|Categories:||Criminal law Gun control|
Gun controls are government laws and policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, possession and use of firearms. Guns have been a larger advance in war technology as it was an efficient means of firing a projectile on a portable basis. There have been lots of debates over the years on whether or not there should be gun control. As of 2013 all the 50 states in the US permitted Carrying of a concealed gun in public. Some states require gun owners to obtain permits while others do not require them to have permits. In recent years the number the percentage of Americans who believe in gun control as an important issue had declined from 3% to 1% (Kleck, 1997). However, discussions and debates on gun control are still ongoing in the United States. Proponents of gun control point out that allowing the use of guns by ordinary citizens will increase crime rates and gun related deaths while its opponents say that guns can be used by nationals to protect themselves against crimes that they might face in their day to day lives.
The main cause for gun control could be said to be the crimes that involves guns. It is believed that guns causes violence which may be threatening to the stability of a community or the nation as a whole. For over twenty years it has been illegal for teens to buy guns yet the homicide rates are still higher compared to the homicide rates recorded for US groups for whom gun ownership has the highest prevalence. Guns do not promote violence and crime because if this was the case states with no gun control could not be recording lower homicide rates (Maine 1.2, North Dakota 1,1) compared to those with strict gun control laws (New York 14.2, California 12.7). Furthermore banning the use of guns will lead to people engaging in illegal and corrupt activities to obtain the guns like black markets. Drug trafficking is also a major crime that has been linked with the use of firearm. However, even without guns being made legal drug trafficking will still be an issue. Drug traffickers are known to have money and influence and may still be able to get access to illegal firearms for their operations.
As the guns are meant to injure and kill enemies, a contributory cause of gun control would be the issue of gun related accidents and suicides. The gun control policies seek to prevent ordinary citizens from owning guns due to the belief that they might kill other individuals because of inexperience. However about 11% of police shootings kill an innocent person and about 2% of shootings by citizens kill an innocent person. Records have also shown that nationally good citizens use guns about seven to ten times as frequently as the police to repel crime and apprehend criminals and they do it with a better safety record than the police (Kleck, 1997). When it comes to suicides caused by guns, yes gun bans will decrease the number of gun suicide rates but their will be an increase in suicide from other accessible and lethal means of suicide. People who are intent on killing themselves will find the means to do so even without guns. The government should focus on reducing the overall number of suicides since the ban on guns does not affect the total number of suicide rates. Homicide results have also suggested that where guns are scarce other weapons are substituted in killings (Zelma, Aaron, & Stevens, 2001).
The belief that Gun control will keep guns of the street is a remote cause for gun control. However, gun control is a law like any other law that citizens are expected to abide to and so it will only impact the good citizens who are willing to comply with the laws. Criminals and other non law abiding citizens will still look for other methods to get the guns. They can purchase them from black markets or corrupt government officials. Even if guns are outlawed crime would still include firearms due to black market sales which will only increase in cases of gun bans (Zelma, Aaron, & Stevens, 2001).
Guns are said to be dangerous when used for protection as it increases the chances of injury. The US bureau of Justice Statistics disputes this fact and says that guns are the safest and most effective means of defense. Using a gun results in fewer injuries to the defender than using any other means of defense and is safer than not resisting at all (Kleck, 1997) .
Another cause of gun control is the belief that guns are only used for war and violence. This is not true. Guns have been used over the years for hunting and also as a sport. Hunters are embracing the use of guns in their hunting and foregoing the traditional bows and arrows as they are convenient and more efficient.
Guns are essential for individuals and families to protect themselves against crime that they might face in their day to day lives. The police department might not be able to reach crime scenes on time to prevent the crimes from occurring. They might apprehend the criminals later but might not prevent death or injury from occurring during an attack. Research has shown that allowing good law abiding citizens to protect themselves using guns will save lives and reduce crime rates. Allowing gun ownership should be allowed by states whose aim is to protect the lives of its citizens.
Gary Kleck. Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control. N.p., 1997. Print.
Zelma, Aaron, and Richard W. Stevens. Death by Gun Control: The Human Cost of Victim Disarmament. N.p., 2001. Print.
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