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Gun Control

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In many nations the use, possession, production, shipment and sale of guns is prohibited or limited. However, these policies vary from one country to another with some fully restricting gun possession while others limiting it to a given group of people. For instance, Germany has very strict rules regarding gun possession; while countries like the United States have relatively modest rules. The issue on whether guns should be left at the citizens’ disposal remains a contentious issue. Some people hugely oppose the notion that people should be allowed to use guns while some people support the move to allow people to own guns. Despite the deadly nature of gun possession people should be allowed to possess guns. Citizens in the United States have a constitutional right of owning guns for self-defense. Due to this, many states have passed conceal carry laws in order to allow citizens to have the right of owning private firearms. After North Carolina and Florida had allowed citizens to carry private firearms, the crime rates in these states started reducing. The Newton Massacre and Columbine High School Massacre might have been prevented if the staff had been allowed to carry guns at school. Guns should not be banned in the United States.

After the Newton Massacre, gun control laws became strict in New York. Adam Lanza opened fire and killed twenty children and six adult staff members belonging to Sandy Hook Elementary School. Sources close to the family of Lanza reveled that his actions were triggered by a disagreement that he had with his mother. His mother wanted him to go to a psychiatric facility as she considered that his mental condition was unstable. Lanza did not want to go to the facility and this made him become enraged by his mother’s actions. He had killed his mother before he went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and started firing there. Some people argued that this massacre could not have happened if people had been allowed to carry guns freely in theaters and schools. If one or more of the staff members had had guns, they would have disarmed the shooter. In contrast, other people argued that if people had been not allowed to carry guns, Lanza would not have acquired the gun that he used to conduct the shooting. After this incident, New York banned the possession of any magazines with high capacity regardless of when they were sold. In addition, ammunition dealers had to do a background checks after selling ammunition. All citizens in New York having assault weapons were also required to register their guns. Guns were also required to be taken from all mental patients who pose harm to other citizens. The Vice President, Wayne Lapierre argued that the best solution to the Newton Massacre was to allow citizens to own guns. He stated ”The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.

Guns should not be banned in the United States since they help to reduce the rates of crime. According to research, conceal carry laws have reduced crime rates in all the states that have implemented such laws. Research has also established that concealed laws have reduced assault cases by 7%, robbery by 3%, murder rates by 8.5 %, and rape cases by 5% .

Vermont is one of the five safest states in the United States. Vermont’s laws allow citizens to carry and own firearms without the need of seeking permission, paying any fee, and going through any period of waiting. Florida was also able to reduce its crime rates after it has introduced concealed carry laws. Before 1987, the rates of crime in Florida were very high. The judicial system in this state had a hard time while prosecuting the offenders from this state. However, after it introduced the concealed laws in 1987, the crime rates in this state started reducing significantly. According to reports released by the FBI, crime rates in Florida have reduced by 52 % since concealed laws were introduced in this state.

Violent crimes also reduced in North Carolina after it had introduced concealed carry laws that gave the citizens the right of owning and carrying firearms. Violent crimes in North Carolina were about 45,016 in 1995. Conceal carry laws have caused a reduction in violent crimes in this state since the number of violent crimes recorded in 2010 was about 34,033. The number of people owning guns in this state is 275,000. Since citizens’ ownership of guns has managed to reduce crime rates in North Carolina, policy makers have proposed that the rights of firearm bearers should be increased so as to reduce the crime rates in North Carolina. According to the current laws of this state, gun owners in North Carolina are not allowed to carry their weapons into restaurants, bars, or any other places where alcohol is served. However, according to the Hilton bill proposed in 2009, gun owners were allowed to carry concealed weapons in places serving alcohol.  

In More Guns, Less Crime John Lott argues whether citizens are supposed to carry concealed handguns as it is strongly associated with lowering rates of violent crime. According to Lott, average murder rates started dropping after states started passing the right-to carry concealed handgun law. The murder rates dropped from 6.3 per 100,000 people to 5.2 per 100,000 people. It shows that when citizens are allowed to carry guns, the rates of violent crime will also reduce significantly. Lott also argues that crimes in Great Britain increased after it banned handguns on January 1997. Between 1998 and 2005, the number of injuries and deaths caused by guns in both Wales and England increased 340. Crime rates in Jamaica, India, Germany, Greece and Finland also increased after they banned the carrying of handguns. It suggests that crime rates in the United States could be reduced significantly when all citizens are given the right of carrying firearms.

