The issue of gun control had been a subject for discussion in America for a long time whereby there has been a separation on beliefs concerning civilians owning guns. It may not be concluded that the proponents of gun are control are wrong but gun control may be a waste of time after all. Gun control has been highly ineffective in those areas in the United States of America where the control has been enacted (O'Neill, 126-128). The gun free areas have been a soft target opportunity for the criminal and terrorists. Some cases like the Virginia Tech and Newtown were exposed to a shooter leaving the people under the protection of illegally armed citizens to try and reduce the mass causalities.
Gun control does not mean a reduction in crime rates. Actually, crime rates have been reported to be high in the States where the strictest gun control measures have been enacted. Chicago is one of such states with the most strict gun laws in the world, but it is in the top with the cases of murders, gang violence using firearms and other robberies (Lott, 89-91). Even if it was made illegal for law abiding citizens to own guns criminals will not care because they will commit crimes anyway. While the police would take much longer time to respond and arrive in a crime scene, which usually leads to hostage situations and cases of murder, an armed citizen may take few seconds to draw a gun and engage the target (Agrest & Smith, 76-79). This may kill of even incapacitate the assailant thereby reducing the extent of damage.
The people of United States of America value their rights to freedoms as they were granted to them by the forefathers, which include the possession of a firearm as it is stated in the second amendment. Under the bill of rights signed in December 15th of 1971, it is necessary to the security of a free state, and the right the right of people to bear and keep arms. This will help people to defend themselves from threat, may it be a home or intruder. It is, therefore, evident that a gun plays a role to some degree in every individual’s life, whether it was a personal possession of hunting rifle or a neighbor owning a pistol (Agrest & Smith, 76-79).
There is no doubt that there are a number of gun related crimes that are committed on a daily a basis. However, the question is, do gun control laws that are stricter ensure that gun related crimes are controlled? Most people have a tendency of associated guns with more violence, but that is not always the case (Crooker, 45-47). For instance, Switzerland which is a country with most per capita gun power than any other country in the whole world has lower robbery and murder cases as compared to England where handguns are basically banned. In America, the states that are experiencing the greatest reduction in crime rates are those are growing in the terms of gun ownership percentage (Lott, 89-91). This fact has shown that less or a reduction in gun ownership by the public does not imply a reduction in crime cases.
Besides ensuring that guns are taken away from the common citizen as a measure to ensure safety, one of the other main objectives of gun control legislations is to prevent criminals from acquiring guns. However, these criminals have a will and as result they will get a way of acquiring guns irrespective of numerous laws aimed at preventing gun ownership. Apparently, it is evident that these laws are not doing much good because the typical murderer is a person with prior criminal history who has at least 4 arrests before committing murder (Crooker, 45-47). Therefore, the probation that most perpetrators of crimes and violence are ordinary citizens is misplaced. The opponents of gun control have argued that criminals are likely to be afraid if they have knowledge that their targets are armed (Lott, 89-91). In England and Canada where there is a total ban on guns crime rate involving guns is at 50 percent compared to America at 13%. This does not mean that putting guns into the hands of citizens will halt major crimes but to some extent it can help reduce them
The ban on handguns fail to offer people protection and may even contribute to putting people in great danger because it prevents people from using guns as a self-defense measure. When a person is trained well and is a responsible person, a gun is an easy and most effective form of defense, and a ban on handguns takes this opportunity from such individual. According to (Stossel, 21-23), laws on gun control are laws against self-defense making gun-free zones to be actually free crime zones. This implies that burning the use of guns leaves citizens with fewer options in case of self-defense. When people are deprived of the most effective way of providing them self-defense, it renders them vulnerable to crimes, and it gives advantage to the criminal (O'Neill, 126-128). It is therefore, paramount to consider giving citizens training on how to use guns instead of banning them completely.
Agresti, J. D., & Smith, R.K. Gun control facts. 2010.
Crooker, Constance E. Gun Control and Gun Rights. Westport (Conn.: Greenwood press, 2003. Print.
Lott, John. More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. University of Chicago Press, 2013
O'Neill, Terry. Gun Control. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press, 2000. Print.
Stossel, John. Gun control puts people at risk. Human Events 2008, 64, 21-22.