BP#8 – New York and the Crisis of Weak Gun Laws

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Summary

In summary, this article speaks about gun related deaths in the state of New York.  More precisely it sheds light on the fact that of the 52,915 deaths that occurred from 2010 to 2015, 46,514 of those guns could be traced back to their purchase site and three-quarters of those guns were bought outside the state of New York.  Of all the remaining 49 states that these guns could have been purchased in, a majority of them came from states along the southern stretch of Interstate 95 including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.  The main reason for this influx of guns from these states into New York is weaker gun laws.  The United States Senate failed to pass a bill in 2013 that would outlaw the transportation of guns across state borders.  Of all the deaths that occur in the state, New York has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.  This article offers up ways that gun laws should tighten at the Federal level, including tightening regulations for gun shows, making gun trafficking a federal crime and loosening restrictions on tracing guns and having states require license for all handgun owners.  Gun violence becomes more that just a local problem when 74 percent of the gun violence that occurs is from guns bought from outside of the state of New York.

Analysis

I would like to position my stance on this article through the lens of Kant’s Categorical Imperative.  The Categorical Imperative states that one must do only what one can will that all others should do under similar circumstances.  Looking at this article as an example, I think it can be said that in order to reach a moral obligation to everyone there should be a reexamining of gun laws in this country.  It seems as though criminals have bought into the fact that bringing guns into New York is universalizable.  There is no morality when it comes to using guns to commit crimes.  What the criminals have done is realized that you can’t easily by guns in New York but you can go south where there are weaker gun laws and purchase a gun and then come up to New York and commit a crime.  You then would have to believe that in the psyche of a criminal’s mind they understand that obtaining a gun from a state which has weaker gun laws is a universal law and they have bought into the idea that everyone is perhaps doing just that.  From a lawmakers standpoint you would have to think that they are looking at this issue though the same lens as a criminal but have the rationale to change and tighten the laws governing the purchase of guns.  If the circumstance is that criminals are buying guns from states with less effective gun laws, then morally lawmakers should look at this case as how it affects them as well as others under the same circumstance.  If I know that I am lawmaker and that a criminal has gone down to a state to buy a gun because it has weaker gun laws than the state from where I am from, then I am going to tighten regulations on the criminals ability to purchase guns so that he doesn’t buy that gun and harm me or others.

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