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Gun Control: America Needs Better Background Checks

1529 words - 6 pages

Violence and crimes are growing in number and affecting American society. By reinforcing background checks we could reduce crimes and limit easy gun access to mentally ill people. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a database where the names of people that have committed a misdemeanor, are mentally ill or drug abusers is kept to prevent them from attaining guns. Most criminals buy guns from unlicensed sellers at gun shows that don’t do properly background checks through the NICS, making it easier from criminals to purchase firearms. Another problem is missing records or information that was not reported to the background check system. Better background checks could reduce crime and gun violence in America.
The background check system can help to reduce crime and violence with the help of the NICS. This system is in charge or having criminal, mentally ill, or drug abusers names. Their names should appear on the database when they want to purchase a gun, and it has to be shared with the FBI. However since the Virginia Tech massacre they realized that the background check system is missing a lot of records and was not succeeding. Because of this congress passed the NICS Improvement Amendments Act to help with the cost of gathering and submitting information from agencies and states to the FBI, to create a more accurate database and make it faster for new information to be loaded in the NICS. According to Christine Watkins, “Every day 34 Americans are murdered with guns, and most of them are possessed illegally” (Watkins 1).
Even though the NICS is more updated, the trafficking of guns cannot be stopped. Only people who admit they are in the business of selling guns are required to have a license, keep paperwork and do background checks. But people that say that they are only collectors or only occasionally sell guns are not required to have a license or do checks. These people usually go to gun shows to sell firearms and many people refer to this as the gun show loophole. But these vendors don’t always have to go to gun shows, they can use classified ads or the internet to sell firearms without a background check. According to Watkins, “ Experts estimate that over six million guns a year - perhaps 40% of all sales – are made by unlicensed private dealers not subject to the law” (Watkins 5).
Another problem is the missing information of the mentally ill and drug abusers. This people get guns at gun shows and endanger the life of people around them. The NCIS system should include people that have been expelled from federal schools or colleges because of mental illness, and people who are ordered by court to take medication for mental illness. It should also include drug abusers who are under a substance that controls their senses and that could make them commit atrocities without their realization (Watkins 4).
On April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech University, a student shot 32 people and committed suicide after the...

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