- May 24, 2020
Guncontrol has been a controversial issue in the U.S. sinceindependence. The debate has attracted two major groups where one ofthem opposes the development of laws while the other one supports theidea of formulating legislations that will enable the government toconduct background checks before people can be allowed to ownfirearms. Data shows that there are about 270 million guns owned bycivilians in the U.S., where at least 11,842 of them are used tofacilitate homicide each year (Philips 2). In this paper, the ideathat effective gun controls can enhance security in the society willbe discussed.
GunControl Will Reduce Homicide
Gunsare the most common types of weapon used to facilitate violentcrimes, especially homicide. Many politicians shy away fromdiscussing the issue of gun control, in spite of being aware of thefact that the firearms are used carelessly to kill innocent people(Moore 1). Studies have established a positive correlation betweenthe existence of tough gun control laws and a decline in theincidents of homicide. For example, one study showed that ten statesthat had the least homicide incidents in 2015 had the toughest guncontrol laws (Robertson 1). These laws minimize homicide by reducingthe number of guns that are in the hands of individuals with mentalchallenges that limit their ability to make rational decisions whenusing their firearms.
GunControl Minimizes the Incidents of Suicide
Apartfrom killing other people, a large number of gun owners considerfirearms as the most accessible and effective tools that they can useto take their lives when they are distressed. An empirical studyindicated that about 19,392 cases of suicide that are reportedannually are accomplished using handguns while only 11,078 of similarincidents are attributed to alternative methods (Jay 1). This datashow that an easy access to guns increases the vulnerability of thedistressed people, who end up committing suicide. However, thedevelopment of laws that will reduce the number of guns in the handsof the most vulnerable citizens can minimize cases of suicide. Thisis because alternative methods (such as hanging) take a lot of time,which gives people time to rethink their decisions.
EffectiveLaws Reduce the Number of Firearms in the Hands of Criminals
Anenvironment in which it is easier to access guns benefits civiliansand criminals, who intend to use their weapons for different reasons.For example, allowing people to buy guns over the counter withoutgoing through the background check creates a scenario in whichindividuals who intend to engage in violent crimes can access thefirearms without being noticed by the law enforcers. On the contrary,effective laws that give the government the powers to conduct thebackground checks before one can own or possess a gun ensure thatonly citizens with the right motives are able to access the firearms(Philips 3). In other words, the gun laws do not prohibit people fromaccessing these weapons. However, the role of these laws is tofacilitate the background check that will ensure that guns are ownedby people with the right behavior, temperament, and overall mentalstability. These laws ensure that the guns held by civilians are notused to increase insecurity in the society.
Inaddition, effective laws reduce the chances of the guns owned bycivilians from landing in the hands of criminals. There is a highprobability that the guns possessed by civilians will be snatched byviolent criminals than being used to attack the offenders when anincident occurs. A study indicated that about 99.2 % of the civilianswho are attacked by violent criminals have their guns taken away(Donohue 1). The guns taken from civilians who are caught unawares oroverpowered by criminals are then used to conduct other violentoffenses. The data justifies the need for effective laws that willlimit the prevalence of guns in the community, with the objective ofdenying criminal an easy access to weapons.
Self-defenseis one of the key issues raised by people who oppose the developmentof the laws to control the ownership of guns. These opponents arguethat the idea of self-defense is guaranteed by the constitution. Thisis a genuine argument since individual citizens have the right toprotect themselves from criminal. However, empirical studies showingthat more than 99.1 % of civilians who are attacked lose their gunsto criminals indicate the notion of self-defense does not work(Donohue 1). This implies that there is no need to allow civilians toown guns that cannot help them protect their property and lives.
Theidea of gun ownership in the U.S. has been debated for many years,but there is no agreement that has been reached. Many people whosupport the notion of unrestricted gun ownership use the concept ofself-defense to support their argument. However, the empiricalstudies reviewed in this paper indicate that unrestricted access toguns benefits both the civilians and criminals. In addition, the freeaccess to firearms has been shown to increase the incidents ofsuicide and homicide. To this end, effective laws that will ensurethat guns are held by citizens, who are mentally stable, will go along way in enhancing security in the society.
Donohue,J. How U.S. control compares to the rest of the world. TheConversation Africa, Inc.June 24. 2015. Web. 24 October 2016.
Jay,R. Gun control advantages and disadvantages. HubPages, Inc.16 December. 2015. Web. 24 October 2016.
Moore,M. Bowling for Columbine. YouTube.15 November. 2015. Web. 22 November 2016.
Philips,D., Nwaiwu, O. Lin, S., Edwards, R., Imanpour, S. and Ohsfeldt, R.“Concealed handgun licensing and crime in four states”. Journalof Criminology1 (2015): 1-9. Print.
Robertson,L. Gun laws, deaths and crimes. FactCheck Organization.4 October. 2014. Web. 22 November 2016.