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For every 100 people, there are 88.8 guns, the highest number of guns per capita in the globe. Approximately 22% of the US citizens have one or more guns. The pervasive culture of guns among the Americans has its roots in colonial period, frontier expansion, and the revolutionary roots. The Second Amendment of the US Constitution has also led to an upsurge in the number of guns among the citizens since it promote ownership of these weapons. Proponents of more laws concerning gun control indicate that the Second Amendment was specifically meant to ensure the restriction of guns. On the other hand, opponents of these laws indicate that the Amendment is meant to ensure the protection of the right of a person to have gun ownership. Apart from that, the opponents perceive gun ownership as a means of self-defense. The aim of this paper is show the cons and pros of gun ownership and why more stringent measures should be put in place to ensure the control of guns in US (Wallenberg, 2013). I am for gun control since such a move will help in preventing massive shooting that has led to the death of various people across the country.
History of gun control
Many people in the American colonies owned guns as a means of general protection. They were later utilized during the Revolution War in the US. Most laws in the US required that every male will be in a possession of a gun. A Federal Law passed in 1792 called for the ownership of guns to each male eligible to take part in military service. The 1938 Federal Firearms Act provided that it is illegal to ensure the selling of guns to specific group of people such as convicted felons. The same law was amended in 1968 thereby requiring that the unregistered guns owned by an individual should not be necessarily registered (Wallenberg, 2013).
The 1968 Gun Control Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson following the assassinations of Malcolm X, President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Junior, and the mass shooting at the University of Texas in 1966. The latest move was by President Obama who made announcement of new actions of the executive regarding gun control. Among the measures introduced include expansion and update of background checks, mental health funding increment as well as personnel to ensure an enhancement of National Integrated Ballistics Information Networks (Wallenberg, 2013).
Pros of Gun Control
With the control of guns, less shooting will be witnessed in the country since it will be hard to obtain guns. Making it hard for the public to purchase guns means that the mentally disabled, the teens and the children will has little or no access to their friends’ or parents’ guns. We will not be talking about gun shooting such as the 1873 mass shootings of 150 African American US citizens. According to the recent studies, 75% of the mass killings occur through the use of illegally acquired firearms. By ensuring more restriction on legal gun purchases, the possibility of reducing high casualties would be achieved (Wallenberg, 2013).
Violence Risk Increases with an Increase in gun Access
A study conducted by Linda Dahlberg (2004) revealed that presence of guns within the homes has a potential of increasing chances of suicide or homicide. The chances of committing homicide are 40 percent higher for people with a gun at home compared to individuals without access to a gun at home. The chances of committing suicide related to gun are approximately 90 percent if a gun is available at home (Wallenberg, 2013).
Lead to a reduction of accidental injuries
In 2010, more than 600 people lost their lives owing to unintentional shooting. Over 1300 people who died from 2005 to 2010 owing to accidental shootings were below 25 years. From 2000 to 2014, about 126 shooting have occurred across the nation. An addition of childproof safety lock and loading indicator could help in the prevention of more than 30% of fire-arm related unintentional deaths. The gun control legislation that includes safety measures will be essential in saving life (Wallenberg, 2013).
Cons of Gun Control
Control of guns would lead to the creation of black markets: although the gun legislation aims at enhancing the safety of the US citizens, it is likely to enhance the creation of black market especially for individuals who desire a self-defense option (Wallenberg, 2013).
Despite the few cons of gun control, the pros are more since more loss of lives will be reduced by such measures. With an increase in mass shooting especially in schools and various neighborhoods, many US citizens are supporting the idea of gun control to prevent further loss of life. The present debate regarding gun control captures mass shooting. It is important to have background checks and smart gun laws. Similarly, it is important to restrict mentally ill individuals from purchasing guns. These laws will enhance the safety of many Americans who lives in fear owing to an increase in cases of mass shootings.
- Wallenberg, D. (2013). The pros and cons of the gun control debate: How do Obama’s laws impact gun ownership.