Review of Gun Laws in US

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Arjun Ganguly, EMBA 2015-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

As we see so often people dying in US over shootout related incidents, it is now apparant that the government should look into the existing gun laws more closely. The current week saw a Virginia gunman who shot dead two former colleagues on live TV. The gunman had also loaded his getaway car with a bag containing a second gun, a few magazines and ammunition. He also had a to-do list with him.

A document later came to light, obtained by the Guardian, which apparently showed that Flanagan(the gunman) had been told to seek medical help by his bosses. The advice was given by the then news director of the station. It was sent to senior colleagues and Flanagan after his co-workers had complained about his behaviour. It details how Flanagan was warned over “lashing out” and for using “harsh language” and “aggressive body language” while working as a reporter. Even after that he was given the opportunity to carry live firearms and ammunition.

This obviously is not an isolated incident. We see these incidents cropping in US, where every now and then a few are injured or killed. Last march saw a car chase between US police and an armed kidnapping suspect in South Los Angeles, which was aired by the local television stations. It ended in a violent and dramatic scene – with the suspect leaving his vehicle and engaging in a shootout with officers.

Gun politics as such is a controversial area of American politics that is primarily defined by the actions of two groups: gun control and gun rights activists. These groups often disagree on the interpretation of laws and court cases related to firearms as well as about the effects of gun control on crime and public safety. Gun laws in the United States regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition. State laws (and the laws of Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories) vary considerably.

In light of such incidents, the US government should review and re assess the gun laws that are currently in place. Nothing can be more important than human lives and all laws of the land should be based around this simple yet thoughtful fact.