Gun violence has affected many countries because everybody wants a gun and smart gun technology may mitigate the raising fast issue. In Kenya, the government is always left defenseless each time al Shabab takes control of a place. The Somalia’s Islamic extremist group recently killed 148 college students leaving the nation traumatized. Besides terrorism, the police face a challenge when guns fall in the wrong hands since civilians own private guns.
The estimated number of privately owned guns in Kenya is 530,000 to 680,000. The number covers both licit and illicit guns in the country. Leaders across the country usually carryout disarmament initiatives but the challenges are many. For example, Mt Elgon and Rift Valley has the highest number of guns and the number increases every year because of the huge gap in security agencies. The 2007 election violence victimized many households hence increased insecurity in communities.
Other countries are trying to mitigate gun violence through technology and other means. In America, Obama told the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security to look into smart gun technology, such as fingerprint and radio-frequency identification. The goals are to track lost or stolen guns and to prevent accidental gunfire. The move will tentatively reduce violence in America and the security agencies have been given 90 days to come up with recommendations.
America faced a number gun related fatalities in different states which led to increased gun sales amid fear of extremists after the December 2 shooting that affected many families in the continent.
“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Obama said, wiping away tears. “And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.” Besides encouraging gun safety technology, Obama’s initiatives also include expanding background checks during gun sales to beefing up enforcement of existing gun laws. This is part of an effort to close the so-called “gun show loophole” that allows gun dealers conducting business at gun shows or online without conducting background checks. Current laws exempts gun collectors and hobbyists from conducting background checks before selling a firearm.
In addition, Obama plans to address gun violence during a nationally televised town hall meeting at George Mason University in Virginia on Thursday night.
“Developing and promoting technology that would help prevent these tragedies is an urgent priority,” Obama said in his memo.
However, not everybody will support smart gun technology. Some gun rights groups will pin the move down because the tech will track firearms. Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement Tuesday that Obama has chosen once again to engage in political rhetoric instead of offering meaningful solutions. He criticized Obama’s action and insisted that the NRA will not abide “law-abiding gun owners to become scapegoats for President Obama’s failed policies.”
“The American people do not need more emotional, condescending lectures that are completely devoid of facts,” Cox said. “The NRA will continue to fight to protect the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed under our Constitution.”
President Obama cited a 2013 Department of Justice report on gun safety technologies, “in its report, the (DOJ) made clear that technological advancement in this area could help reduce accidental deaths and the use of stolen guns in criminal activities. The recommendations are within his legal authority, consistent with the Second Amendment and supported by the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners.”