Gun Possession Pros and Cons
The issue of gun control and weapon banning has always been a subject of discussion. The debate became even harsher after shootings in Newtown school on December 14, 2012, leading to the murder of twenty young children and six adults and the suicide of the shooter. Twenty seven people lost their lives that day and this horrible situation happened because there are no active gun control laws in the USA. Open access to weapon throughout the US has repeatedly led to both individual tragedies and mass killings in seemingly calm and peaceful places. In this paper, the issue of gun control will be addressed as well as both advantages and disadvantages of banning arms will be discussed and analyzed in details.
Gun possession is a continuous topic of heated discussion between the Democrats and the Republicans. Mostly it is connected to the fact that the 20th century has seen an unprecedented amount of firearms related violence. The most recent horrific incident that took lives of fourteen people happened in San Bernardino, California (Phillips, 2015). According to the data provided by the surveys, in the United States, one person is killed with a gun every 16 minutes (Kristof, 2015). If to take it further, overall there were more people killed with firearms in the USA than during war conflicts in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Korea and Iraq (Kristof, 2015). These and many other facts are strong arguments for implementation of stronger gun control laws all over the country.
Opponents of gun control have various arguments to counterweight imposition of stricter weapon control laws. One of their strongest claims is that harsh law connected to bearing arms contravenes the basic right of self-defense. However, it is presumed that armed civilians are unlikely to prevent or stop a crime. According to statistics, none of 62 mass murders that happened between 1982 and 2012 was stopped by a nonmilitant person (Davidson, 2015). Supporters of guns are also enraged because the right to have firearms is viewed as a basic right supported by the Second Amendment. In fact, this amendment was initially supposed to protect militia people but not civilians. There exists a wide skepticism towards gun control laws because its opponents consider these measures to be ineffective in prevention of criminals from buying firearms and committing crimes. It is believed that if weapon is taken away from civilian citizens they will be left vulnerable in the gun-ruled country. Law-abiding people may also be unable to protect themselves from potential foreign invaders. However, again, any statistics may serve as a proof that guns cause too many deaths even if owned by mentally sane, ordinary people, that ban of these weapons may save thousands of lives.
One of the options suggested by the supporters of the gun prohibition laws is to organize a buyback program among average citizens (Davidson, 2015). Opponents of such an idea state that this is an invasion of privacy. It cannot be stated that it is not, however invasion of privacy is everywhere, from CCTV cameras to government’s monitoring of citizens’ social media presence. Such process as identification of firearms owners can at least be justified as it may potentially save lives. Opponents of gun control laws also state that such legal changes will not decrease the quantity of suicides because there are far more possibilities of self-killing than weapon usage. However, attempted suicides using guns are mostly lethal, while the other ones give a possibility of survival. Opponents of gun control laws also argue that education on the topic of weaponry may serve as a helpful tool to decrease firearms violence but while learning something is always a good point, solely educating people about application of arms may not be effective because it is always a mystery what people really think.
There are innumerable reasons for establishing stricter gun control. Firstly, it must be admitted that the Second Amendment which often serves as a protection of gun owners’ rights does not presuppose an unlimited right to own firearms (Phillips, 2015). Secondly, although proponents of gun usage frequently state that this weapon is often used in self-defense, it is not entirely true. Moreover, presence of firearms makes conflict even more violent. Quarrels related to love triangles, money issues and alcohol intoxication may cause lethal consequences if one of people possesses weapon at that moment (Davidson, 2015). Women are frequent domestic abuse sufferers and this situation only gets worse if their partners have guns. According to statistical data, five women are shot by intimate partner every day in the USA (Kristof, 2015). This serves as another proof of danger the firearms pose to people.
It is a fact that guns bring death to Americans and this is the strongest argument for banning them. First of all, it is worth mentioning that, statistically speaking, this sort of weapon is the main cause of the majority of homicides and suicides (Phillips, 2015). Gun related death holds 12th position in the rating of the leading causes of death (Kristof, 2015). Accidental lethal cases are also most frequently connected to firearms. Legally owned guns stored in secure safe storage places may still be stolen and used by criminals. According to statistics, between 2005 and 2010, there were 1,4 million firearms stolen in the USA (Davidson, 2015). This fact results in a surge of crime rate and gun related deaths. Another aspect to consider is societal cost connected to firearms violence. It has been estimated that every person is to pay approximately 564 dollars per year to cover consequences of gun violence. According to statistics, 84 percent of people injured by firearms are not insured (Kristof, 2015). Because of this, the burden of covering the medical costs of people who were shot lies on the shoulders of taxpayers
To conclude, there are points both for and against gun control laws. Supporters of weapon ownership limitation laws and their opponents both have substantial arguments in support of their claims. Nevertheless, it is obvious that time has come to take the situation with firearms in America under control and apply some changes into obviously outdated law about freedom to bear arms. In order to solve the issue of gun violence, firstly, America has to recognize firearms violence as a life-threatening but preventable problem of the country. The USA needs to make urgent changes into gun regulations because weapon related violence is escalating every year.
Phillips, A. (2015, December 3). The gun control debate, explained in 5 questions. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/10/08/how-to-argue-about-gun-control/
Davidson, J. (2015). A criminologist’s case against gun control. Retrieved from http://time.com
Kristof, N. (2015, December 2). On guns, we’re not even trying. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/03/opinion/on-guns-were-not-even-trying.html?_r=0