Guns laws have long been one of the most contentious arenas in American politics. Now President Joe Biden has entered the fray, announcing he will take his first executive actions on gun control and directing his administration to tighten restrictions on “ghost guns” – self-assembled weapons without serial numbers – and pistol stabilizing braces that increase the weapon’s accuracy. He also called for a ban on assault weapons.
Described as the “$280 billion problem,” gun violence costs have been significant in recent years. In 2018, The Washington Post and Business Insider estimated the impact at $229 billion – this $280 billion figure accounts for everything from immediate costs starting at the time of a gun violence incident, subsequent treatment costs for injuries, long-term physical and mental health care, forgone earnings and criminal justice costs, as outlined in a February 2021 report by Everytown for Gun Safety. ABC News reported the costs have been as high as $303 billion in the last three decades.
Biden’s latest efforts come on the heels of the deadly mass shootings that took place in the country over the past 30 days. While polling regularly shows broad support for tighter gun laws and bans on assault weapons, the New York Times reports that Republicans in Congress “remained all but immovable on the issue, repeating longstanding arguments on Tuesday that gun violence should be addressed through steps like more policing rather than limiting gun rights.”
Make Your Voice Heard: Do Biden’s Gun-Control Efforts Go Too Far? Share Your Thoughts
As Biden was addressing his proposed steps Thursday, news broke of another mass shooting in South Carolina that took place on Wednesday night. Will Biden’s attempted latest efforts be drastic enough to counteract both the human and economic toll? Or would they go too far?
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Last updated: April 9, 2021