After a turbulent year plagued with gun violence, the presidential candidates’ stance on gun control have proven to be influential for many voters.
As the 2016 national presidential election quickly approaches, countless Americans prepare to select a candidate in what has proven to be one of the most controversial races to date. For many individuals that remain undecided, votes will be determined by the candidates’ approach to vital issues including gun control. Republican candidate Donald Trump feels strongly about upholding the second amendment, while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is determined to take a stand against gun violence by strictly enforcing background checks and taking other precautions.
Conservative nominee, Trump, believes firmly that no one is above the law and that upholding the rights guaranteed to Americans in the constitution is of the upmost importance. His plan for tackling gun related violence includes strictly enforcing the law, and getting “serious” about prosecuting criminals. Trump also advocates for bringing back and expanding programs like Project Exile which was, “implemented to deter former and would be offenders from carrying and using fire arms, with an over all goal of reducing fire-arm related homicides.”
In an interview Trump explained that even with the strictest gun laws and control attempts, mentally unstable people will, “slip through the cracks.” As the interview commenced he mentioned that even places like Chicago, with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, are “generally speaking worse” off than other areas. To tackle this challenge Trump aims to, “Fix our broken mental health system…We must expand treatment programs, and reform the laws to make it easier to take preventative action to save innocent lives.”
According to CBS News, “In the next four years, the supreme court may face as many as many as four vacancies as some of the justices age or enter retirement. That means the outcome of November’s election could be critical in determining the Supreme Court’s future composition.” With the potential for four seats to be filled by the next president, stakes are high. Trump has already expressed his plan to , “Appoint Justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our constitution.”
Clinton feels that, “Too many families in America have suffered—and continue to suffer—from gun violence.” As president, Clinton says she will expand background checks. One way she intends to achieve this is by eliminating the Charleston Loophole. This loophole, technically referred to as the delayed denial provision, allows licensed dealers a three day business limit to conduct background checks. At the end of this three day period, the person wanting to buy the gun is able to come back to purchase it whether the background check is complete or not. As specified by Time, “Since 1998, the delayed denial provision has put a total of 58,779 guns in the wrong hands.”
In addition to background checks, Clinton has expressed her determination to revoke license from dealers who break the law, and, “keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill.”
Clinton has made speeches and appearances accompanied by “Mothers of the Movement“: women who have lost their children to gun violence. These women, among many, are now part of broken families pulled apart by gun related tragedies. They stand firmly with Clinton and praise her goal to achieve a safer place for all Americans to live.
According to the first president of our nation, “When the government takes away citizens’ right to bear arms, it becomes citizens’ duty to take away the government’s right to govern.” This is a belief upheld by many Americans. Yet, will being part of an ever-changing, and increasingly violent, society change this way of thinking?