War on Guns, War on Drugs. What’s the Difference?

How the war on drugs was handled in the U.S. gives the impression that the war on guns may follow the same failed footsteps in decreasing gun violence in this country. President Obama’s initiative announced in January 2013 on stricter gun laws gives hope that Congress and the White House can both get a jumpstart on how to make this country a safer place to call home.

Since the 1970s the fight against the war on drugs has been ongoing with heavier criminal laws having unexpected outcomes, an increase in prison capacity of African-American males, and drug control spending has gone over $1 trillion dollars in. By the federal government’s attempts to crack down on illegal drug use, a black market was formed making illicit drugs very profitable. What policy makers may have failed to recognize was to see that illicit drugs becomes a catalyst for violence, because to the criminals—there is no justice like street justice.  As legal bans continually increases the value of what the black market is selling, in the drug war when there is a problem: it is no court system; drug suppliers handle their disputes with firearms. When a drug deal has gone bad, suppliers shoot the problem and that in return adds a name to the list of homicides.

The federal government is getting ahead of themselves by trying to solve an issue that stems from an already out of control issue. When drugs (a) and guns (b) relate to each other, you just cannot try to solve problem “b” without already have solved problem “a”. The drug issue needs to be looked at as a public health issue first and social issue second. Placing drug users in rehabilitation centers instead of throwing them in prison would help the U.S. criminal justice system learn that incarceration does nothing but put more money into building more prisons.

As a country, we need to seek long-term effective solutions to gun control versus what will end it instantly. This country is home to 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prisoned, issues such as drugs and guns need to be lessons learned from the past and not haunt us in the future.

Is the answer to an anti-gun policy the ending of drug war? How would you implement stricter gun laws in this country to reduce violent crimes but still uphold to this nation’s second amendment?

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