Table of Contents
Besides their many uses, guns have economic, cultural, and symbolic significance in America. Most United States citizens value sports shooting, hunting, and gun collection traditions and appreciate the protection and security that guns can provide (Blocher, 2015). However, different controversies exist regarding the importance of gun control today, especially after the mass shootings. Gun control proponents argue that it will prevent mass shootings and promote protections against mentally ill people purchasing firearms. On the other hand, gun control opponents contend that creating more gun regulations would not deter criminals from accessing guns. The United States gun culture is supported by the Constitution’s Second Amendment, which protects the right to purchase and possess firearms (Blocher, 2015). Even though the strategy will not entirely wipe out the gun problem in the United States, gun control could effectively reduce the deaths and injuries associated with gun purchases and ownership.
Gun Ownership Risks
Many Americans lose families and friends and suffer grievous injuries in events involving firearms. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported at least 39,700 deaths following gunshot wounds in the United States in 2017 (Morral, 2022). At least two-thirds of the deaths were suicides. American citizens are seven times more likely to die by homicide than if they resided in a different wealthy state and are twenty-five times more likely to die in gun homicides (Morral, 2022). It is important to identify and understand that the US has a great challenge in coming up with a solution. United States children die eleven times more often following gunshot wounds than their agemates in high-income states (Morral, 2022). Therefore, the risks of experiencing gun violence in America are still so high and pervasive.
Reasons Against Gun Control
Those against gun control primarily consider it ineffective in solving the existing challenges. For example, McClellan & Tekin (2017) argue that all law-abiding citizens should have the right to possess guns to protect themselves from those intending to harm them. Similarly, fighting against mass shooting cases and restricting gun possession will not prevent criminals from obtaining one. Therefore, gun and firearm purchase and ownership laws will not address mass shooting incidents. Mainly, a criminal intends not to comply with the policies; therefore, when they get a chance to use guns in public, they do it regardless of the policies and laws in place. Indeed, this is why gun regulation will be ineffective, as criminals do not operate on the demand and supply laws.
The approach does not consider the underlying issues and triggers of the perpetrators’ behaviors. Most of the time, the primary reasons for them performing atrocities like mass shootings depend entirely on issues like their psychotic behavior (McClellan & Tekin, 2017). Without addressing the mental health challenges and triggers in society, it is more difficult to achieve the goal behind the policy changes. Therefore, opposers state the need to seek approaches for taming the criminals from conducting such heinous activities.
Reasons for Gun Control
Gun control regulations are important to help address the heinous activities performed by criminals. In addition, gun regulations would help prevent suicide and homicides. For example, ProCon Organization (2020) demonstrates that between 2000 and 2010, gun-related suicides were responsible for sixty-one percent of all gun deaths countrywide. Therefore, the government should create a barrier to gun access via regulations, significantly preventing and reducing suicides countrywide. Policies such as banning sales to underage, raising the age for accessing guns, and permit requirements would effectively reduce suicide.
Gun control will also reduce the number of gun crimes. Similarly, gun control limiting household firearm ownership could help save lives. According to ProCon Organization (2020), five women are killed with guns daily in the United States. A woman’s threat of being killed elevates five hundred percent if guns are available during domestic abuse (ProCon Organization, 2020). Therefore, gun control is not just logical but necessary. It is common for gun supporters to assert that the solution to gun violence is staying more heavily armed for increased protection of oneself and others against criminals. However, the argument is irrational. Other states that have enacted sterner gun possession laws than the United States have lower homicide rates, which is not coincidental. For instance, Japan has strict gun control regulations and policies and has an almost non-existent homicide rate (Gun Policy.org, 2022). The facts indicate that the answer is fewer and not more guns.
The answer to the problem the country faces is gun control and not more guns. High murder rates and mass shootings should not be normal or escalated. Opponents of gun control are irrational because the Second Amendment is not unlimited, and the assault weapon ban is not infringing on their constitutionally protected rights. The argument that the right to purchase and possess firearms is essential and fundamental for self-defense and liberty can be countered by showing that most people do not use firearms for self-defense. Therefore, Congress should act fast to enact stricter gun control policies. Gun control is bigger than politics, money, or a single amendment. It is all about protecting human lives.
- Blocher, J. (2015). Hunting and the Second Amendment. Notre Dame L. Rev., 91, 133.
- Gun Policy.org. (2022). Japan — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law. https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/japan
- McClellan, C., & Tekin, E. (2017). Stand your ground laws, homicides, and injuries. Journal of human resources, 52(3), 621-653.
- Morral, A. (2022). Gun Policy in America: An Overview. https://www.rand.org/research/gun-policy/key-findings/gun-policy-in-america.html
- ProCon Organization. (2020). Should more gun control laws be enacted? https://gun-control.procon.org/