Gun Control in America
- What is gun control?
- Why should gun control be exercised?
- Gun control in America
- 10 Arguments in favor of gun control
- 5 Arguments against gun control
- Guns and damage in numbers
- Gun control policies both representatives and democrats agree
- Gun control policies on which democrats/representatives disagree
- Gun violence and mental illness
- Argumentative essay on gun control
Gun control and its various arguments essay
Power is one word, which fills the mind of a human with pride as well as responsibility. It totally depends on the individual, how he utilizes his resources, and the feeling of superiority. The world is full of examples where people have employed their capabilities in a positive manner and have proven to be an inspirational source for others. While on the other hand, there have been dictators who have wrongly used their power and victimized people with their evil acts. The modern history of the world has witnessed various civil wars and they are ongoing even in contemporary times. One development that can prove to be a blessing, as well as a threat, is the use of guns and ammunition. The mere control of a gun in one’s hand gives that person the power of absolute control and the authority to claim someone’s life. Again this control can be beneficial and damaging at the same time. This write-up provides in detail the perspective of gun control and various aspects related to it.
What is gun control?
Gun is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools that a person can have by his side. For ages, this weapon has been used as a means of self-defense. In fact, it has been a part of American culture for a very long time. However, the power of guns has not always been used for protection, which has led to an increase in the crime rates around the world. The First World War followed by World War II proved to the world how guns can become weapons of mass destruction. To bring this increase in control, there are gun control laws or firearms regulations imposed by the government of various countries. These laws are framed to control the bearing and use of firearms by the civilians of various countries. These laws vary as per the country and the history of the use of firearms in that particular region.
Why should gun control be exercised?
The increasing crime rate in the civilian population has pushed the governments of several countries to bring in laws for gun control. As discussed above, it is not easy for everyone to lead a balanced life, when they have power in their hands. They tend to misuse power to rule and boast their influence over others. This very act of bragging often turns into a violent act and the one who has a gun or similar firearms in hand, can use it in a detrimental way, It might just be a stunt for him, but it can cost the other person his or her life. Moreover, it has been seen that a minute or two of brawling between two groups of people have turned into a bloody event, just because of the possession of guns by these men. It not only harms human life but also gives a lifelong setback to the people who witness the same.
This even adds to the gap between the powerful and the weaker sections of society. In fact, the easy availability of such destructive and lethal weapons increases the governance of the respective people in the society. Further, with such an authoritative weapon in hand, a person tends to always bluster about his imaginary heroic image in society. He wishes to suppress the interests of others with his own selfish motives. Thus, due to the continuous and ever-lasting negative effects of gun usage, its practice should be controlled by the government. With limited power in hand, the people of the society shall shed the notion of belonging to a privileged class that can assert its authority on others as it likes.
Thus, due to the continuous and ever-lasting negative effects of gun usage, its practice should be controlled by the government. With limited power in hand, the people of the society shall shed the notion of belonging to an upper class or section of the society.
Gun control in America
Gun control in the US relates to the legal measures taken by the government of the USA to control the use of guns. It also aims to restrict the ownership of guns by the common public of the state. The implication of gun control as a law is highly strict in many countries. But, the US is one country where this law is highly controversial. The government is more inclined towards formulating stringent laws because of the increase in the number of criminal cases with the use of guns and other firearms. Moreover, the rise in the number of mass killings and incidents of murders is one crucial reason for the enactment of the gun control law in America.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) is the one that guides the control of guns in the USA. This law states that a person should be 18 years or above to legally buy shotguns or ammunition. It also states that handguns or firearms should only be given to citizens who are 21 or above that age. Further, the federal government and the state governments have the power to increase the mentioned threshold age. But, the minimum age has to remain the same as decided by the federal government.("Second Amendment", 2020)
Further, the federal law states that guns should not be sold to people who have records of unethical conduct or unlawful behavior. Few of the other sectors of people that are bound to not buy the guns or ammunitions, under the Federal law, are given below:
- Patients who are admitted to the hospitals for mental imbalance or undergoing treatment for depression or mental illness.
- Citizens who have been convicted due to any criminal records and have been imprisoned for a year or above.
- People who have been issued a restraining order from the court of law. This is to make sure that there are fewer cases of threatening, murder, or other dangerous acts.
- Officers who have been dismissed of their duties because of dishonesty.
- Temporary visitors, non-citizens, and unauthorized migrants are also not allowed to purchase guns.
