The gun control debate has been a contentious one in recent years, marred by mass shootings, and it has sparked heated debate among various experts over the years. Despite the spatial harm caused by criminals who would shoot and kill innocent people at will, it turns out that there are still those who support the right for individuals to own a gun and those who oppose it. On the one hand, there are those who believe that gun control should be limited, and on the other, there are those who oppose the fight against gun control. These divergent arguments are anchored in various theoretical applications and empirical facts concerning how firearms can affect society (Cook & Kristin 51). It is imperative to consider that despite the existence of strong and legitimate arguments to be deliberated on the two extremes of gun control, this has confirmed to be the most debated subject in the political arena and every forum. While negligible progress and drawbacks have been realized by both factions, the argument of gun control remains gridlocked for some time. At the bottom of the two sides are underlying questions that either side of the divide intends to accomplish. The question of implementing gun control without undermining the Second Amendment of the Constitution remains a central theme legally and politically. Subsequently, the aspect of how gun control restricts crime should be addressed substantively. Statistical evidence and numerical data depict valid arguments for the two sides of the gun debate, which makes it hard to establish an obvious impact. The other question is how gun control impedes the people’s capacity for self-defense, and how this viewpoint is viable without encroach on the second Amendment Rights. The paper argues that gun restriction laws will not help to solve crime issues, but instead trump the rights and security of law-abiding citizens.
Arguments For and Against Gun Control
Those that support gun control are resolute of their position in the Second Amendment, which they claim does not augur well with the Bill of Rights. They assert that the provisions of the Second Amendment are obsolete and do not represent the interests of the modern era. As such, the amendment is subject to review to accommodate more issues. The right to own a gun is not outright; it ought to be subject to control. This clause does not underpin the use of militia weapons and automatic weapons by ordinary people because they are not required in the realm of self-defense and protection or for recreational purposes. While this interpretation embraces the functional logic in a structured and well-thought out method, the faction opposed to gun control may assert that the contravention of the Second Amendment is the reason the clause was introduced in the constitution; for people to safeguard themselves from all manner of violation of civil liberties and freedoms. Proponents of gun control hold the view that tough laws may curtail the availability of guns. On the other hand, factions opposed to gun control respond with the assertion that it is the parent’s obligation to educate minors of the dangers that come with owning firearms. This is based on the fact that laws and regulations may not necessarily prevent children from procuring guns if sensitization was non-existent in the first place. Although certain provisions may be taken away, such as keeping guns in safes, or the use of trigger keys to the firearms, educating children how to handle guns in a move to develop an individual sense of fear and respect for them. Moreover, proponents of gun control suggest that the government owes a duty to society and civilians by ensuring that guns are kept away from reach. Laws exist that limit ex-convicts from possessing, procuring or carrying guns, these limitations may undermine individual freedoms; however, the cost may prove worthwhile if criminals are disallowed to own guns. Based on the Second Amendment, American citizens have the constitution right to procure and own guns (Moeller 1401). As such, people have the legitimacy to own guns with good intentions such as safeguarding homes and self-defense. Gunmen that shoot and kill students in schools and campuses can be repulsed if guns were allowed in these places. Ultimately, a lot of lives would not have been lost. Empirical data demonstrates that gun ownership in certain areas does not translate to high rates of homicide. Proponents of gun control reiterate the fact that outlawing firms is the best way to safeguard citizens. Nonetheless, prohibiting guns fails to safeguard individuals because of less-effective laws, in fact disallowing guns leaves people vulnerable to gun attacks, an issue that makes the law handicapped.Proponents of gun control may rubbish off this argument by asserting that empirical data is not only misleading but it also calls for the consideration of other variables like changing times where drug syndicates, terrorism, and gang violence are on the rise is critical. Much as gun control can help in the reduction of crime rate, firearms can be effective when it comes to impending crimes. In essence, law-abiding citizens must be allowed to carry guns and defend themselves against persons that intend to harm them. In Virginia, for instance, the sale of firearms has considerably increased and the number of crimes has reduced. However, the United States has the highest rate of firearm ownership; in particular, there are 89 guns for each 100 Americans. Additionally, in 2011, there were approximately 12,664 murder cases out of which 8,583 were a result of guns (Esposito & Laura 74). Though the figures do not demonstrate the relationship between guns related crimes and gun ownership, other factors are not considered. California is very populated with about 239 persons per square feet. If a Californian unintentionally fires the gun and kills his/her neighbor, it is regarded as a homicide. This is not applicable to New Jersey that is sparsely populated. The term homicide is even confusing in this context. It is not murder, rather an act where a person kills another. Homicide using gun comprises of unintentional deaths, in addition to those from hunting events. Firearm ownership cannot contribute to murder but without doubt results in homicide and loss of life due to guns is one too many. Consequently, these figures can be skewed due to plea negotiation. In most cases, a person convicted of assault with deadly guns, but since he/she takes a plea, the charge is dropped. This change is not included in the statistics. In addition, gun control laws are ineffective; hence, they have negative impacts on crimes. Rather than minimizing crimes, gun control regulations remove guns