This paper presents an analysis how gun control is bad for America. The paper elaborates on several aspects such as homicide, crime rate and economic cost occurred due to gun control. Gun control impacts human and society in several ways. Gun control is America is responsible for the higher homicide rate in the country. The paper also elaborates on rules and regulations that government adopted to control the crimes causes due to gun control.
Gun control is one of much debated issues in United States of America in recent years. This issue attracts the attention of people every time when American hospitals and their emergency wards witness a number of people including teenagers, men and women who are admitted as a consequence of gruesome gunshot injuries. This paper intends to discuss gun control and further examines why gun control is bad for United States of America along with discussing other related aspects of the issue.
Gun related violence is growing in America and data suggests that guns kill thousands of Americans every year. Guns kill people from every category without differentiating age, sex and race of victims. No one is exception anymore. Kids are being killed in schools and armed personnel are being killed in incidents of mass shooting. The situation is obviously very depressing and now this is the appropriate time for American policy makers to take some effective steps in order to control gun related violence and incidents like mass shootings in schools.
Every American has an opinion on the issue of gun control. A large section of American society believes that gun control is necessary and the same is in the interest of United States of America. People opine that gun related violence is a menace and it should be immediately controlled. Other section differs with the opinion of majority and suggests that gun control is not necessary and doing so will create other complicacies in the society. In order to examine and know the real picture behind both versions of the story, it is inevitable to have a glimpse of both views in a comprehensive manner.
A number of studies suggest that overall criminal activities in United States of America are almost similar to other developed countries but homicide rate of America is significantly high. Murder rate of the country is almost seven times of murder rate of twenty two wealthy nations put together. Murders committed by firearms contribute significantly in present homicide rate. People preference towards gun ownership and poorly formed laws are major reason behind present crime rate in America.
Gun control is necessary
- Guns kill people in huge number
Americans those believe in gun control, say that guns kill thousands of American every year. Mass killings by teenagers in schools are reported very often in United States of America. Newton school shooting was still fresh in memory of Americans when recent incident of mass shooting at Washington navy yard added a new chapter in mass shootings where more than a dozen people lost their lives. America has faced several other ghastly incidents of mass shootings that keep daunting American citizens.
- Gun stipulates to kill
Gun related violence has left Americans in fear and they always worry about their own security as well as their near and dear ones. Gun related violence have destroyed several families and there are number of cases where all members of a family were killed while opposing any crime or otherwise by the gun holders. In recent years such horrifying incidents are reported rising and thousands of Americans lost their lives merely because they came in front of someone who had a gun.
It has been found in several incidents that criminals kill people while committing crimes just because they were having guns. Even in incidents of mass shootings, teenagers shot other students just because they were in access of guns. Teenagers are not aware of the consequences of using guns. They simply use the guns and are left with no options once they have committed the crime. In some cases, teenagers fail to manage their anger and shoot their colleagues and others students without fathoming about its consequences.
It is normal tendency of human beings to use maximum force in moments when they are in vulnerable positions. A criminal has no options except using gun when he is trapped or feels that he is going to be killed. If he is possessing guns, he will certainly kill others who are coming in his ways. This could have been avoided in case he had no access of guns. Guns have a tendency to stimulate its holders and gun holder does not think twice before using it or misusing the weapon (Carter, 2012).
- Data of gun related victims
If data provided by National crime victimization survey is to be believed 467,321people lost their lives in gun related violence in year 2011 alone. Federal bureau of investigation suggests that guns are responsible of 68 percent murders across the United States of America. The number of non fatal incidents, related to guns, is 414,562 in the year 2011. Criminals use guns for committing crimes in more than 95 percent incidents and approx 75 percent people used guns to commit suicide (National Institute of Justic, 2013).
Victims of gun related violence belong to different categories. Data shows that three fourth of people those lost their lives in gun related violence are male and seventy percent of total victims belong to age group of 18 to 40 and maximum of them are from 18 to 24 age group. Data suggests that African Americans males account for more than 55 percent of total gun related deaths. These data represents a frightening picture before common Americans as well as policy makers of United States of America.
