GUN CONTROL 6
The topic or the debate on gun control is one of the mostcontroversial and heated debates today in the United Statesespecially considering the campaigns are ongoing. The issue ofwhether there should be strict rules on gun ownership attractsimmense arguments (Lott, 2013).Guns are given to the people for the sake of their own security andprotect themselves in case of an attack. On the contrary, criminalscan take advantage of the lose gun control rules to acquire guns andharm the people (Lott, 2013).
Whereas people may argue that they need guns for their ownprotection and that of their family, recent events of mass shootingsasserts that there are numerous guns in the hands of criminals or thementally ill and strict gun control rules are essential.
Arguments for gun control
Background check on people owning guns
There have been numerous mass shootings in the United States since2012 and this is an indication that the guns being used to killinnocent people are in the wrong hands. When there is littlesupervision or control in the issuing of guns, there is a highpossibility that guns will be acquired by criminals and mentally illpeople who end up committing crimes (Lott,2013). There is need to have strict gun buyinglaws and to have thorough background checks before selling a gun to acitizen. This would go a long way in preventing criminals, abusersand mentally ill from accessing deadly rifles (Lott,2013). An example of a gun in the hands of amentally ill is the case of the shooting at SandyHook Elementary School shooting by Lanza who was later known to bementally unstable and antisocial. It is evident that if the policehad undertaken a proper background check, the criminal would not havebeen allowed to access a gun.
Legally owned guns used for crime
In the last 30 years, there have been more than 70 mass shootings inthe United States. 75% of these shootings have been perpetrated bylegally owned guns. An example is the Sandy HookElementary School shooting where the 20 year old student used hismother’s legally obtained semi-automatic gun to kill over 20 people(Lott, 2013). Research has indicated that ifthere were strict gun laws, there would be reduced incidents of massshootings. Some of the proposals to the gun control laws include theban on the purchase and production of semi-automatic rifles (Lott,2013). Additionally, there should be no magazineswith more than 5 to 10 rounds of ammunition. Whereas some incidentsmight not be prevented, it is essential to have measures that wouldreduce the effects of the incidents.
Few deaths and few violent crimes
Research has indicated that there are extremely fewviolent incidents and deaths in countries where there are strict guncontrol laws. An example is the UK where there are only 6% deathscaused by guns compared to America’s 60% (Lott, 2013).This is an indication that an increase in the number of guns in thehands of the citizens increases the rate of violence and deaths in acountry. Although Americans may not be denied access to gunscompletely through gun control laws, it is essential to ensure thatthe people who own guns are responsible, rational and well-informedabout the use of the firearm.
Arguments against gun control
Self-defense as a human right
One key argument against gun control is thatcitizens need to protect themselves and their families. People whoare against gun control argue that the criminals are already armedand denying the citizens a right to own a gun is exposing them to thecriminals (Lott, 2013). Additionally, somepeople state that the ownership of a gun is a human right that thegovernment should not deny the people. The National RifleAssociation`s Institute for Legislative Action states that the issueof self-defense is a fundamental right that every citizen should beaccorded. The Supreme Court also added to this debate when itsupported gun ownership for self-defense.
More guns-less crimes
Secondly, when many citizens own guns, violent crimereduces significantly. According to the NRA, the rate of violentcrimes in the USA has reduced significantly from 1990 to 2010 where100 million more people have acquired privately owned guns. Murderrates have reduced by 52 percent while the violent crimes havereduced by 47 percent (Lott, 2013). Althoughthe NRA associates this reduction to the increased guns in the handsof the citizens, it is vital to note that there are other factorssuch as police patrols that have contributed to the reduction.
Numerous guns in the hands of the citizens
Lastly, there is an argument that there are alreadyso many guns in the hands of the citizens and embarking on guncontrol will have little or no effect. This implies that if therecriminals out there, they have already acquired the firearms andhaving gun control laws is an effort in futility (Lott, 2013).Over a 100 million citizens acquired guns between 1990 and 2010. Thisindicates that there are indeed numerous firearms in circulation.
Although the arguments against gun control touch ofhuman rights and the aspect self defense, it is clear from othercountries such as the UK with strict gun laws that gun control isindeed vital. The numerous mass shootings in schools in the last 30years are an indication that guns in the hands of the citizenswhether legally owned or illegal, pose a danger to other citizens.The law enforcement officers should be given the sole responsibilityto protect the citizens and to deal with the illegally armedcriminals (Lott, 2013). There should strictgun control laws in America to ensure that the people who own gunsare not only responsible and rational in the use of the firearm.
Lott, J. R. (2013). More guns, less crime: Understandingcrime and gun-control laws. Chicago: University of ChicagoPress.