Criminal Behavior and Gun Control in the United States

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In the United States there have been many researchers who have taken time and researched what certain factors the government must look to regulate the possession of a firearm. Gun control is a controversial issue that many Americans believe is a right that is issues in our Second Amendment. On state and federal levels, this has become a tipping point between the left and the right. I will be analyzing researchers' work and making aware why the government has such strict gun laws put in place. There are major reasons why the factors I will speak and analyze today influence why we have certain gun control laws set in place. As of today there is still research coming out on what influencers make the government place certain gun laws in place in America.

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In this paper I am going to speak about the research done by professionals and lawmakers on the factors that ultimately influence gun control in the United States. I will primarily be speaking on gun ownership age, conceal carry on college campuses, illegal underground dealing of guns, and to have the required gun license.

The first point that explains what factors into making gun control laws is being of age to own a handgun and guns in general. The relationship between a juvenile and a gun does not go very well. That is why the government is trying to influence the legal age to be 21 years of age in all states, not just some. In the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a gun ban that criminalized juveniles from owning a gun, which was intended to reduce homicide rates. In the coming years it showed statistically some of gun bans against juveniles are associated with higher homicide rates. According to Thomas Marvell, homicide rates tend to go up when a gun is placed in the hands of a juvenile. In most states you are required to be 21 years of age to own and purchase a gun, but in some states you only need to be 18.

Many college age kids would think it would be a good idea to be able to conceal carry, but that is not the case according to researchers. According to J.M Dieterle and W. John Koolage, they had determined it is in fact to cause more violence allowing college age kids to carry guns on campus. Hemenway performed a study that showed 51% of what the kids say it was for “defensive gun uses” were illegal and were described as offensive gun uses. This means they were not in a situation where they needed to use a gun, but chose to do so. As well, violent crime among college campuses is quite low, the crime rate is still lower than crime in a general population. According to researchers college campuses are marketplaces waiting for bad ideas to happen, and having guns on campuses will increase violence and create criminals. Therefore it influences the gun control laws in America, which makes it illegal for faculty, students, and visitors to carry a gun on college and universities campuses.

According to Concealed Carry on Campus, keeping students and faculty from being able to carry is showing gun control taking place. It also shows that less violence happens on campuses, because you are not legally allowed to carry on campuses if you have a gun on any part of campus you can be removed and kicked out of college for the offense whether you had a license to carry or not, you are not allowed.

Illegal gun purchases are very common in the United States. The guns are bought through a “secondary market”, which is where non-licensed individuals are able to purchase firearms. According to the journal “The Illegal Supply of Firearms” 30-40% of gun sales are through the secondary market, because they do not require a background check and the federal government has no record keeping for the firearms. This is influencing gun control laws in America because now to even get your hands on weapons you would need a background check and a 7 day waiting period to even purchase a handgun. In Maryland the state passed a legislation that limited one handgun a month and even banned straw purchasing. Straw purchasing is purchasing a firearm from someone who is not legally allowed to even own a firearm, it is a federal crime to do so.

Gun control laws are set to prevent putting guns into the hands of criminals. Having a required license is proven to reduce violence in America. (G.J.Wintemute) A big problem is allowing mentally ill and alcoholics to get licenses and purchase firearms. Though they do not typically have records of violence, they are most targeted who will become violent with firearms in their possessions.    

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