- Guns are not for everybody
Guns should be given to those only who are competent enough to understand the consequences of using guns. Making guns available to all worsens the situation. Teenagers, school going children, criminals, and lunatics have no reasons for possessing guns and they only misuse guns whenever they get guns. Guns kill people and it has been proved by a number of incidents that the criminals killed people by using guns just because they were out of options and possessed a gun while committing crime. Crime records as well as data corroborate the fact that guns are often misused and rarely used for genuine reasons.
Gun control is not required
2nd amendment of American constitution gives its citizens the right to carry guns. This is probably the biggest reason why America has a very liberal policy of gun control. People are allowed to possess and carry gun. There are different gun related laws in different states of United States of America but overall, America does not have a law that prevents people from controlling guns. Some states have made nominal regulations in order to misuse guns. These provisions usually check backgrounds and criminal records of people when people express their intention to possess guns.
- Guns do not kill people; people kill people
There are people who believe gun control is unnecessary and controlling guns is not going to bring any changes in the situation. The heaviest argument these people give is that “Guns do not kill people, people kill people” (Carter, 2012). These people argue that if someone has decided to kill, he will kill and guns are not only weapons on the Americans soil that kill. If guns are controlled, people will find another weapons or even finding a gun will not be very difficult for criminals. These People ask whether putting ban on guns have controlled crimes in other countries of the world (Carter, 2012).
- Gun control is not effective anywhere
People, who oppose any effort of gun control, argue that gun control has not been able to rein in crimes in countries where there is a complete ban on guns since a long time. This is a naked truth that criminals manage to get guns this way or that way. On the other hand, common people will suffer the consequences if possessing guns is controlled. People will be left at their destiny as well as on the mercy of criminals. If people are disarmed, they will not be able to even defend themselves, their property or someone else, in case when they are attacked by criminals or robbers.
- Self defense
Government cannot provide security to every American, all the time hence any effort of putting ban on guns will be an act of depriving people of their right of self defense. Self defense is a right, given by the American constitution. Our constitution makers were such visionary people that they imagined a situation like today and bestowed people with right to possess guns. It has been observed in a number of cases that criminals were countered and their efforts of killing, robbing or kidnapping were foiled by people who had guns to defend themselves or other people.
People, who oppose gun control, say that instead of controlling guns, the number of guns should be increased and more people should possess guns. It will discourage criminals, assailants from committing crimes and killing people. Criminals will and think hundreds of time before committing crimes and have a fear of being countered or being killed if everybody will possess guns. In all incidents of shootings, assailants caused severe damage because he was not stopped by any gunned man.
The issue is very sensitive and there is logic in both arguments. People cannot be deprived of their right to self defense and they should be allowed to possess guns in order to counter anti social elements. On the other hand, considering the misuse and consequences of guns, this is also not wise to give guns to everybody. Individuals those are in possession of guns do use guns rarely and not frequently if they are using the same for a genuine purpose. In the given situation, these people should not be worried about putting control on guns. This may prevent guns from going into hands of those who do not deserve possessing guns and tend to misuse it. This system needs to be changed in order to make a safer society for Americans and some reasonable restrictions can bring changes in the situation.
It becomes clear after hearing arguments in pro and con of gun control that controlling guns is not the ultimate solution of this problem and the problem is bigger than it appears before the society. Lawmakers ad eminent scholars must come forward in order to produce a good policy and rein in gun related violence in American society.
Economic Cost and Gun Violence
Gun related violence does not only affect human life and causes threat to humanity but also it affects the economic aspect of people. Gun related violence harms people in several ways. Criminals adversely affect economic establishments through their crime. Violence affect local trade and violence keep traders aloof from markets. People who do business, does not want to indulge in between criminals or crime cartels. Criminals loot and rob business people frequently which affect the performance of business people.
There is tremendous cost attached with gun related crimes in the United States of America. Every year huge money around 32 billion USD spend on providing medical services to the people who are injured due to gun violence (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). It also causes loss of productivity in case of death of person after availing medical facilities. Billions of dollars are spent every year while providing medical treatment to the victims of gun violence. It is not only medical cost and expenditures, there are various other factors associated with gun related crimes.