Further, a second amendment was passed to "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." There has been much discussion about the exact implications of the statement. Some say that this law supports the use of arms and ammunition by the local people. Whereas some say it does not allow the state to make the purchase of guns legal. This confusion was taken to court, and the court supported the collective rights theory. This theory states that the citizens of the country do not have any right to own guns. Also, the state, local and federal bodies of legislation possess the right to administer firearms, with the execution of the right to the constitution.("Second Amendment", 2020)
10 Arguments in favor of gun control
Gun control is definitely a law that is meant to safeguard the life of the common man. The armed possession by any common individual of the society can be a factor of high risk for the other people of the country. It can not only put their safety in danger but it can also threaten the lives of other people. There are many other reasons that support the gun control law. Following is a mention of a few of them:
The second amendment does not give the unlimited power to possess guns
As mentioned above, the second amendment of gun control does not have unlimited rights. There is no doubt that the particular law restricts the use of guns by mentally imbalanced people or criminals. The federal government has made this in light of the increasing incidents due to the possession of guns by such people. When the law itself has found the use of guns to be a risk contributing factor for the common man, then the people should understand the apprehensions attached to it.
The number of deaths due to gun shootings can be reduced with gun control
The statistics for the number of deaths due to gun control is truly saddening. To elaborate there were a total of 572,537 deaths due to shootings by guns during the time 1999- 2016. This included 336,579 suicides, 213,175 homicides and 11,428 unintentional deaths. Further, it has been observed that 67.7% and 51.8% of homicides and suicides had guns as the leading cause.("Gun Control - Pros & Cons - ProCon.org", 2020)
Increased children deaths due to gunshots
In fact, as per a study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, gunshots were marked as the second highest cause for children’s deaths, after road accidents. This is highly concerning as the mere presence of a gun at home can prove deadly for the child as well as the family.
High capacity magazines is a big No
A gun with high loading capacity is undoubtedly dangerous for the people of society. It not only risks the life of one or two individuals but it has the potential to turn into mass killings. This is why there should be a ban on high-capacity magazines being provided to the common citizens of the country.
Gun control laws can prove to be a measure to control crime against women
It is an undeniable fact that crime against women has witnessed a sharp increase in recent times. Not only, the hike in cases of sexual assaults but rising incidents of domestic violence is also a concerning issue. The life of a woman seems so meager in front of the power withheld by the man with a gun in his hand. He does not even think twice before ranting his bullets on the woman. Further, many men feel that the use of guns can be a highly influential source to suppress the voice of developing women.
Not many common men have the ability to use guns for self-defense
There is very little possibility for a common citizen to use a gun for self-protection. In most cases of attack, the victim does not get the chance to think and act. This rules out the possibility of guns as a self-defensive measure. In fact, it has been noticed that there are very few incidents where the victims have actually employed the use of a gun to protect their lives.
The chances of gun stealing are high
Moving further, one crucial reason that underlines the need for gun control laws is the possibility of gun usage by the wrong hands. There are high chances of the gun being stolen by criminals. This puts the accountability of the gun holder in question as well poses a threat to the life of the people at the target of the criminal.
Usage of the gun as a tool to repress the people around
It has been witnessed that the person who possesses the gun, tries to rule over the people around them. He starts feeling a certain right to control the life of the people around him. This very control comes with the power, which the gun possession gives him. These people even tend to threaten others with the inappropriate use of their power. This wrong use of power actually leads to unacceptable fear and undue discrimination in society. Thus, with the emergence of strong gun control laws, the elimination of such illogical and unethical mindsets from society can be achieved.
Gun control laws save the additional societal costs related to gun shooting
Along with putting the life of one or many humans at stake, gun shooting also claims the additional costs that are associated with the medical and other losses. Around 100,000 cases of shooting get reported in the USA every year, which costs around $3 Billion for the hospital and the emergency room charges. Moreover, most of the people who are targeted by the gunshots do not have mediclaims. This results in adding more burden to the shoulders of the taxpayers, which is another reason that gun control should be implemented.
Gun control laws help in decreasing the number of suicide cases
By capping down the control of gun distribution and selling, the government can surely bring down the number of suicidal deaths in the USA. It is the unprecedented freedom of gun usage that unknowingly lands a person in a situation where suicide seems an easy option. In many cases, the unbalanced mindset of a person due to high emotional or mental pressure or stress pushes him to conduct such an immoral act.
