March 21, 2023


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Why do Americans have such easy access to firearms? – NRK Urix – Foreign Documentary News

Are you wondering about the use of American weapons? Our experts answered a number of questions.

Among others:

Why are there so many shootings in the US?

Eric Locke, Consultant at Civita:

This is a good question. Many are wondering. There may be several reasons. Let me point out some reasons.

  1. Availability of weapons. Small arms and automatic weapons are available to many to purchase legally.
  2. Psychological health. We don’t know the killer’s background in Texas, but it seems clear that in many cases, these incidents were triggered by people with mental health issues. You could say that’s the case – because “normal” people don’t do such things. But the United States and many states in the United States face challenges in accessing help with mental challenges. And that plus access to weapons is not a good combination.
  3. The third cause is the “mimetic killer” syndrome. The fact that shootings happen so often can help “normalize” (for lack of better words) these incidents. Troubled people can notice the attention being paid to school killings in the United States and lowering the threshold for doing the same.

Why can Americans have weapons?

Eric Locke, Consultant at Civita:

It is a constitutional right in the United States. From the Second Constitutional Annex: “A well-organised militia, being essential to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Of course this does not mean that there are no restrictions. It exists – and is practiced differently in different states. The Supreme Court also ruled in its ruling that this constitutional amendment implies an individual right to bear arms.

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What does it take to change the gun rules in the constitution?

Halvard Nottaker, senior researcher in the Department of Defense Studies:

It is easy to answer formally: the constitutional annexes are changed in the same way as the constitution – through a new annex. Then the first 2/3 of both the House and Senate must vote in favour, and then 3/4 of the states must vote in favor (voting thereafter in the states elected assemblies).

In practice, this means that it is only possible to adopt changes that have support in some very different parts of the country and population groups. To put it mildly, it seems unlikely in the matter of weapons. In this case, there was not only a change in mood, for example in the face of horrific news as today, but a profound cultural change that changed the symbolic role of weapons and private property of such players in large parts of the United States.

The most likely way to change the meaning of the constitutional amendment is for the Supreme Court to change its interpretation of what is written there. With the current composition of the Supreme Court, it is unlikely that there will be a tightening of the interpretation of the right to bear arms.

Read all the questions and answers below.