Table of Contents
The aspect of gun control has, for years, formed the basis for debate in many countries worldwide as it has become the most controversial and emotional issue. This debate usually revolves around whether the regulations on a person’s rights to firearms are perceived as an undue curtailment of liberty, as well as whether there is any connection between crimes and guns. In the recent past, there has been constant news about mass shootings, tragic accidents in malls, schools, and nightclubs due to insufficient gun control, and significant differences in legislation in different states in the US. For instance, about thirty thousand Americans in the US are killed with guns; homicides, suicides, and gun accidents account for more than 40,000 lives lost to gun-related cases (Lewis, 2018). There are over one million crimes committed every year which involve firearms.
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Therefore, the gun control debate is about how many regulations and what kind of regulations ought to be there. This issue has significantly polarized people regarding what could be the effective and best remedy. On one side of the debate, the proponents of gun control regulations have asserted that lives could be saved and crimes reduced with strict enforcement of gun control laws and regulations (Fleming et al., 2018). In contrast, the opponents believe that minimum restrictions on firearms will ensure that people have enough ways for self-defense and that we can build safer communities by having a wider distribution of firearms. While the proponents of gun control advocate for strengthening of legal measures, the opponents support the use of guns for protection and public safety.
Opponents of gun control
It is important to note that the gun control debate is a worldwide issue. According to the opponents of gun control laws, there is nothing wrong about an individual protecting him/herself, but all that should be done is to ensure that firearms used for protection should not get into the hands of the wrong people. This is, however, very intense in the US compared to any other part of the world. Those people against gun control are only concerned with violent crimes, and to them, gun control is not the solution to violence committed with firearms (Smith & Spiegler, 2020). However, they are in support of having strict laws and regulations against gun-related crimes as well as better enforcement of the laws. On the other hand, those in support of gun control hold the opinion that due diligence and background checks should be done so that guns do not end up in the wrong hands.
Additionally, those against gun control mainly assert that controlling firearms will not be the solution to various existing challenges due to guns, like mass shootings and crimes. However, an effective deterrent is to have the right to control guns (Whitehead et al., 2018). Therefore, law-abiding citizens, according to them, should be allowed to carry firearms for self-defence. Moreover, possession of guns by criminals cannot be deterred by having gun control laws and regulations. This is because strict laws that restrict the use of firearms by criminals are formulated cannot provide solutions to incidences such as mass shootings (Philpott‐Jones, 2018). For instance, irrespective of the laws and regulations, criminals always have the intent of disobeying the law. Thus, they will do so whenever they have a chance to use firearms in public. Therefore, for this reason, controlling guns is not an effective way of dealing with gun-related criminal incidences. However, most heinous acts, such as mass shootings, result from psychotic behavior; thus, there is a dire need to seek proper ways to tame such criminal activities.
Proponents of gun control
The debate about gun control is a far gone case; therefore, there is a need to enact laws and regulations requiring that people who own firearms are dully registered. And that a thorough background check on each individual possessing a gun is necessary. It will help ensure that firearms do not land in the hands of felons or mentally ill individuals. Therefore, the thought that individuals could use firearms in the fight for liberty is a far-fetched idea that requires a second thought (Burton et al., 2021). Thus, it is clear that gun control cannot be an effective way to solve these challenges; rather, it is necessary to enlighten the population through education on the risks of possessing guns and request them always to remit those firearms at will. It will significantly reduce deaths resulting from gun-related activities because gun licensing laws have resulted in a greater decrease in firearm homicide cases.
According to them, the second amendment does not present unlimited rights to own firearms, and more laws and regulations would significantly reduce deaths from gun-related activities. These laws will minimize the use of high-capacity magazines, which are usually used in mass shootings (Fleming et al., 2018). These laws will help protect women from domestic abuse and stalkers who turn out to be dangerous. These laws will help reduce the costs associated with gun-related violence because they provide grounds for background checks for firearm owners.
Gun control is a hot topic globally because of its impact on various aspects of life. From the debate, it is clear that gun control laws have both pros and cons in that strict laws and regulations on gun use significantly reduce homicide, facilitate the reduction of accidental injuries, reduce the risks of mass shootings and violence, crime reduction, it eradicates the sale of dangerous firearms. They also protect women from gender-based violence and abuse and reduce costs related to firearm violence. Legal firearms are rarely used in self-defense, and most gun owners support these laws. However, on the other hand, those opposed to gun control laws assert that it undermines people’s rights to live as they wish, infringe the rights to self-defense, these laws fuel the growth of the black market and could lead to a complete ban on ownership and that they cannot prevent criminals from breaking the law. Therefore, there is a need for concerted efforts to deliberate and come up with potential solutions to the issue of gun control; otherwise, this debate will continue for many years.
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- Fleming, A., McLean, D. S., & Tatalovich, R. (2018). Debating gun control in Canada and the United States: divergent policy frames and political cultures. World affairs, 181(4), 348-371.
- Lewis, J. S. (2018). The relationship between gun control strictness and mass murder in the united states: A National Study 2009-2015. International Social Science Review, 94(2), 1c-1c.
- Philpott‐Jones, S. (2018). Mass shootings, mental illness, and gun control. Hastings center report, 48(2), 7-9.
- Smith, J., & Spiegler, J. (2020). Explaining gun deaths: Gun control, mental illness, and policymaking in the American states. Policy studies journal, 48(1), 235-256.
- Whitehead, A. L., Schnabel, L., & Perry, S. L. (2018). Gun control in the crosshairs: Christian nationalism and opposition to stricter gun laws. Socius, 4, 2378023118790189.