Background checks are helpful for avoiding the "problems" that arise when criminals or when mentally imbalanced or insane people get guns, as the vast majority of guns used by criminals were purchased legally.
Furthermore, there is no reason why an average citizen would need an automatic weapon for either self-defense or hunting or any other activity, and such weapons have massive potential for destruction.
Statistics don't lie. Vancouver verses Seattle, the levels of gun violence are substantially different. There is an obvious difference between those with and those without gun control laws. Those against it will say why punish legal gun owners because some guys do the wrong thing with guns. The answer: because LOTS of people are doing bad things with guns. That does not mean we stripe rights of ownership, but it does mean we restrict guns to places where the lawful use of them makes sense. You don't need to open carry a rifle through a major urban area, you aren't the police.
That being said, there is no one sized fits all reality to guns. Rural Montana and downtown Los Angles or New York are not the same places. It makes sense for local communities to draft gun control regulations based on their unique circumstances. The idea that any form of control equates to the removal of gun ownership, ala the NRA hyperbole these days, is illogical extremism. We can ban caffein drinks mixed with alcohol because they have clearly negative effects, but we cannot in any way restrict not just ownership, but brandishing of weapons in the slightest, of the Republic will fall and liberty will die? Silliness.
I'm from Canada (so maybe I'm a little more on the democratic end of the political scale, eh?), where we have fairly strict gun control compared to the US. Here, you need to apply for a firearms license and go through a waiting period before purchasing a gun. Which makes sense. That way crazies/convicted criminals can't own guns. What we do have here is an absolute ban on fully-automatics. Which I think is what gun control should be. Why on Earth would you ever need an M-60 or AK-47 unless you were in a war zone? Having those things around is just an accident waiting to happen. I'm all for personal freedoms and the right to protect yourself, but no one needs a fully automatic weapon ever.
When you debate something like gun laws, you should look around at other countries and their laws and how it's working for them. Some "laws" that could be considered "stringent" by some would be like psychological evaluation checks to make sure the person is sane and level headed. Giving somebody a psychological check, is one of the most effective ways to keep a gun from a psychopath or a "crazy" person. Another law would be mandatory waiting period; the reason I say this is because people in the "heat of the moment" may get a thought of committing an act; robbery with a deadly weapon, murder, etc but need to wait several days and before several days comes there's a great chance they're no longer thinking irrationally. We've all experienced this getting really mad or angry and thinking you'd easily kill somebody or hurt somebody because of what ever reason but then after sleeping or waiting time, you come to thinking more rationally. The third law would be background checks. Sociopaths (for one example) could act very sane and be patient if they need to. They can appear to be as normal as any other fellow you meet on the street. Some may even be smart enough to manipulate a psych eval; but the background check could help with finding out if they've been in a mental institution, imprisoned (and why), and all their records. The idea that gun laws don't work because criminals don't buy guns legally is obviously untrue. Elliot Rodger's (the fellow you've probably heard a lot about the last few days) bought 400+ bullets & several guns all legally. Criminals do buy guns legally. There is also the idea that guns can be used to save yourself but that is not very true. In all shootings that I've seen from states with the strictest gun laws like in NY or NJ to the least strict like AK or TX, I haven't seen a single person use a gun to defend themselves or anybody else. There was the fort hood shooting in 2009 & 2014; both shooters from both times bought their weapons at the local gun shop. So clearly, again, criminals buy guns legally. Now this takes place on a military base, with people that have guns; many even have issues to carry concealed weapons. For 2014, you have 3 military soldiers dead and 16 that were injured then the criminal committed suicide by gunshot. How come this criminal was able to shoot over a dozen people in a setting where there were guns everywhere? This is not the only example. I'm all fine with people owning guns (excluded machine guns) but do not lie and say people protect themselves with genders or that there should be no laws at all because criminals don't follow laws. A lot of gun crimes are a not committed by criminals but ordinary people pushed over the edge by society, work and the world.
We (The USA) need to stop handing guns out like party favors. The process for purchasing firearms is absurdly lax. I am for the right to own guns, but I think that it is very irresponsible to do so without a proper background check. To take it further, I would like their to be a mandatory psychological evaluation before being allowed to own a firearm. This is just for the pistols and rifles, up to semi-auto. I am for the banning of fully automatic weapons.
Gun control laws are a great debate topic because they are very controversial. First i would like to say that guns need to be open to people that can handle them safely without going ballistic. People should be allowed access to guns, but they should have a background check done before they can acquire them. They should not be a convicted felon and shouldn't be Insane. That is our only problem with the people who are involved in school and public shootings. They have been crazy. We don't need a magazine size limit to regulate us on how much fun we can have at the shooting range. We need to keep the guns away from the people who can potentially do harm.
