Gun Control and Why The The U.S Should Enforce Gun Control Laws | My Paper Hub
The Gun Control DebateGun control and whether to h...
The Gun Control Debate
Gun control and whether to have
stricter firearm regulation policies has become a debated issue in America.
Media houses have taken this matter and ran with it since almost every news
station appears to be reporting on the matter of gun control. For starters, gun
control is used to refer to implementing control police to help manage the
production, selling and the distribution of guns in the hands of the
public. This topic has become so controversial to an extent that it splits the
nation into two with each faction having a different point of view on the
matter of gun control. This paper discusses the problem of gun control in the
US and argues why there is the need to implement gun laws in the US. The paper,
in supporting its argument, will present how Japan and Australia handled their
gun troubles and how they have since enjoyed the policies they implemented.
The problem of gun policies
In the United States, the second
amendment is used by anti-gun law proponents to defend their arguments. The second amendment allows citizens
the right to own and store guns in their homes (Blocher, 3). Since the passing of the bill, people have embraced guns so much to an
extent that statistics have shown the existence of approximately one hundred
guns for every eighty eight people. So, it is safe to assume that there is a
gun in circulation for every individual in the country: man, woman and child.
This goes to show how dire the situation has become. In recent times, school
shootings have become an almost common occurrence where students walk into
school with guns and massacre their fellow students and teachers. These
occurrences, if not anything else, are what makes gun control necessary.
However, attempts to get this done have been met with fierce opposition from those who are against implementing gun regulation policies citing the
violation of their second amendment rights as their major argument (Blocher,10). The topic has become political which
has only served to make the nation even tenser. Democrats appear to be in
favor of the implementation of regulation policies while those in support of
the Republican Party coming out as bent on opposing regulation laws (Blocher, 10).
The need for gun control policies
The first and major reason why there
should be gun regulation policies is the fact that more deaths in America are
as a result of gun violence compared to those that come about from terrorist
instigated situations (Hemenway, 2). According to Hemenway (2), the money spent
by the government in anti-terrorist defenses is more than what is spent in
protecting citizens against gun violence. This makes one to wonder why the
government has not made any steps to rectify the situation even after being
aware of the statistics. The number of school shootings that have been reported, and the casualties left behind by the
shootings should be a reason for implementation of gun laws (Siegel, Ross &
Charles, 2100). The fact that school going children are able to access
guns and even carry them around to school only proves that the existing laws
are not strict enough to ensure the safety of the average person. Apart from
schools, gun violence in the streets of America is also alarming (Siegel, Ross
& Charles, 2100). The number of gangs that roam the streets, and are able to easily get guns to
terrorize law-abiding citizens is on the rise and needs to be stopped. This
can only be possible if there are stricter laws put in place to make access to
The second argument for gun laws is
that the existing policies are not being followed to the latter (Squires, 20). Background checks on
individuals before they are allowed to own guns are not being done extensivelyas a result of the tension that is
between federal laws and individual state laws as concern the second amendment.
The irregular implementation of laws has resulted in a reduced number of people
being screened for existence of mental health conditions thus resulting in
mentally unwell individuals obtaining guns with ease (Squires, 22). When the
individuals kill people with these guns and plead to be mentally ill in court, there is nothing that can be
done. So, why not have policies that strongly emphasize the importance of
extensive and thorough background checks to effectively handle the situation
instead of allowing it to escalate and become unmanageable? Prevention is
better than cure, and making policies that will reduce deaths from guns will in
the long run benefit the nation.
The third argument for gun control is
that the argument that people have guns for self-defence holds no water at all.
If statistics are anything to go by, guns are rarely used by the owners to defend
themselves. Statistics show that between 2007 and 2011, there were 29, 618, 300
crimes of violence were committed (Masters, 2). Out of these numbers, only
0.79% of the victims used firearms to protect themselves. So, why argue that
ownership is for self-defense when numbers prove otherwise?