Thus, the above-mentioned points strongly suggest that gun control laws should be implemented in the various states of the USA and the world around. These laws would intact the security and the right of life of every individual and help the people to live a better and more secure life.("Gun Control - Pros & Cons - ProCon.org", 2020)
5 Arguments against gun control
Gun control is definitely one of the most concerning issues of society. At one point, where most of the people and the law bodies agree that gun control law should be strictly executed, there are few on the other hand, who disagree with the very fact. Here are some arguments, that they use to express their stance
Gun control law is an infringement of the right to self-defense
Self-defense is the basic right of every human being. There are times when a person is unexpectedly attacked by a criminal or a stabber. In such situations, it is always good to keep a gun as a protective measure in hand. It is even more important for the high profile businessmen, who always have a potential danger surrounding their identity. Moreover, the presence of police everywhere is impossible, so in such cases, having a gun gives the person more chances to save himself and his family. According to research done by the Pew Research Center, 61% of men and 56% of women agreed to the fact that a gun at home makes their families feel more safe and secure. This becomes even more important with the increasing number of criminal cases in society.("Gun Control - Pros & Cons - ProCon.org", 2020)
Gun ownership averts crime
Another important reason cited by the people against the gun control laws is that if a person has a gun, then criminals would always think twice before attacking him or his family. They also emphasize the fact that murder rates decrease with the possession of more guns by the common man. By knowing the fact that the victim is also having a gun, the criminal generally takes the other softer routes for settlement. Further, a decrease in the count of multiple-victim shootings has also been recorded with the possession of guns by more common men.
Gun control laws cannot change the mindset of the criminals
People who have to act wrong will act accordingly in one way or another. They will anyhow manage to get the weapons and act upon their aims. However, with gun control laws, the common man will be denied his right to protect himself from unexpected assaults. With no guns in hand, he will have mere chances to safeguard his as well as his family’s life.
Gives more control to the government
The power of guns solely in the hand of the government might also result in landing ultimate decisive rights in the hands of the same. It can indirectly take away the democratic rights of the citizen and can make them handicapped. The ones who argue against the gun control laws, feel that the second amendment was made with the aim to give the common man the power to protect himself under certain defined situations.
Accidental gun deaths can be controlled by the right education, not by unnecessary control
These people believe that educating the right and absolute use of guns to society in common can serve the purpose of possessing a gun. They say that if the common man is aware of the right usage of the gun, then there would be very less chances of its misuse and the need to control gun usage. Further, by educating the children about the gun safety laws and enlightening people about mental illness and the ways to screen mental instability, many favorable gun control arguments can be nulled.("Gun Control - Pros & Cons - ProCon.org", 2020)
Guns and damage in numbers
In Spite of the various arguments made against the gun control laws, the fact that gun shootings have made an irreparable loss to society is undeniable. There have been innumerable cases, where people have lost their lives due to the misuse of guns. Moreover, the velocity of the problem in America is so high, that it is sometimes called the American problem. It is no doubt a societal illness linked with the developmental world, but of all countries and case histories, America tops the charts. Further, with the ease that Americans have to own firearms, the country has established a unique alliance with guns. Here is a glimpse of the statistical data to prove the same.
Mass shooting cases are involuntarily increasing
It was after the Sandy Hook incident in December 2012, when a man with a gun entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and shot 20 children, 6 adults, and himself, that the number of mass shooting cases has seen a surge. As per the numbers generated from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 2000 mass shootings since 2013.
Further, as per the data for the year 2015, there were around 355 mass shootings in 336 days. This accounts for one mass shooting each day, which is an absolute disgust for American society and the idea of the American Dream. Here the mass shooting refers to incidents where more than four victims were shot dead by the shooter in addition to his own death at the same place.("America’s unique gun violence problem, explained in 16 maps and charts", 2020)
America’s multiplicity stands at par in terms of firearms homicides
America’s firearm homicide cases are 6 and 16 times of the rates reported by Canada and Germany, respectively. As per the data collected by The Guardian team, America has the highest number of gun homicides as compared to the other countries of the world. On analyzing the reason behind such disturbing figures, Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Center, found out that it is much because of the presence of the highest number of firearms possessed by the people of America. One significant fact to showcase the abundance of firearms with Americans is that Americans contribute to only 5% of the world’s population, whereas the country approximately possesses 45% of the entire world’s private firearms. This clearly highlights the massive possession of guns withheld by the Americans. Further with such a high number of gun owners, the increase in the crime rate and mass shootings become more prominent. Also, gun ownership gives freedom to the holder, to use it in a way beneficial for their personal self.("America’s unique gun violence problem, explained in 16 maps and charts", 2020)
Guns’ easy access has resulted in more suicides
With easy access to resources such as guns and other ammunition, it gets fairly easier for people to succeed in their intentions of causing violence and disharmony. Many times due to an upset state of mind, a human tends to think negatively about himself and thinks of finishing himself. But it doesn't mean that he actually wishes to. However, with the easy availability of guns in America, people act sooner than they think. This is much evident with the highest number of suicidal attempts reported by America. The very reason for this is the easy availability of guns in America. It has been concluded as per studies that the number of guns with the common men is directly proportional to the number of suicidal cases in America.