from good citizens and give them to people that can cause crimes. Gun control laws do not prevent criminals from possessing guns. Regardless of whether or not there is a law that restricts the use of firearms, criminals always find a way to possess guns since they less expected to abide by laws. Moreover, there is also no law that deters the supply as well as the demand of illegal gun business. Therefore, criminals can buy firearms from black markets. Guns can easily be obtained, with money criminals can get one without a background check. No regulation can prevent criminals from arming themselves, in many states where people are allowed to carry guns, crimes rate are significantly lower compared to states with guns regulations (Spitzer 58). This can be attributed to the fact that guns are used for defense reasons and not criminal activities. When targeting law-abiding people in the states that may individuals to carry guns, criminals enjoy the advantage. Even though criminals do not fear law enforcers, they fear people that are potentially carrying weapons. This makes it difficult for criminals since they do not know what may happen as they prepare to steal. They are either lucky to target unarmed people or become victims with armed ones prepared to defend themselves.Basically, gun control regulations only affect law abiding citizens, however; they are not applicable to criminals. Irrespective of the firearm ban or not, criminals will always move around armed. The gun regulations cannot curtail illegal firearms business. In Chicago for instance, guns are not sold as stipulated by law, but those with a Firearm Identification Card can purchase ammunition, rifles, and shotguns (Lemieux 74). Much as it is challenging to legally get a gun in Chicago, it is easier to criminally carry one. In this respect, banning gun control makes no sense. Individuals can acquire firearms from nearby states like Indiana. This demonstrates that gun control laws in Chicago have not been effective in diffusing high crime rates. Supporters of gun rights allege that restrictions placed on stringent gun regulations have loopholes that allow criminals to find other means to possess firearms. Additional laws are not only a barrier but also an inconvenience to those who are lawfully allowed to carry guns, hence infringe their civil rights. Moreover, proponents of gun control argue that restricting firearms is a serious infringement of civil rights. The American forefathers included it in law due to tyrannical experiences and imperialism on individuals who were mistreated and prohibited from their civil rights.The right to possess a gun is not just a human right to defend oneself from this tyrannical aggression but also from potential threats and should be maintained by the government to the degree that it is stipulated by law. History demonstrates that in cases where citizens have been denied firearms, it subjects them to horrible actions of mistreatments as well as tyranny. Citizens have the right to be armed for defensive reasons and also preserve democracy if such scenarios occur (Wozniak 101). Gun control supporters constantly tackle this issue by alleging that carrying firearms is old-fashioned and not applicable in the modern times. It is the responsibility of the government to defend citizens and the larger society and stringent regulations have proven to be sufficient when it comes to providing safer neighborhoods. Therefore, background checks should be performed to provide guns to legal owners. Moreover, if gun owners register their firearms, it would be sufficient to help law enforcement bodies with useful information to track purchases while ensuring that all sales are lawful.
Provisions that outlaw guns are essentially against self-defense. In the same breadth, gun-free environments are free crimes zones in the real sense. The position I take is that banning guns does not prevent rogue elements to acquire guns in the first place. Instead, such a law prevents any law-abiding civilian from owning a gun for his/her own security in the event of an attack. A law that compromises the security of people by leaving them without self-defense options is catastrophic because it presents the benefits to criminals. An offender almost certainly breaks the law to own a gun for criminal reasons, but a law-abiding citizen will not. Those who advocate for gun control do not get it. Guns will never commit crimes, people do. So, instead of advocating for gun control, people value system should be put under check.
Although the explanation of the right to bear arms is subject to prejudice and expediency, the perspective advanced by the extreme dividers have strong and valid points that should be considered to the full extent with a view to comprehending the gun restriction issues. From the paper, gun control is not the answer for increased crime rates. This argument resonates well with opponents of gun control who allege that citizens have a right to defend themselves from potential harm. On the other hand, advocates of gun control present serious reasons that can be taken into account to further implement gun restrictions. Nonetheless, there are obvious counter issues provided by supporters of gun controls that must genuine considered. The reality is with or without laws that restrict guns, criminals will always breach laws to acquire firearms. Imposing limits is basically limiting law-abiding people from defending themselves from potential danger. For that reason, before implementing more laws, a government must endeavor to correct and improve existing ones. Gun control advocates would state that regulations that restrict guns would prevent criminals in acquiring firearms. However, this would not only be difficult but would result in breaching the law, an issue that may have far-reaching and severe consequences.
Cook, Philip J., and Kristin A. Goss. The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know?. Oxford University Press, 2014.
Esposito, Luigi, and Laura L. Finley. “Beyond gun control: Examining neoliberalism, pro-gun politics and gun violence in the united states.” Theory in Action 7.2 (2014): 74.
Lemieux, Frederic. “Effect of gun culture and firearm laws on gun violence and mass shootings in the United States: A multi-level quantitative analysis.” International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences 9.1 (2014): 74.
Moeller, Nicholas. “The Second Amendment Beyond the Doorstep: Concealed Carry Post-Heller.” U. Ill. L. Rev. (2014): 1401.
Spitzer, Robert J. Politics of gun control. Routledge, 2015.
Wozniak, Kevin H. “Public Opinion About Gun Control Post–Sandy Hook.” Criminal JusticePolicy Review (2015): 0887403415577192.