There should be stricter gun laws because the existing
ones endanger the right to life of other human beings. If everyoneargues based on the constitution, then
people’s constitutional right to life should also be brought into the argument.
By having laws that do not protect this right, the government is failing its
citizens. Every individual has a right to security and life and it is the
government’s duty to see to it that any dangers to this rights that can be
prevented are not allowed to occur (Blocher, 7). How can the government therefore
assure its citizens of safety citing anti-terrorism training and spending when
it cannot protect them from internal threats which are easier to
control? (Jacobs, 3). Individualizing gun ownership stifles
the people’s right to free speech. The challenge posed by guns to people’s
freedom and consequently, their liberty, is monumental. Liberty is the backbone
of any strong democracy. Guns make this impossible since they limit people fromexpressing themselves due to caution
over behavior that may be viewed as threatening by gun owning individuals
(Blocher, 7). When arguing with someone who has a gun and they wield it
to one’s face, they arecommunicating the end of the discussion
and trying to argue otherwise may result in unwanted repercussions. Free speech
and liberty can safely exist only when people are assured that nonviolent
methods will meet their arguments (Jacobs, 7).
Gun control in Japan
In japan, the weapons law starts by
pointing out that no single individual is allowed to own or wield a sword, or a
firearm (Kopel, 15). Exceptions to the law are minimal and people are only
allowed to have firearms- usually a shotgun- after extensive application and a
procedure for licensing that takes long. When allowed, the firearms are only
for use in hunting. Bycontrolling guns and their ownership,
japan has had few gun related deaths. In 2008, the number of gun deaths
reported in Japan was eleven compared to the 12,000 deaths reported in U.S.A.
the framework to gun approach in Japan is the exact opposite of the approach in
America (Masters, 3). In Japan, the laws starts by forbidding gun ownership
while in America, the lawenshrines ownership. The results of the
differences are stark. In a nation with a 128 million population, only two gun
deaths were reported in Japan in 2006 (Masters, 3). Japan based its laws on the
protection of the public’s safety and everyone can see the results. America needs to borrow a leaf from
this nation and change its laws. The argument for self-defence can be overcome
by giving police officers more power. It can be viewed as a violation of
individual liberty in America but then, it is a necessary sacrifice that has to
be done to uphold the sanctity of the human life. Making the trade-off
between ensuring the safety of the public and maintaining individual liberty is
not an easy task but a worthy one.
Gun control in Australia
Australia is a nation that did not
allow the problem of guns to manifest to an almost uncontrollable point. After
the 28th April 1996 mass shooting that claimed 35 lives and wounded
23 others in Tasmania, Australia moved to nip the matter in the bud before it
become more problematic (Chapman et.al, 367). The nation banned private owning of
guns and moved to carry out a mandatory buy back of guns which saw half a
million guns being returned to the state. In Australia, the law requires
individuals to get a firearm license. While applying for said license, the
applicant is required to demonstrate a reason for wanting a gun that is
genuine. The law states that self-defence should not be cited as a reason
(Chapman, 3). Those given the license have their firearm’s serial
number recorded against the license to prevent cases of people obtaining guns
for other people. The results of these laws are that in ten years, the number
of gun suicides reduced in more than half the number. In 1995, the nation had
389 gun suicides while in 2005, there were 147 gun suicides (Chapman, 3).
In conclusion, all everyone wants is safety for them
and theirs and lenient gun laws do not allow for this to happen. It is a shame that
what can be termed as a significant step toward gun control occurred in 1993
when the Brady Handgun Prevention Act was passed. The difference in years since
then and now should act as a wake-up call to raise up and add more voices to
this unique course. The benefits of having strict rules should be looked at by
policy makers and used as arguments for gun control laws: reduced unnecessary
loss of lives that leads to a reduced work force thus consequently harming the
nation. Activists should also reach out to people’s humanity and
preach the importance of gun laws in helping preserve the sanctity of the human
life. Also of importance is the need to remember that the second amendment
protects people’s right to have guns. It however does not state that there
should be guns in every home as has been passed by some states such as Georgia.
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