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Why Should We Allow The Purchasing Of A Rifle Be Easier Then Purchasing A Handgun
In the United States today, the minimum requirements to purchase a rifle or shotgun in a store as told by the NRA (National Rifle Association, 1996) are, you must be 18 years old or older , have one form of identification of where you live, the time of purchase must be before 10 p.m. and after 8 am, and have $8.00. The scary part about this is they don't immediately check your police record to see if you have any criminal records or check your psychological well-being when you are purchasing this lethal weapon. You can also purchase the ammunition when buying the rifle. The requirements to purchase a rifle are too minimal and should be increased.
I went into a Wal-Mart in Wisconsin, wanting to purchase a .22 rifle. It was about 8:30 p.m. when I arrived at this Wal-Mart. I asked to see a couple of the rifles to see which one I liked. They showed them to me; it took me about 15 minutes to pick out the one I liked. At 8:45 p.m. I was purchasing my first rifle. I filled out about 3 forms; one of which only asked me if I had a criminal record; they didn't check with the police (Alcohol, Tobacco, and firearms, 1994) or call the police and check with them until after I left. If I would've had a record, they would've sent me a letter telling me to return the rifle. This took me about 5 minutes all together. I showed them my identification and wrote them a check. At 8:55 p.m. I walked out of Wal-Mart with a rifle, legally mine, and put it in my trunk. I went back in to get some ammunition and at 9:00 p.m. had a rifle and 2000 rounds of .22 ammunition. Now this was all legal, and I could've been an angry ex-boyfriend or angry husband who wanted to shoot someone. The Brady
Kuehnl 2 Act has a "waiting period" for handguns because handguns can be concealed. What difference does it matter if the handgun in concealed or not? If the husband or ex-boyfriend was angry enough to actuall physically go somewhere to buy a gun, do you think they are going to care if they conceal it or not? If the person was going to kill someone at the persons home, the person would probably just walk right up, break in and shoot. The clerks didn't know what I was going to do. There was no "waiting period" (US Government-Brady Act, 1994) for this rifle. It took 30 minutes! Wouldn't it make sense to have a waiting period for both handguns and rifles? A rifle can do as much if not more damage to somebody.
Having stricter regulations for purchasing rifles could help save innocent lives. What if this person has mental problems like schizophrenia (Groiler, 1993) which causes the person to hallucinate and possibly believe he or she is someone else, and that someone else is a American Soldier fighting in Vietnam? What are the capabilities of this person? This person could kill as many people as the number of rounds he has for ammunition. Rifles and shotguns are more accurate then handguns too (Groiler Encyclopedia). Scopes can very easily be mounted within minutes and be extremely accurate. This person would likely be less lethal if he or she had a handgun, but it is much easier to get a rifle. Does that make sense? If our government wants to stop these type of outbreaks we need to have stricter restrictions on the availability of rifles and shotguns.
Having stricter regulations on the purchasing of rifles could help save people who are going to attempt committing suicide. The choice of weapons in firearm suicides in Iowa (Zwerling, 1993) could've be proportional to the availability of these weapons. For instance in
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1990-1991, rifles and shotguns were preferred 56.2% in firearm suicides. This could be related to how much easier it is to purchase a rifle or shotgun then a handgun. The waiting period could be helpful in these types of situations for the recipient to cool off or be able to get their personal matters resolved before