Further, in countries, where access to guns has been limited by the government, a respective decrease has been seen in the number of suicides committed by people of the country.("America’s unique gun violence problem, explained in 16 maps and charts", 2020)
Gun control policies both representatives and democrats agree
Though most people disagree with the gun laws, there are certain gun policies that are considered quite effective. This is the reason they are advocated by both the representatives and democrats. Here is the mention of a few of them.
Stronger background checks
This is the first point, which most people agree upon. They feel with the help of stronger background checks, it would be easier to track the usage of the gun. Moreover, the government could be sure what the gun is being actually bought for and that its usage will not be detrimental to the growth of the country.
Recording and tracking of the gun sales
By keeping a track record of the number of guns sold, it gets quite easier for the government to trace the person in case of a problem. In many criminal situations, the missing gun number and the non-availability of the buyer details create a lot of trouble. Therefore, to mend the gap in such cases, it is important to keep an intact record of the buyers and the sellers.
Ban of assault-style guns
Further, the government should make sure that there is no sale of assault-type weapon guns. These guns can be highly dangerous for peace and harmony in society. Therefore, no person should be allowed to purchase and keep such harmful weapons at home.
Gun control policies on which democrats/representatives disagree
In addition, to the points on which both representatives and democrats agree, here are a few which they jointly disagree on.
Allowing concealed carry with a permit
This can at every stage result in the multiplicity of more crimes. So this particular practice should not be allowed, not only in America but in other parts of the world as well. To bring this practice into action, the government has to make sure that strict steps are brought into action. Further, the execution of the same should also be carefully watched by the responsible departments of the government.
Reducing the waiting period for the legal purchase of guns
This is another important point on which most of the democrats and the representatives disagree on. They believe that the legal processes should take the respective time and there should be no pressure on the government to produce things on a faster note.
Gun violence and mental illness
Gun control and mental illness are two highly relative subjects. The imbalance between the trow can cause highly destructive results to the people of a country. The same has been with the cases reported in America. It has been witnessed that 54% of gun shooters have a history of mental illness. This has been more prominent with the cases of mass shootings. In fact, people with weak mental stability are more likely to be targeted by terrorist groups, to expand their impact. It is because of the negative stature of their mind, that they get diverted towards such harmful acts and agree to get involved in acts like suicide bombings or mass shootings.
Further, with an unstable condition of mind, the actions of a person also become unpredictable. Therefore handing over a powerful weapon like a gun, to such people, can always prove disadvantageous for society. In addition to his, the very cause of suicide these days is depression. Therefore, with the help of a proper background check and mental healthiness of a person, the government can be assured of not handing over the gun in the wrong hands.
Also, proper checks and detailed background inspection should be made before the gun is issued for any personal use to the citizens of a country. Though the gun control laws are not very strict in the USA, with the increasing cases of depression and mental instability, there is a need to do so. No country’s government should forget, a weapon like a gun in the wrong hands of a person with depression or mental instability can take away the most precious gems of society, in a matter of seconds.
Essay on Gun Control
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Gun control- an instrumental law justified or is it against citizen's rights.
Protecting the life of its citizens is the utmost duty of a country’s government. More than the other developments, if the government fails to safeguard the life of its people, then it is definitely marked as the most unsuccessful government of all time. Therefore, it is necessary for every government to act to introduce laws and duties, which are structured for the benefit of society. One such law, which is always doubted upon and not very much accepted by the people, is gun control law. In spite of the many voices against the gun control law, this particular action in control has in many ways outdone its disadvantages. Thus, proving time and time again the need and the importance of bringing gun control laws into implementation in countries of the world.
