Posted: September 23rd, 2020
Gun control in America has been a divisive issue of debate over the years. The second amendment is the root of the debate as it gave citizens the right to gun ownership. However, gun control legislation and restrictions are different across the various states in America. The topic has been a controversial political issue as some people view guns as a public safety necessity. In contrast, others think of it as a weapon for infringing on personal liberty (Yousaf, 2018). Unfortunately, America reports the highest homicide cases as compared to other developed countries because it allows gun ownership. Moreover, proponents of gun control argue that restricting access to firearms will reduce crime and save lives. At the same time, the opponents insist that the regulations will increase crime by denying citizens the right to self-defence (Müller, 2015). Understanding more about the gun topic America is essential as it helps us in understanding the reasons why the use of firearms should be restricted.
Opponents of gun control have continuously been against government efforts to reduce gun ownership. The opponents argue that the control measures cannot prevent crime in any way as it reduces the citizen’s capacity to self-defence. Nevertheless, the government’s gun control regulations make it difficult for citizens to acquire guns while criminals can easily purchase or acquire guns unlawfully (Siegel and Rothman, 2016). Innocent and law-abiding citizens, especially the ones who live in crime stricken neighbourhoods suffer most as they become victims of crime when they are unable to defend themselves. Gun ownership safeguards citizens effectively as the police take time before arriving at the crime scenes. Ultimately, if citizens own guns, the criminals will be afraid of committing crimes as the victims can easily shoot and kill them. When guns are in the hands of citizens, it allows them to defend themselves while criminals use it to cause insecurity and trouble. If strict gun control measures are put into place, they may play a role in disarming law-abiding citizens while criminals may never lack their ways of acquiring guns.
Furthermore, gun control opponents argue that the control measures put in place can quickly increase the crime rate. States with a history of enacting gun control measures have never recorded a decrease in crime. The rise in crime rate has been persistent over the years, and blaming gun ownership may be unfair. Putting up gun control measures may not reduce crime, as people are the ones who kill and not guns. Ultimately, training people on the dangers of crime and murder may be more effective than restricting gun ownership. Instead of putting up gun control measures, the government should do more to identify the reasons behind the rise in crime (Yousaf, 2018). Nevertheless, the states with fewer restrictions on gun ownership and the ones where most people own guns happen to have fewer cases of crime. Putting up gun control measures to reduce crime is counterproductive as it leaves the citizens vulnerable and susceptible to crime.
On the other hand, the rise in mass shootings in the recent past has stirred the debate over gun control measures. World’s worst civilian mass shooting has been on the rise, and it has led to the loss of several innocent lives. In my opinion, the gun control act is essential as it can prevent the loss of civilian lives. If civilians are armed, simple arguments can result in the loss of lives, as they may be tempted to harm each other. If gun ownership has no restrictions, it can easily fall in the hands of irresponsible citizens who can misuse them. Gun violence is a serious issue that can only end if restrictions are put into place. Ultimately, if the government provides workable mechanisms for limiting gun ownership, the loss of innocent lives through gun violence may end (Siegel and Rothman, 2016). It is high time that the government should come up with strict measures to end the misuse of guns. Even though people feel that guns can help them in times of criminal attack, few people have used guns to protect themselves in crime scenes. In most cases, firearms are used when disputes arise among people making gun ownership a considerable risk.
Elsewhere, gun control measures can effectively reduce the high suicide and homicide cases in America. In 2012, 20 school-going children, six teachers, and a mother lost their lives after a student shot them and then killed himself (Newman and Head, 2017). The attack was deadly, and it was among the worst mass shootings in America. In 2017, 58 people lost their lives at a music festival in Las Vegas, while in 2018, 17 people died at a school shooting in Las Vegas (Spitzer, 2020). Additionally, 22 people died at a shooting in El Paso shopping centre, and the event rekindled the debate over gun control. If gun control measures were effected in the United States, such unfortunate events could have never happened. America is among the leading countries in homicide cases as it allows gun ownership. America’s population is less than 5% of the total world population, while it has 46% of the world’s total civilian-owned firearms (Miller, Warren, Hemenway, and Azrael, 2015). The statistics are a clear indication of the reason why suicide and homicide cases are high in America.
Subsequently, gun control measures can effectively reduce unnecessary deaths as armed people can quickly become violent during an argument. Irresponsible use of guns is common when people are allowed to own guns freely. Selecting the people fit to own guns may not be an easy task for the government as the chosen people may easily turn on innocent people and harm them (Newman and Head, 2017). A good example is in the Las Vegas shooting, as the shooter had no criminal record. Knowing what people are capable of doing is not easy, and that is why gun control can help in saving lives. In most cases, people who own guns end up killing their relatives or friends as opposed to intruders or criminals. Professionals should be the ones to own guns as they have gone through various training and background check on if they can use them responsibly. Most of the professionals use guns responsibly as they know when to use their guns and when not to use them. Moreover, suicide levels have been on the rise as people can easily acquire guns and kill themselves. Therefore, the government should consider embracing gun control measures as it may result in the reduction of homicide and suicide cases in America.
In conclusion, gun control measures may not successfully end crime but may decrease homicide and suicide cases in America. The only way to reduce the rising numbers of mass killings is by coming up with gun control measures and implementing them strictly. Moreover, the argument that guns are essential for self-defence may not be accurate as most people use them to kill people close to them as opposed to strangers and criminals. On the other hand, some citizens indeed own guns responsibly; however, many unfortunate tragedies have happened because of unrestricted gun ownership. Professionals are the most suitable people to handle guns as they have undergone the right training. Therefore, the government should consider implementing effective gun control measures for America to be a better place.
Miller, M., Warren, M., Hemenway, D., & Azrael, D. (2015). Firearms and suicide in US cities. Injury prevention, 21(e1), e116-e119.
Müller, V. C. (2015). Gun control: A European perspective. Essays in philosophy, 16(2), 247-261.
Newman, J., & Head, B. (2017). The national context of wicked problems: Comparing policies on gun violence in the US, Canada, and Australia. Journal of comparative policy analysis: research and practice, 19(1), 40-53.
Siegel, M., & Rothman, E. F. (2016). Firearm ownership and suicide rates among US men and women, 1981–2013. American journal of public health, 106(7), 1316-1322.
Spitzer, R. J. (2020). The politics of gun control. Routledge.
Yousaf, H. (2018). Sticking to One’s Guns: Mass Shootings and the Political Economy of Gun Control in the US. Available at SSRN 3360831.
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