American sociologists and criminologists have found out how the street arms trade is organized in Chicago, and have concluded that laws restricting the circulation of weapons are completely useless in the city.
In Chicago, a city that is considered the criminal capital of the United States — a pistol or any other illegal weapon can be bought without much difficulty. This makes local strict laws restricting the circulation of weapons useless, experts say.
Easy purchase of weapons – a shootout between gangs
According to the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, any American citizen has the right to buy, store and carry firearms. Over the past ten years, Democrats and progressive forces sympathetic to them have repeatedly tried to challenge this right and repeal the amendment, citing an increase in the number of deaths due to gunshot wounds.
Chicago, which leads the United States in the number of deaths as a result of shootings by local gangs, today serves as the main argument for both supporters of the ban on weapons and for “defenders of the Constitution”.
The city has strict gun laws that prohibit the possession of automatic weapons and severely restrict the sale of pistols and hunting rifles to all residents of the city.
These bans do not prevent local criminal groups from selling weapons. As a result, dozens of people with gunshot wounds are admitted to hospitals and morgues in Chicago every day.
Their number steadily grew until the beginning of last year, when Donald Trump threatened to bring federal troops into the city “to restore order.”
Why is a certificate from a psychiatrist important when getting a weapon
If the use of alcohol and drugs can be detected in a simple way – it is enough for the candidate to pass a urine test – then it is possible to identify a mental deviation only by having experience, owning special techniques, or by observing a specific patient for a long time.
Given that most diseases and clinical cases in psychiatry imply latent periods and seasonality, it will be objectively difficult to cope without a specialist.
Practice in the United States does not require such an examination, but American culture promotes the idea of personal psychotherapy.
In this case, the psychotherapist can prescribe antidepressants and tranquilizers to patients, other medications that can directly or indirectly affect the emotional background and mental state.
Taking medications can exacerbate, for example, the desire for suicide. This is a side effect that can work as a “time bomb” for a person who has received the right to carry a weapon. Therefore, it may be necessary to tighten the licensing system for the right to carry weapons.
Many researchers have become interested in where this illegal weapon comes from and how it gets into the hands of potential buyers, many of whom are ordinary people without connections in the criminal world. Scientists have tried on a similar role to study the structure and nature of the relations of arms dealers.
To do this, they analyzed the cases of all criminals arrested in 2006-2014 together with clients during the sale of weapons and restored a network of social ties between them.
In total, this” criminal Internet ” included about 188 thousand people who participated in the sale or purchase of weapons, as well as all their friends, other gang members, and friends of friends.
The analysis showed that a pistol and other types of illegal weapons can be easily purchased in any area of Chicago by contacting one or more random passers-by on the streets of the city.
Some of them will be directly familiar with the dealers of weapons or a gang member who will help find the dealer. Similarly, with cartridges. Anyone can go to a store or an online store, for example, like this BulkMunitions and buy the number of cartridges he needs.
The main role in the proliferation of weapons
Gangsters, as scientists note, played a key role in the proliferation of weapons. Despite their relatively small number — they accounted for only a fifth of the detainees — they accounted for the lion’s share of all weapons sold and purchased.
In addition, they were three times more likely to become victims of shootings, and more often helped ordinary people to buy weapons, significantly reducing the time of their searches.
All this suggests that politicians and law enforcement agencies in Chicago should focus their efforts not on the fight against legal weapons and further tightening of laws, but on illegal pistols and the gangs that sell them. For example, the police can use data about the device of a criminal “social network” to eliminate its key nodes.
Safe handling of weapons as a skill
In addition to the medical examination, it makes sense to add the obligation to take special courses on safe handling and gun legislation. So that at the end people will pass a theoretical and practical exam in a shooting gallery.
Practicing practical possession reduces the risk of injury on the part of the owner of the weapon and his environment due to inept handling when the rules are violated during use or care.
At the moment, only 21 American states require such courses, 29 do not require any training at all. Most of the courses are reduced to the theoretical part, which can even be completed online. It is natural that an unprepared person in a stressful situation will be dangerous primarily for himself, and not for the attacker.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the purchase of weapons should be intended only for self-defense. Therefore, it is worth remembering these basic 3 things:
- If you have the opportunity not to kill or maim anyone, it is better to use it.
- If you can stop the attacker’s aggression in ways that are more sparing than murder, choose this option.
- If there is a real threat that you will be killed, defend yourself by all available means — staying alive is more important here.