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Gun control has become a thorny issue with the America society with the society divided as to whether there should more or minimal gun control laws. Available data shows that the public possesses more than 270 million guns, and the cops carry only 890,000. Apart from this, in 2011, it was reported that 33,000 Americans were victims of gun-related deaths (268 people shot everyday. On average, 55 people kill themselves with a firearm and homicide rates in America is 20 times greater than the joined rate of 22 other nations which are developed (Brady campaign, 2015). There exist two schools of thought about gun control. One school of thought wants more gun control since it would ensure less crime and fewer deaths or injuries related to gun violence. The other school of thought is the idea that it minimizing gun control would ensure enhanced personal safety. This research paper seeks to dispel the myth that lesser control gun improves personal safety.
Based on the findings of Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), in 2010, gun related incidences cost every person in America approximately$560 and the government $6 billion in lost tax revenue. $4.9 billion in court expenses; $1.5 billion in medical costs; $190 million in mental health care for casualties; and $225 million in processing insurance claims. In 2011, there were 36,330 emergency room visits and 25,021 hospitalizations for gun-related injuries, and whose expense was about $6.3 million. The majority (85%) of those injured through shooting do not have insurance hence leaving the taxpayers to foot the bills through programs like Medicaid (procon.org, 2016).
Out of the 29,520,300 violent crimes that were carried out between 2007 and 2011, 0.8% of victims (235,700) protected themselves with the risk of using a gun. In 2010, there were 220 “justifiable homicides” whereby individuals used a gun to murder a felon, compared to 8,300 criminal gun homicides. Out of the 84,490,500 property crimes that were carried out between 2007 and 2011, 0.2% of victims (103,000) protected themselves with the risk of using a firearm.
In 2013 arguments (love triangle or brawls fuelled by alcohol or drugs, and arguments over money), 1,962 gun related deaths (59.9% of the total). This is according to the findings by FBI. According to American Journal of Public Health, they established that people tend to use a weapon that was closest to their hands (more likely a gun). Moreover, the journal pointed out that gun kept at home increases the risk of homicide by family members. Gun related deaths occur as a result of impromptu arguments and fights.
Finland and Switzerland require that the public undergoes some background checks (criminal record and mental) among other restrictions before one can be licensed to own a gun. It is as a result of these measures that the two nations are ranked top with least gun related deaths. These facts are supported by Harvard professor David Hemenway, who has been studying the link between homicide and availability of guns using data from 26 advanced nations since the 1990s. The common trend was that, where guns were more available, there were high rates of homicides. Developing nations more so in Africa, don’t suffer from related injuries & deaths.
Out of the 62 mass shootings in America between 1982 and 2012, 49 of the shooters used legally obtained guns. Collectively, 142 guns were owned by the murders with about 73% possessed them legally. Based on a 2013 report by Bureau of Justice Statistics, 36% of state prison prisoners who “used, a gun when they carried out the crime for which they were convicted for obtained the gun from close family members or friend (Brady campaign, 2015).
Guns do not kill people; people kill people. People require more gun education and mental illness screening to curb gun-related injuries & fatalities. A responsible and informed gun owner is hardly involved in gun accidents. Education is essential since an educated person can use the gun when the need arises (when their life is in danger). Limiting gun ownership only leads to violent people who use other ways of killing other people (Winkler, 2013, p, 78).
The police force which is underfunded and understaffed cannot be relied on to be everywhere to offer security to the public. As a result, gun ownership is the surest ways that one be guaranteed of their safety. An armed citizen assists the police in reducing/fighting crime.
On average, men are considered to be two times stronger than females. Based on this fact, women do not fare well when social construct breaks down, and people resort to violence. Minimal gun control would allow ladies to own a gun for self-defence against potential attackers.
The 2nd Amendment of America’s Constitution restates that “A properly controlled militia being necessary to the security of a free region, the right of individuals to bear arms should not be infringed. As a result, gun ownership is an American is safeguarded by the 2nd Amendment hence gun control infringes on the right to own guns. However, several commentators including the late Antonin Scalia pointed out that the right to own gun as stated in the 2nd Amendment the right was not a right to have and carry any guns whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever reason. On June 2016 America’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 that the right of the public to carry public a hidden gun isn’t, and never has been, protected by the 2nd Amendment (procon.org, 2016).
It has been argued that since car accidents kill more people annually when compared to guns, then if we are ban gun ownership, we might as well ban car ownership. Guns are meant to ensure the safety of individuals while cars are supposed to ease movement of people from point A to B. However, it should be noted that people who own guns, use it for the wrong purposes (homicides). While cars are used ease movement or for one’s entertainment and not for the wrong reason. Accidents caused by cars are not intentional, but homicides using guns are intentional.
Lastly, those in support of minimal gun control have argued that the more armed people, the safer we all are. The more the number of individuals owning guns means that they can protect themselves against potential attackers hence enhancing their security. It however also means that higher incidents of homicides rates. During heated arguments where emotions are at their peak, such a situation provides a ripe ground people to result in using their guns to settle scores. People do not think straight or use logic; instead, they are thinking using their emotions (Mauser, 2014, p, 670).
Gun control is a thorny issue and which needs to be handled carefully. This topic is important in that a lot of deaths, injuries and expenses are incurred due to gun related violence. This topic is essential to various audiences, including the public and who may be misinformed about this subject.