Should DC residents have easier access to guns? (S874)

Summary for Congressional bill S 874 (114th):

  • Makes it easier to obtain firearms in Washington DC.
  • DC residents can obtain firearms from licensed dealers in Maryland and Virginia.
  • Allows businesses to determine whether firearms are allowed within their business.

In Depth:

  • Concealed carry permits would change from “may issue” to “shall issue”.
  • “May issue” refers to how currently, the chief of police has to approve each concealed carry permit.
  • Removes authority of DC City Council to enact firearm regulations.
  • Removes DC’s firearm registration system.

Vote Yes if you believe:

  • Law-abiding DC residents should have easier access to guns. #2ndAmendment #Firearms
  • DC residents have more of a need for guns since violent crime is 3 times the national average. #ViolentCrimes #Firearms #SelfDefense

Vote No if you believe:

  • With so many government officials around, from the US and abroad, DC should have stricter firearm regulations. #DC #Firearms
  • More guns around means higher gun-related injuries and deaths, especially suicide. #Firearms #Suicide link to S 874

(This is the 1st draft of the summary for a bill in Polinav. Summary & In-Depth is non-partisan & Vote yes/no reasons are fact-checked. if you think something is wrong, should be added or deleted, comment below!)

Gun regulation is always a tough topic for me. I’m fundamentally not against guns. Like, I personally wouldn’t mind owning them and going to the shoot range on occasion just for sport. I would even consider owning a small collection of well-crafted firearms.

At the same time, though, I do think that in the US, we have way too many guns in circulation. I don’t know what it would look like, but I would want some kind of buyback program just to reduce the total number of firearms in the US. We have 6 times the number of total guns compared to #2 (US ~270M guns v. India ~45M guns).

It’s really not that guns are bad. People are bad and that’s why we just do not want as many guns around. One of the sadder stats to me around guns is the data around suicides. In 2013, we had 11,208 murders using guns. We also had 21,175 suicides using guns. In a 2001 Harvard study, there were 353,613 suicide attempts recorded, of which only 19,849 were from firearms (5.6%). Yet, 55% of suicide deaths were due to firearms (17k out of 31k total deaths).

The other issue here is of DC sovereignty. Congress seems to have this constant battle for who has the right to govern DC: DC City Council or Congress? I think it should be the DC City Council, since they’re representing their constituents, whereas Congress is representing pockets of the nation.

So, here’s my opinion on this particular bill. I support guns in general. I think we should have smart gun regulations…nationwide. I would agree to an extent that DC has especially stringent laws, but due to the sensitive nature of DC, I wouldn’t mind keeping it strict there. This would only be until we got more sensible regulation throughout the country. The fractured nature of gun laws state-by-state creates tension due to the ease with which guns can be carried across state borders.

I would want my representatives to vote NO on this bill!



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