Smart Guns and its Ability to Stop Gun Violence

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In 2017 alone, 11,560 individuals fell victim to gun violence, including suicides (Basu). The effects of these tragedies extend far beyond these casualties”gun violence affects the lives of the millions of Americans who see it, know someone who has gotten shot, or those who live in fear of the next catastrophe. As the idea of gun control becomes more controversial among Americans, there is a modern technology that may satisfy both sides of the spectrum: smart guns. With the number of gun violence victims steadily increasing, smart guns are the best, most efficient way to reduce gun related mishaps: it reduces the amount of crime done with stolen guns, the number of unintentional fatalities and suicides, and the number of guns resold in the black market.

Smart guns are the best way to minimize crimes done with stolen guns. For example, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, from 2012 to 2015, criminals stole an estimated 1.2 million guns from police officers, licensed to carry citizens, and gun stores. 75% of the guns are in use by lawbreakers to commit petty crimes such as robbing convenient stores, or serious crimes such as gang related shootings. (Gun Violence Archive). With the new smart gun technology, the issue of crimes committed with stolen guns reduces significantly. Because smart guns have an ID authentication, it therefore would potentially end the phenomena of weapons falling into criminal hands. In addition, smart gun technology could potentially prevent mass shootings. In the wake of the Columbine High School shooting in April of 1999, Americans have increasingly demanded change with the safety in schools. In Tanya Basu’s article entitled Will this Smart Gun Solve America’s Gun Problem?, the author emphasizes that most school shootings, like the Sandy Hook Elementary school incident in 2012, are committed with guns that belong to the parents of the shooter. With that in mind, many of the tragic school shootings done with stolen guns could have been preventable, had this new smart gun technology been in use. With the smart gun product, the guns used in school shootings would not have been able to fire, considering that the gun belonged to the parent, and not the adolescent shooter. Furthermore, smart gun technology could reduce the number of gang related homicides. Situations such as drive by shootings and robberies are typically committed with stolen guns, according to FBI reports and statistics (FBI). A recent example of a well-known robbery and shooting was the incident with rapper xxxTentacion in the summer of 2018. The alleged shooter, Dedrick D. Williams, had a history with gang activity, and obtained a gun through a former gang member. Dedrick and three other individuals shot and killed xxxTentacion with the motive of robbing him of a top-notch fashionable bag.

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