It is estimated that number of small arms owned by the law enforcement agencies, the armed forces and civilians worldwide is about 900,000. Surprisingly, civilians hold about 75% of these small arms. Americans comprise of the largest portions of civilians in the world with access to small fire arms. The question of whether guns should be controlled touches the core of the countrys national security. The fact that the law enforcement cannot cover everybody necessitates that some civilians be allowed to own guns and other small firearms. Given the widespread coverage of the incidences of indiscriminate mass shootings in the media, several people have had to question the existing legal framework on gun control in the country. Therefore, there is need to put in place stricter gun control measures to help improve crime management and minimize the number of gun related deaths.
Enacting stricter gun control laws would reduce the numbers of gun-related deaths. For example, between 1999 and 2013, guns accounted for about 58% of the total deaths in the country, with 37% of the being homicides and another 3% being unintentional deaths. This makes firearms the 12th highest cause of death in the US. Studies also indicate that children between the ages of 9 and 15 are at a high risk of being shot while about 200 Americans suffer gun wounds every day. With strict gun control rules, the country will be safer for every citizen, thus reducing the number of crimes and gun-related deaths in the country.
Secondly, the Second Amendment to the Constitution mandates the government to ensure that there are appropriate gun controls in place. The Amendment states that A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. While some people choose to interpret this to mean that people should have the right to bear arms, the key words in the law are well-regulated militia, which imply that the groups or individuals owning guns must be well regulated.
However, many would argue to the contrary that guns controls are unnecessary because such strict laws will give the government too much power, which may lead to creation of a tyranny. In such a case, some argue, that he government would want to exert its control on the masses by revoking all guns held by civilians. In a democratic society such as that of the US, the sovereign authority of governance rests with the masses. Therefore, many citizens are weary of granting the government too many powers at the expense of their personal freedoms and rights. Moreover, it is argued that the Founding fathers, when creating the Second Amendment, wanted to avoid a situation of a tyranny, which had been the case under the leadership of King George.
In conclusion, regardless of ones position on the matter, a debate on gun control is a healthy one given the numerous incidences of gun-related violence in the country. The question whether to regulate gun held by civilians is very important and needs a sober debate to find a lasting solution. However, having stricter gun controls would help make the country safer by reducing crimes and unrelated deaths, and ensure improved management of the countrys security situation. Gun control is also supported by the Second Amendment, which calls for a well-regulated militia as the backbone of a more secure society. Thus, with strict gun control laws the government will be able to know how many people own guns and how they use those guns. Otherwise, how else can the country be safer when every other person is allows holding a firearm, which is one of the biggest causes of death in the country?
Ivins, Molly. Taking A Stab At Our Infatuation With Guns. Austin: Creators Syndicate Inc.
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