Gun ownership is also a democratic right of the citizens. All people should be allowed to possess guns and not only the members of the police and army forces. So long as the intent of the gun holders is clear, they should be allowed to possess firearms. Democracy demands that everybody is to be held equal in the face of the law. As such, no one should be held special over the rest of the citizens. The guns give individuals the freedom of expression and prevent them from being victimized by other people. In certain states, people who hold guns are given state identification documents. This helps in preventing underage and prohibiting persons from buying guns. Freedom of ownership of guns will also reduce imbalance of power in America, therefore ensuring that all citizens in the United States have their democratic right.

When the government disarms all the citizens, it will have more firepower compared to the citizens. This will make the citizens fear criticizing any illegal actions that the government may commit. In addition, citizens will not have any power of questioning the policies that the government introduces. In North Korea, citizens are not allowed to own private firearms. This country is governed by a tyranny. Citizens have no freedom of association. In addition, the citizens of this country do not have the freedom of movement. In China, private gun ownership is also banned. Researchers have established that the government in this country is involved in illegal activities, such as organ trade. This shows that if all citizens in the United States are allowed to own private firearms, democracy will prevail in this country.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution has made gun ownership a civil right in the United States. According to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, Americans have the right to keep and bear firearms. The Amendment states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”. It was further proved that gun ownership is a civic right as it was held in the case between Heller and District of Columbia. Heller is a special police officer in Columbia. He wanted to register a firearm to keep it at his home, but the District of Columbia refused to grant him this application. He filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia using the Second Amendment. However, the District Court dismissed the complaint that Heller presented. The Court of Appeal reversed this judgment. It argued that the total ban on handguns was a violation to the individual right of possessing firearms based on the Second Amendment of the American Constitution.  

No law should hinder the citizens from acquiring and owning guns for self-protection. The proponents of gun possession also argue that when civilians own guns they can be able to fight crime and even tyranny as the police and army are element of the government. In cases where the members of the public are not in agreement with what the police are enforcing, the civilians can also have a word. Guns give the citizen power and a voice among people. The Militia Information Service also contends that gun ownership is a civic duty of each individual. The citizens need to posses the power of the sword to perform their duties.

Americans should be allowed to carry private firearms for self-defense. The Clinton Justice Department conducted a study in order to find out how American citizens use private firearms. They found out that citizens use guns in about 2.5 million times each year for self-defense. This study also revealed that guns are used for self-defense from a particular crime three or four times more compared to the number of times when guns are used to commit a particular crime. Many cases exist where citizens use handguns to defend themselves against robbery or rape. Due to this, some states have passed laws that allow students to carry guns to school so that self-defense is assured. In 1999, a massacre occurred in Columbine High School. Two senior students known as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conducted the massacre. Detectives investigating this case found out that these students planned on killing as many students as possible.

Harris and Klebold studied the influx of students in the cafeteria of their schools. From their study, they noted that there were more than 500 students in the cafeteria after 11.15 am. They used the Internet to find out what materials should be used for making pipe bombs. They managed to make 99 explosive devices. They planned to plant propane bombs that were to explode at around 11.17. This would kill as many students as possible in the cafeteria. In addition, they planned to shoot any survivor from the cafeteria explosion. However, the pipe bombs did not explode as planned when the two students planted them in the cafeteria. They used 9-mm semi automatic handguns and 12-gauge double barrel sawed-off shotgun to murder 12 students and one teacher. In addition, they injured 21 students and 3 other people as they tried to escape. If students had been allowed to carry guns in school, there is a possibility that Harris and Klebold would not have succeeded in killing the 12 students. The shooters would have been disarmed before committing more murders.

Aurora shooting also showed the importance of citizens owning private firearms for self-defense. In this incident, a man who was heavily armed entered a movie theater in Aurora and started opening fire. He killed 12 people in the incident and injured 50 people. The shooter first set up a tear gas bomb. After this, he stood in front of the screen and started opening fire. The police arrested the shooter behind the theater after they had received 911 calls. When the police investigated the house of the suspect, they found out that he had two Glock pistols. He also had a shotgun and AR-15. Thousand of bullets, ballistic gear and firearms were also found in his home. This shooting caused debates regarding the use of private firearms for self-defense. Some people in Colorado argued that gun control laws should be strict in order to reduce mass murders caused by firearms. The study conducted by the Denver Post revealed that people from Colorado are against strict gun control laws. 56% of respondents of this study supported the right to own guns. In contrast, 36% supported controlling ownership of guns.

