun violence. Apart from the illegal gangs, drug cartels are also heavily involved in gun violence. In essence, such cartels use gun violence as a platform for protecting their illegal activities.
During the past decade, there has been extensive debate about the constitutional validity of some policies on gun ownership. It is widely considered that the average citizen can easily access a shotgun if need be. The laxity in gun control also ensures that potential gun buyers collaborate with some law enforcement officers in order to purchase firearms (Strain, 2010). Such trends have caused debate across the country’s political circles.
The president has also been put under constant pressure in order to push for strict legislation on gun control. However, this pressure has not yielded adequate gains in terms of preventing gun violence across the nation. In addition to the political circles, the general American public has not been left behind in pushing for strict policies on gun ownership. In essence, the public is on the receiving end of almost all negative implications of gun violence. For instance, the deadly shooting incidents at the Virginia Tech a few years ago left many families without their loved ones. Such incidents are indicators of the necessity of reforms within the country’s policy framework for gun ownership.
Causes of Gun Violence
There are numerous dimensions involved while evaluating the causes of gun violence. Essentially, the causes of this problem can be dissected in terms of legal frameworks, social aspects, and economic dimensions. From an economic perspective, unemployment among the youth and other citizens can be significantly linked to the increasing rates of occurrence of gun violence across the nation. When a young male adult goes for months without employment, he is highly likely to venture into crime. These individuals resort to gun violence as a means of living or making ends meet (Webster, 2013).
Based on such insights, increase in unemployment rates has contributed significantly towards an escalation in gun violence. From a social perceptive, the increase in gun violence can be linked to the massive exposure to violence-based themes in movies and films. Most of the blockbusters from Hollywood are dominated by violent themes.
The youth ventures into gun violence in order to experiment on what they have watched in their favorite films or dramas. Consequently, the content of media can be connected with the rise in gun violence either directly or indirectly. Another social angle of gun violence pertains to peer-influence. This is also a pertinent cause of gun violence across the United States especially in the low-income neighborhoods. Most gangs in these neighborhoods are comprised of age-mates or even schoolmates. It is thus essential for educationists and other stakeholders to encourage positive peer-influence in order to prevent the formation of such gangs (Kleck, 2005). The lack of adequate parental guidance and control is also an influential social perspective that can be linked to the rising rates of gun violence in the country.
Some parents are ignorant about the significance of guiding and counseling their kids about good habits and discipline. Consequently, inadequate parental guidance is a catalyst for gun violence in the society. Public policy is another essential dimension in dissecting the causes of gun violence. The legislative framework for gun ownership has not been stringent enough. Such loopholes can be linked to the increase in rates of gun violence in the nation. In view of such loopholes, policymakers have pressurized the government towards introducing stern measures on gun ownership. These efforts are yet to materialize (Cook, 2003). Legislative loopholes in both the federal and state levels are notable catalysts for high rates of gun ownership, and hence an increase in gun violence.
Prevention of Gun Violence
The strategies for preventing gun violence are inherently connected to the different causes. The evaluation of each cause is thus a pertinent step in the mitigation of gun violence in the United States. Among the most crucial interventions is an overhaul of the legislative framework on gun ownership.
There are countless loopholes in the policy framework for gun ownership in the country. These loopholes are influential platforms in terms of facilitating an increase in the ownership rates of guns within the population. When a citizen can easily buy a rifle, the battle against gun violence becomes more or less fruitless (Siegel, 2011). The state and federal authorities must be proactive in terms of establishing prohibitive policies that complicate the process of firearm acquisition. Such policy frameworks would help in averting authorized ownership of guns. Apart from gun ownership, the law enforcement agencies should be empowered with adequate resources in order to control gun violence. For instance, the police must be equipped with adequate resources for detecting suspicious metallic devices even from a distance. This would greatly reduce the occurrence of gun violence in the public.
Drug trade is another issue that contributed indirectly towards an increase in gun violence across the United States. Almost all drug barons use firearms such as shotguns in protecting their drugs. This attribute indicates the role of drug trade in the escalation of gun violence. Authorities must be extremely vigilant in terms of preventing drug trade in their respective jurisdictions. Public education programs are also essential in the prevention of gun violence in America. Some individuals participate in gun violence out of sheer ignorance (Canada, 2011). Such individuals are not properly conversant with the deleterious implications of gun violence. Consequently, enlightenment initiatives would contribute immensely towards mitigating the problem of gun violence across the nation. These educational initiatives should be mostly targeted to the high-risk groups such as the youth.
Parents must also play their part in the alleviation of gun violence. For instance, they must provide adequate guidance to their kids in order to enlighten them about the benefits of discipline. The media fraternity serves as another essential stakeholder in the prevention of gun violence. The films and movies shown to public audiences should not be dominated by violence-based themes. This can have excellent implications in terms of reducing gun violence.
Effects of Gun Violence
The effects of gun violence refer to the implications associated with this problem. These implications can be dissected into various dimensions. The first dimension encompasses the loss of lives. In most incidents of gun violence, at least one person is killed. Even when death does not occur, victims are badly injured and this affects them for an entire lifetime. Apart from death, another implication of gun violence is public and personal insecurity. In neighborhoods dominated by gun violence, the standards of insecurity are massively high (Strain, 2010). This is an indicator of how gun violence contributes towards the escalation of insecurity. In essence, insecurity is strongly associated with a decline in economic activity. Potential investors would be barely tempted to channel their resources in a crime-prone neighborhood. This indicates why gun violence is immensely influential to the economy.
Gun violence has extensive implications on the society and also the economy at large. When he rates of gun violence are high, investors are put-off from investing in such areas. High rates of insecurity are also associated with minimal tourist activity. It is thus critical for adequate measures to be employed in order to mitigate gun violence in the United States. These measures include an overhaul of the policy framework on gun ownership, higher levels of surveillance, and public enlightenment initiatives.
Canada, G. (2010). Fist stick knife gun: A personal history of violence, Beacon Press
Cook, P. J. (2003). Evaluating gun policy, Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press
Doeden, M. (2011). Gun control: Preventing violence, Minneapolis, MN: Twenty First Century Books
Kleck, G. (2005). Point blank: Guns and violence in America, Hawthorne: New York:Transaction Books
Siegel. L. J. (2011). Criminology, Mason, OH: South-Western
Strain, C. B. (2010). Reload, rethinking violence in American life, Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press
Webster, D. W. (2013). Reducing gun violence in America: informing policy with evidence, Baltimore, MD: JHU Press