Loss of human life, emotional and mental trauma, social consequences and legal consequences are several other aspects that are associated with gun related crimes. According to a research study, conducted in 1998 the cost incurred in gun related crimes in America is around $100 billion per annum (Cook and Ludwig, 2000). Study further suggests that every year estimated cost of gun related violence and crimes is around $1300 per person. This cost includes the depreciation in rate of property caused due to gun crimes. Such crimes also decrease local government revenue that goes into addressing the requirements of citizens related with gun crimes. Economic aspect of gun related crimes is a matter of concern. It affects over all business and should be taken into immediate cognizance in order to save business from gun related violence.
Prohibition of Firearm Possession
Government implemented several laws to control the gun violence. Government prohibits position of firearm by fugitives, criminals, individuals who committed domestic violence, people who are restricted under certain domestic crimes, illegal users or people who are addicted to drugs & alcohol, people who are declared mentally ill by judiciary, people who are disown by military, illegal aliens, and people who do not have citizenship of America. Several American states also have tougher laws related to gun control in order to prevent misuse of guns and prevent gun related violence.
Government also implemented law that prevents people below 21 years of age from purchasing guns in lawful manner. However individuals above 18 years of age are eligible to posses transferred guns. All persons belongs to these categories are prohibited from owning firearms. Their prohibition justified according the available data that inform about risk of violence. People who are already involved in any criminal activity carry higher risk of committing crime in future as compare to people who are innocent and not involved in any crime. Some American states have proposed to check background of people before giving them guns.
People, who are involved in committing violence against their partner or committed murder of intimate partner, carry high risk of getting involved in offences homicide. Several studies reveal that people who are involved in domestic violence also tend to involve in serious felonies against outsiders or strangers (Etter and Birzer, 2007). It has been observed in a number of cases that Criminals, who do not get caught and punished after committing their first crime, get motivated to commit more crimes. They feel that they will not get caught which ultimately increases their criminal tendency.
Firearm prohibition for people who are addicted to drug and alcohol is justified. According to a research study, consumption of drugs and alcohol often results into domestic violence (Etter and Birzer, 2007). During the study it was observed that alcohol and drug consumption is one of the main reasons behind domestic violence. Homicide criminals abuse drugs almost five times more than innocent people. In the given circumstances, gun control becomes extremely dangerous and is misused frequently.
People who are suffering with mental illness are not very dangerous and very small percentage of violence is related to mental disability. However people who are suffering with severe mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia may get involved in violence with themselves and also may cause danger for others. People, who are mentally ill, often lose control and are incapable to control their feeling which sometimes results in taking extreme step such as suicide or killing any other person. Current policy does not prevent them from having guns though it is completely appropriate to ban these people from having guns.
Age restriction in case of firearm possession is necessary and prudent. Adolescents and teenagers easily get victimized in school or society by their seniors and other groups of people. Such incidents bring changes in their behaviors which resulted in committing crimes against people who are responsible for their victimization. During adolescent stage brain structure associated with impulse control is developing and increase the risk attached to violent behavior of adolescents and teenagers. Below given graph shows the age of criminals who are involved in homicide (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).
After having observed the detailed view and analysis of the abovementioned subject, it can be concluded that gun control is in the interest of the American society. Even if gun control is not banned, there should be some reasonable restrictions on controlling guns. Background check is must and people with criminal records should not be given license to control guns. Guns are not for everybody and people, who are mature and competent enough to understand the consequences of controlling and using guns, should only be given the right to possess guns. Teenagers, school going kids, lunatics should not be able to access guns because there is slightest possibility that these people will use guns for genuine purposes. However there is every possibility that above said people will misuse guns as they are not able to understand its consequences. Implementing these measures will certainly bring some positive change in the current situation and we can hope for a better and safer American society.
Carter, G. L. (2012). Guns in American Society. California: ABC-CLIO.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, March 15). Retrieved December 2, 2013, from www.cdc.gov: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html
Cook, PJ and Ludwig J. (2000). Gun Violence: The Real Costs. New York: Oxford University Press.
Etter GW and Birzer ML. (2007). Domestic violence abusers: a descriptive study of the characteristics of defenders in protection from abuse orders in Sedgwick County, Kansas. Journal of Family Violence , 113-119.
National Institute of Justic. (2013, April 4). Retrieved December 3, 2013, from www.nij.gov: http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/