From last class, I continued systems diagramming to understand the connections between certain aspects of guns, and how the problem breaks down. Those on my team with did research on different topics, from better detailing the relationships between the stakeholders and identifying where the problem lies. Some people on my team worked off of what we did last class and went into more specifics about the stakeholders, some went into other directions of trying to figure out the gun buying process.
Loopholes + Background Checks
I looked into the background check process -- more specifically into the loopholes that exist in the process. What shocked me the most is that there was no universal database or streamlined system for the federal level and state level to work together seamlessly. The wording also provided multiple pathways for licensed gun dealerships to sell guns to the wrong people.
The most important loopholes in all of this, was the Gun Show Loophole. This basically lists private sellers as different than licensed gun dealerships, therefore not subject to conduct background tests. Another is the Default Proceeds, where once a background investigation lasts more than 3 days, a dealer can automatically sell the gun to the customer, even though the background check is not complete.
I mainly focused on understanding the psychology behind the idea of "Gun Demand" and the loopholes behind the system, especially with background checks. I wanted to understand the motivations behind gun purchases, hopefully as a way to figure out why guns are prevalent in the society.
In the end, I mainly just had a better sense of the different emotions guns bring out, require in us, and spark in the public. Doing this mapping exercise didn't clarify a direction for me, as I'd hoped, but it did help me understand the emotional web behind gun purchases and ownership and what all the paths led back to. This prompted me to do more research on background checks.
I also did some basic research about deaths in the US, to find the context of our problem statement from last class. It seemed as though the numbers of gun deaths and deaths from non-gun violence weren't exceptionally different. However, when looking at the details, deaths from homicide and suicide were greater with guns than those without.
This then prompted me to think of how many crimes were committed by people who purchased guns illegally or obtained them through grey-er methods.
We then split up our work and decided what information we wanted to further research and then bring back to the table. From my work, I decided to look into the process of purchasing a gun to see if I can then define where my problem actually lies.