While some things like background checks are good, most gun laws are just restrictive and do nothing but take away rights from the citizens. Criminals will always find ways to obtain guns and there is not much we can do about it. Also gun bans are just unconstitutional. If the constitution said what kind of guns we could have, wouldn't that mean we would still all be fighting with muskets?
Gun control is already where it needs to be. Even if we banned so called 'assault weapons', which in this case we will pretend that that covers automatic weapons or even semiautomatic weapons, the majority of gun deaths would still occur. Suicide by gun, the majority cause of gun death, cannot be stopped merely by banning the "scary" guns. Near to nothing will be achieved by magazine restrictions and other so called 'common sense' limits, those that are motivated enough to commit a mass shooting (which is already an insignificant cause of death) can get the weapons they want through illegal means. The only thing it does restrict is the ability of militant organizations to challenge the government with violence. To actually put a dent in the amount of deaths by guns you would need to ban ALL of the guns.
And if we ban all of the guns, we are essentially handing the political elite a monopoly on hard power in the United States. Anyone who thinks that peaceful protests, which already in recent years have merely been shoved and sprayed out of existence, would mean anything if the government didn't fear the threat of real revolution if they just mowed down said protesters, does not understand the reality of the world we live in.
We need to keep the government in check, and the last line of defense the people has is the widespread distribution of force that gun rights provides.
Do you think it ever will do any more good? Humans will be humans; whether they're just stupid, reckless, or irresponsible, or whether they're a malicious psycho, we'll never get rid of humans hurting other humans.
If we said, "wheels are dangerous because cars, if left in a dangerous position, have the potential to kill someone, therefore we need to have strict laws regulating the production, sale, and use of wheels," it'd sound absurd. The fact of the matter, however, is that cars kill about the same amount of people every year, but we're doing nothing to improve car safety, are we? In fact, within a time span of about 1.5 months, i heard about two LAPD officers dying on the same street due to heavy truck accidents and i also heard about two or three recalls from major auto manufacturers. Where is the public outrage there?
The way i see it, we can actively try to avoid accidents, either through technological development or behavioral training, but we can only do so much to prevent a patient, calculating psychopath that would do us harm. In reality, our chances of reducing deaths by car per year are much higher than the chances of reducing active, targeted homicide; people will do what they want to, so let's hope that what they want to do is help people. In addition, active targeted homicide, no matter the weapon used, will achieve the same result; death of an innocent. I would want the knowledge that those victims didn't have any last desires, regrets, or wishes that lead to their death; specifically, i mean a gun in their hand.
As stated before, the calculating psycho will take his time and wait for the perfect opportunity to strike, therefore his prey will always be at a disadvantage. Due to the inherent disadvantage of the peaceful citizen vs the violent assailant, we must afford them every opportunity to defend themselves, no?
Whenever they make a new gun control law, who obeys it? The honest citizen who would probably never use a gun to commit a crime. Who does not obey it? Criminals. If your going to use a weapon to commit a crime, would you care if the weapon was legally owned? Of course not. This means that the same amount of bad people would have weapons and less honest people would. This makes the honest people more likely to become targets of criminals. Think about it, if you were going to rob someone, would you pick the person who has access to a gun or someone who is likely to be unarmed.
Funny thing is, the more recent laws are just ignorant. Sure, they made background checks mandatory for handguns but outlawed most assault type weapons and are trying to get the rest outlawed as well. They even have made laws that allow people to conceal handguns making handgun laws even looser. Here is the funny part. Though a few famous cases have included assault type weapons, they are not the weapon of choice for the vast majority of crimes. Most assault weapons are far too big to conceal making it much more difficult to approach someone your going to rob or kill unnoticed. The fact that even more people are able to conceal handguns makes it even less regulated.
"Of all firearm-related crime reported to the survey, 86% involved handguns"
Clearly by getting rid of assault type weapons means little to actual impact on gun violence.
Personally, I grew up around guns. My parents had six kids and we all had lots of experience shooting them. We had about a dozen guns including rifles, shotguns, and even a muzzle loader. With all those guns and people who shot them, not one was ever aimed at another human being. One of the rules my dad had about guns was "Never point a gun at anything you don't intend on killing." This meant we never even used a gun to threaten someone.
By making laws about how we can get weapons does little to keep them out of the hands of criminals. Just like illegal drugs, if a person really wants them, there are other ways to get them. Do you think a criminal would bother to register a gun they were going to use in a crime? All it takes is someone with a clean arrest record to purchase a gun legally, then they turn around and sell them to some criminal for a greatly inflated price. They may even make even more money if they claim the guns were stolen and get paid again if they were insured.
Universal background checks for all weapons.
In order to own a assault weapon or high capacity mag and/or to have a conceal and carry permit you should take 9 hour long (give or take) class and have very extensive background checks and if you don't you can still own the assault weapon or high capacity mag but you have to keep it at a range.