The first and the most important reason that these laws should be enacted upon is the safety it brings along. These laws control the sale and supply of guns to people with questionable identities. These include the people with unrealistic backgrounds, the ones who have a criminal history, or the people who suffer from stress or mental illness. It is very important for the government to keep a check on the supply of handguns because one wrong use of a gun can take the lives of a number of citizens. This can further impact the lives of the families and take away peace from them. Moreover, such instances of wrong use of guns can even create more havoc in society. The people can even feel dreadful to move out of their houses and feel insecure to be a part of the societal functions and seminars. Not to forget, the shift from a healthy lifestyle to a rather irrational approach has given more health problems to the people. The number of patients with depression is increasing with each passing day. In such a scenario, if the availability of the is very easy, then the chances of mishappening increases even more. (Gun Safety Fact Sheet: Gun Control Legislation and Popular Measures, 2020)
Secondly, if there is free usage of guns and ammunition in society and homes, then it can have a very negative effect on the growth of the children’s minds. The young growing minds of the society are very important for the future of the respective country as well as the world economy. If they get to see the usage of guns in a very easy and lenient way, then it can shape their mind in a similar manner. They would start feeling that the usage of guns or shooting someone with the same, is not wrong. It can directly hamper the moral values of the child. Further, if the same is not stopped or is not directed against, then he can at times enjoy the act of shooting and starts embracing it as a routine practice. Moving on, the countries with more open use of guns and ammunition have seen the growth of children into many negative professions. In fact, the youth of the respective countries grow to become a threat to the peace of the other worlds.("The Science of Guns Proves Arming Untrained Citizens Is a Bad Idea", 2020)
The third and the most important reason to bring in gun control laws is the possibility of the wrong use of guns. In most homes, if the father has a gun, all the family members are much aware of the fact. This can result in any child misusing the gun for the sake of fun. Also, as discussed above, the possibility of mental depression is also increasing these days because of increased stress environments. Many times, the person himself does not know the course of his actions and he unknowingly puts himself as well as the other people in trouble. Furthermore, the misuse of guns by adolescents is even higher as they many times tend to boast the presence of guns at their home among their friends. This mere act of boasting can result in a deadly accident, just if any of them accidentally press the trigger while showing off. Thus, with children at home, it becomes really difficult to bring in control the use of deadly arms like guns. In such situations, the entire responsibility lands on the shoulders of the gun owner to make sure that the gun is kept at the right place and beyond the reach of any such dubious personality. (Jenco, 2020)
Moving further, the fourth reason for bringing gun control laws into action is the chances of the gun getting stolen and falling into the wrong hands. There are many chances that the people outside the home of the owner get to know about the presence of the gun. Further, in many countries, people with criminal backgrounds are banned from buying guns. So, these people rely on stolen guns for committing crimes. This possibility increases the responsibility of the gun holder to protect and keep it safe.
On the other hand, there are people who feel that gun control laws should not be enforced upon the people of any country. They feel that these laws take the freedom of the citizens and land immense power in the hands of the government. These people feel that with no guns in hand, the people of the nation remain handicapped and powerless. Further, with more power, the government tends to put pressure on the citizens for many other things. This even breeds the ground for dictatorship and the citizens slowly start losing their democratic rights.
To conclude, it can be said that gun control laws are undoubtedly important for the right and safe growth of a country. However, there should be certain limits on the strictness of the laws. The countries of the world should bring into action laws like the second amendment of gun control in America. With such a balanced law structure, the citizens do not feel shackled and at the same time, the government also performs its duties well to protect the safety of its citizens. Further, the right implication of the gun control laws can assuredly bring more disciplinary growth in the society of the respective country. Moreover, when the government gives an ear to the citizens' demands, then it gives more opportunities to the people to put in their trust in their working structure and style. The people of the country start to respect and value the efforts made by the various departments of the government. Also, it helps the legislation when citizens stand by it and perform their duties with diligence and honesty
In totality, the second amendment of the gun control laws in America withstood the rights of the citizens. The balance that it brought along is important to be achieved in every part of the world. Thus, with more appropriate laws in hand, the government can exercise better control over the criminal acts around.
LWV of the St. Petersburg Area. 2020. Gun Safety Fact Sheet: Gun Control Legislation And Popular Measures. [online] Available at: https: gun-legislation gun-safety lwvspa.org [Accessed 7 November 2020].
The Science of Guns Proves Arming Untrained Citizens Is a Bad Idea. scientificamerican.com. (2020). Retrieved 7 November 2020, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gun-science-proves-arming-untrained-citizens-bad-idea/.
Jenco, M. (2020). Study: 39% of parents wrongly believe children don’t know where gun is stored. American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 7 November 2020, from https://www.aappublications.org/news/2017/05/23/Firearms052317.
America’s unique gun violence problem, explained in 16 maps and charts. Vox. (2020). Retrieved 7 November 2020, from https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts.
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(www.dw.com), D. (2020). 8 facts about gun control in the US | DW | 20.01.2020. DW.COM. Retrieved 7 November 2020, from https://www.dw.com/en/8-facts-about-gun-control-in-the-us/a-40816418#:~:text=The%20Gun%20Control%20Act%20of,to%20people%2021%20and%20older.