Home Education Which might actually work to curb gun violence

Which might actually work to curb gun violence


On June 23, 2022, the Senate adopted Art Bipartisan Safe Communities Act, which was later signed into law. This welcome but tepid measure strengthens this year’s background checks for buyers under 21 and encourages states to introduce “red flag” protection laws that allow families and law enforcement agencies to sue people to take their guns away. who are at risk of harming themselves and others. . It also expands financial support for community mental health care.

On the same day, seemingly at odds with the passage of the first federal gun safety law in nearly three decades, the Supreme Court issued a much more consequential decision. It declared a broad right to bear arms in public places. Six conservative justices rejected New York state the most basic right of government to protect public safety and ensure domestic peace. The Supreme Court’s ruling seemed particularly insensitive after 19 students and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and 10 supermarket shoppers were killed in a racist attack in Buffalo, New York. Then, at an Independence Day parade, seven people were shot dead and more than 30 injured in Highland Park, Illinois. All this happened in less than six weeks.

Mass shootings (defined as four or more people injured or killed) are horrific and now occur in more than once a day. But this is only part of more 45,000 deaths from firearms every year. Most firearm-related deaths are due to suicides, urban violence, and accidental gunshots. The shocking impact of these statistics calls for an examination of the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. I will then explain why many, if not most, of these 45,000 deaths are preventable and what we can do about it.

Expanding Second Amendment

U Bruenthe court deprived the 111-year-old New York law requiring “good cause” or demonstrating a special need for self-defense to carry a concealed weapon in public. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the 6-3 majority, ruled that New York’s concealed carry law includes a “reasonable cause” requirement that violates the Second Amendment because it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right keep and carry weapons in public for self-defense. Thomas dismissed lower court decisions that have balanced gun rights and public safety, saying the only thing that matters is whether the laws “in accordance with the national historical tradition of firearms regulation.” Citing an earlier decision, Thomas wrote that the Second Amendment “certainly places above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms” for self-defense.

The ruling raises the immediate question of whether today’s firearms regulations should really be judged by the regulatory standards that existed in 1791, when the Second Amendment was enacted. And do law-trained judges have the necessary knowledge to conduct historical analysis? For one thing, judges don’t use history as a guide at all. Rapid-firing “assault” rifles, high-velocity armor-piercing ammunition—so-called police killer bullets—and high-capacity magazines were beyond the imagination of the founding fathers.

Gun laws are nothing new. Was many colonial era firearms regulations. Even New York’s concealed carry law is part of a long tradition dating back to Kentucky passing the first such law in 1813. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that states allowed guns to be carried in public after being pushed by the gun rights lobby. “Right to transferSupporters argued that the laws deter violent attacks. Subsequent “stand your ground” laws would eliminate the duty to retreat from dangerous encounters. The National Research Councilhowever, concluded that both laws had no such effect, and some research suggests that they do actually increased violent crime.

So what kind of firearms laws might be passed after that Bruen now that the judges have put the Second Amendment above public safety? In 2008, when the Supreme Court narrowly overturned a century of precedent by ruling that the Second Amendment did not extend to private property rights, the late Justice Antonin Scalia offered a glimmer of hope: “Nothing, in our view, should call into question the longstanding prohibitions against the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or the laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in sensitive places.” no, he wrote, “whether our analysis shows the invalidity of laws regulating the possession of firearms to prevent accidents.” He added that “dangerous and unusual weapons” are “another important limitation on the right to keep and bear arms,” ​​such as “M-16 rifles and the like.”

But all of that was before the six-to-three conservative supermajority began ushering the Court into the nation’s most contentious political spaces: abortion, firearms, climate change, religion and voting rights. It is true that Bruen reiterated the “longstanding” ability of states to “prohibit the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.” However, it remains unclear which places are sufficiently “sensitive”. Beyond that, it’s hard to think of many science-based firearms safety regulations that would stand up to the Court’s rigorous historical tests. If New York’s 111-year-old concealed carry law doesn’t pass muster, what would? No one knows exactly where the court’s muscular supermajority will lead, but we know from years of experience and empirical research which laws will be most effective.

Health care strategies

A number of evidence-based laws show measures associated with significant reductions in gun violence, mass shootings, suicides, and unintentional gun use. This includes changing the anthropogenic environment to reduce gun violence in high-risk settings, such as by protecting public housing residents, increasing green areas in low-income areas and alcohol restriction outlets and sales. Court orders can reduce access to firearms for potentially dangerous individuals, such as through domestic violence restraints (RVRO) and extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs), which state that law enforcement agencies can temporarily remove or block the purchase of firearms from individuals deemed dangerous). An increase the minimum age to purchase a firearm is 21 and development safe storage laws can reduce urban violence, intimate partner violence, suicides, and unintentional gunshots. More strict regulation of firearms dealers, universal checks and compulsory licensing have been shown to be particularly effective firearms safety techniques. Perhaps the best intervention to reduce mass shootings would be to ban civilian use of semi-automatic firearms, or “assault weapons,” as well as high-capacity ammunition magazines. Studies of both the repeal of the federal assault weapons ban and state-level assault weapons bans show significant cuts in deaths and injuries as a result of mass shootings.

Now that Congress has shown it can pass bipartisan legislation, it should go further. We need uniform national firearms safety standards. As we just saw in Highland Park, the state of Illinois has strict gun laws, but there are states around it that are lax. Shooters at the 4th of July parade there bought a A Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rifle similar to an AR-15, illegal in Illinois, but not in contiguous states. And the rules are very different. Only 13 percent of guns used in crimes in Puerto Rico were originally purchased on the island. The rest came from states like Texas and Florida. The bipartisan Safe Communities Act does not ban assault weapons, but requires enhanced background checks for purchasers under the age of 21. The shooter from Highland Park was 21 years old. In other words, US firearms safety laws are a patchwork, with many loopholes making it relatively easy to acquire a gun, even a high-powered rifle.

Supreme Court as Wild Card

There is one type of law that the conservative supermajority has telegraphed it will support using a strict historical test: banning guns in “sensitive” places. and indeed New York and other states madly changing their laws ban guns in parades and parks, on playgrounds, in the subway, and in municipal and government buildings. But is that enough? The court did not say what it considered a sensitive area. Preventing the acquisition of firearms by individuals exhibiting signs of dangerous or antisocial behavior may be another type of regulation that may be authorized by judicial authorities and may include RVROs and ERPOs. Beyond that, most evidence-based measures would likely run afoul of the Court’s broad reading of the Second Amendment.

The Supreme Court followed a very conservative path, going far beyond even Scalia’s position in 2008. The court’s decisions this past term are extraordinary, from firearms and abortion to climate change and the powers of federal health and safety agencies. The judges have demonstrated a flagrant disregard for judicial precedent and public opinion, undermining the institution’s legitimacy. And while the nation suffers from violence, the judiciary appears to be removing evidence-based, sensible gun laws, laws that the majority of the population not only supports, but longs to pass.

This is an opinion and analytical article and the views expressed by the author or authors do not necessarily reflect the Scientific American.

Source link

Previous articleLeadership Conversations with Ken Blanchard
Next articleReader Question – A book where he’s a chef and she’s a photographer who just broke up with a celebrity…