Gun Control: Yes or No
Gun control is the limiting of ownership of firearms with the aim of reducing violence resulting from the misuse of firearms. Gun control is only applicable to citizens who are law-abiding and to those people who own guns legally. These laws do not prevent crime, neither do they provide safety to the people, instead, it makes the population more vulnerable to assailants. Gun control has been a very controversial issue lately in the United States. This issue has brought about heated debates and discussions. Pro-gun activists have always petitioned the government to allow citizens to carry concealed firearms. They argue that this helps reduce the cases of rape and other crimes. People from different walks of life have given varied opinions on this thorny issue. I fully support the position that people must be allowed to own guns, as long as they have the required training on light weaponry.
Many incidents have taken place in various parts of the United States that ignited this debate. For example, the shooting of pupils and their teacher that took place in a school in the United States. It is a fact that, if the teachers or some staff at the school were armed with a gun, they would have been able to prevent the fellow, who opened fire at the school children, from causing many deaths (Spitzer 41).
In the recent past, crime rates have risen and become unreasonably high. So many people have become victims of robbery, assault, rape and other forms of torture at the hands of criminals who always disregard the law. The women and other individuals who are weak may not be able to defend themselves from rape if they are unarmed, but with a gun they will have the courage to face the criminal and defend and protect themselves from the rapists. Statistics show that in most of these crimes, a gun is always used. If the victims were in possession of a gun, they could have protected themselves well and even may have been able to capture the criminals involved.
Making possession of guns against the law will not eliminate criminals from the streets. Having a gun will not always be of help, but not having one and not being able to defend one when attacked will never help. In a case of a crime, calling 911 does not always impact anything in crime prevention (Goss 65). The police will always come late; their job then is just to investigate a crime which has already been committed. The security forces are usually overwhelmed by the number of people they protect, so it is not possible for a police officer to always be there for every citizen.
Another reason for allowing people to have guns in their possession is for protection of property. Armed with a gun, one is able to stop a robbery or break-in. The gun can be used to scare the intruders, or one can shoot at them to injure them and prevent the thief from making away with the stolen property. Additionally, in the case of your cattle and other kept animals being attacked by wild animals, one can draw a gun and shoot into the air just to scare the predators away.
The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America gives every citizen the right to own a gun. Banning the ownership of a gun would be against the Constitution which is the Supreme Law of this land. Furthermore, this ban will take away another one of the people’s liberties. This will be one step back in the people’s quest towards socialism (Cook 34).
When governments ban people from owning guns, it also encourages the acquisition of illegal revenue. This is due to the fact that black markets for guns will develop. This trend will thereafter encourage the emergence of organized crime gangs. Guns are not necessarily only used for criminal activities or by the military. Neither are they solely used by civilians for defence of oneself and property. There are some other reasons why people should have guns. For example, some people use guns for recreational purposes. Another example is for hunting and target shooting. Some citizens find it fun to go hunting in the wild just to pass time, or maybe it is their passion, while others use the guns for sport, just as is the case of target shooting.
When most people in a given locality are armed, the crime rate is reduced. The armed citizens are able to prevent a crime before it occurs when they have the information and the guns. They may take action against the criminal before the police arrive. The police are always called in when a crime is being committed and by the time they arrive at the scene, they may be too late. But, if people or even one person has a gun he can be able to prevent this from happening. Making ownership of a gun illegal will increase the rate of crime. This is so because it will make the people who are so obedient to the law fall prey to those who disregard the law, thus making then very vulnerable to criminal activities (Webster 73).
With most of the population armed, there will be a peaceful environment. This will have a psychological effect on the crime perpetrators. They will be afraid to attack just anyone because they have no idea if their target is armed or not. The unknown creates fear in the criminals for they do not know how their intended target may retaliate. With this peaceful environment, the security personnel will have limited cases to handle, hence making their work much easier.
Many governments may argue against most of its citizen having guns but it is important to have most of the people armed. In the past, before most of the countries got their independence, they had to fight for it. Guns played a major role in fulfilling this objective. The militia armed themselves with guns to fight the enemy until they eventually gained their independence. Citizens need to protect themselves from the government. If a government becomes very dictatorial and there is some form of political tyranny in a government which people need to be protected from, young men may come up and defend their people from such a government.
Gun control will never be the best solution for eliminating crime and violence; in fact the opposite would occur, as argued above. No matter how many strict measures are put in place to curb gun ownership and use, there will always be guns in the hands of the bad people who will always find a way to get a gun. Research has shown that states in the U S, which have allowed citizens to carry concealed guns, have a very low crime rate compared to the states with strict laws that forbid guns in the hands of civilians. Reasonable gun control, which is not so strict, and firearms training should be the best options to be put into practice. People should be taught on the use of guns and the law. Banning guns in the hands of civilians will never help to reduce crime rates.
Cook, Philip. Gun Violence: The Real Costs: Studies in Crime and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002. Print.
Goss, Kristin. Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton university press. 2010. Print.
Spitzer, Robert, J. Gun Control: A Documentary and Reference Guide. Hoboken, NJ: Greenwood. 2009. Print.
Webster, Daniel. Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 2013. Print.