While most people hold guns for the self-defense purpose, others need them for sports. These sporting activities could be practiced in gun clubs that have the most appropriate facilities. Such individuals should not be denied the right to leisure. It is a form of investment for the people who own these clubs. This can help generate income for the government in the form of taxes. The revenue gained can then be put to develop other sectors of the economy. The proponents believe that guns lead to higher killings while that is not the case. It is proved that, for every one life lost through gun attacks, 65 people are protected.

Prohibiting some people from buying guns is not a solution because somehow they manage to get it illegally. In the highly urbanized states, guns can be easily acquired illegally. People may buy guns using the black markets. It could be efficient if the legislation allowed individuals to freely own guns so that they would not have to buy them illegally. The handguns in the black market are generally expensive, and citizens are exploited in the process. A ban on handguns leads to an increase in the number of people who would like to acquire them illegally.  This means that bans on guns would lead to the development of black underground markets that are insecure.

Studies have also revealed that most criminals avoid citizens possessing firearms. According to research, criminals prefer to conduct burglary when they know pretty well that the owner of the house that they are going to attack is away. This is because they fear being confronted by the owner of such houses. Criminals also claim that they prefer being arrested by the armed police instead of receiving confrontation from a victim of a crime who is armed. Victims of crime end up killing crime perpetrators if they get a chance of preventing the crime from happening.

James Wright and Peter Rossi conducted a study to determine whether criminals were scared of citizens possessing guns. The sample for their study was 2000 felons who were incarcerated in the United States state prisons. From their study, they found out that 34% of the felons stated that armed victims had wounded, scared them off, captured, or shot them. 57% of the felons under this study agreed with the statement that most criminals fear meeting an armed victim compared to being arrested by the police. It suggests that criminal activities will reduce in the United States if citizens are allowed to own private guns. The National Institute of Justice also conducted the study to find out whether criminals fear armed victims. 74% of the felons who were interviewed in their study argued that burglars avoid houses when people are at their homes since they fear being shot while committing crime. The above facts suggest that criminal activities in the United States will reduce if more citizens are allowed to own private firearms.

Some people argue that Americans should not be allowed to own guns since it increases the number of crimes that can be avoided. All the guns that were used in the Newton Massacre were legally owned. The two semiautomatic handguns and the AR-15 bushmaster semiautomatic rifle that were used in the shooting legally belonged to Adam Lanza’s mother. Critics argue that Newton’s Massacre could not have happened if Americans had not been allowed to own private guns. Kellerman states that the number of gun owners that are injured by guns of their family members or their private guns is higher compared to the number of intruders that the gun owner shoots for self-protection (Spitzer, 2009). In his study, the scholar found that about 54% of all deaths that related to firearms occurred in the homes where the gun used for the murder was stored. He also found out that 0.5% of homicides occurred when an intruder was shot while trying to trespass private property. The study also revealed that suicides that occur in homes were in 37 times more compared to the shootings that occurred for self-protection. The study conducted by Kellerman suggests that Americans will be unsafe if they are allowed to own private firearms.

Guns should not be banned in the United States. Studies have revealed that states that allow private ownership of guns have lower crime rates compared to states that do not allow private ownership of guns. Vermont is one of the safest states since it allows its citizens to carry and own firearms without the need of seeking permission, paying fees for the ownership of guns, and going through a waiting period before being given a gun. Crime rates in Florida also reduced after concealed carry laws had been introduced. Citizens should also be allowed to own and carry firearms since it is their democratic right. Democracy holds that everybody should be held equal in the face of law. Therefore, it is not democratic for members of the police force to own guns while the private citizens do not have them. When government disarms citizens who have private firearms, they will have more power compared to the private citizens. Tyranny may end up developing because of this. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution also grants all citizens the right to keep and bear firearms. Citizens should, therefore, be allowed to own private firearms.

Americans should also own private firearms for self-defense. The Clinton Justice Department found out that citizens who are abided by the law use guns about 2.5 million times each year for self defense. The Columbine High School Massacre and Aurora shooting might have been prevented if the staff and other students had been allowed to carry guns for self-defense. If people are not allowed to carry guns, they will acquire them illegally from the black market. Guns bought from the black market are difficult to trace. Criminals also avoid victims who are armed. It suggests that crime rates would reduce if Americans were allowed to carry private firearms. However, some studies have revealed that crimes will increase when Americans are allowed to possess private firearms.

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