There has been a problem with gun-related violence in the USA for a long time. Most of the crimes committed involve the use of a gun. These crimes include suicide, homicide, and robberies. These crimes are often senseless and cause a lot of innocent people to lose their lives or be physically impaired for the rest of their lives. However, there is rampant use of a specific gun, and that gun is a handgun. The handgun is more like an adult toy in the US, a dangerous one for that matter. Almost all the people in the USA know or have someone that has been affected by gun violence. In the year 2019, there were 14,400 gun-related homicides. In the United States, a permit to use a handgun shall be issued in 8 states, and a background check for all sales shall be issued in 23 states. According to these statistics, the handgun is very accessible to the public. The United States citizens have the right to bear arms, and most of the states have ensured that this right has been protected in their various constitutions. Moreover, this right is protected by the second amendment. This Pamphlet will stress the need for the federal government to ban the use of guns by citizens as a way of minimizing crimes.
According to Mauser (2015), between the years 1990 to 2003 there has been an average of 737,370 crimes that were violent and were committed using handguns in the United States. This implies that handguns are seven more likely to be used when committing a crime than any other weapon or firearm in the whole country. This is a worrying trend and one that should not be ignored. The rate of violent crimes being committed is increased by the fact that people can easily gain access to a handgun. Handguns do not make a large percent of the firearms that exist in the US, it only makes 34 percent of it. However, 80 percent of the homicides reported to the authorities are all committed with a handgun. Most of the victims of these homicides are especially women. Most of the female homicides are carried out using a handgun.
There was research carried out in California, and it was discovered that most of the first-time purchasers of handguns had caused their death by suicide using the handgun. During the first week of acquiring the handgun, it was discovered that there was a tremendous increase in suicide rates (Mauser, 2015). There have been various debates on the possession of guns, and many gun apologists have used phrases such as “a good man in possession of a gun can tackle a bad man in possession of a gun,” and this has made most of the people acquire handguns even if they do not have any use for them.
The number of deaths caused by handguns is alarmingly high. There are some states that have tried to ban the use of handguns, but most of those laws were repealed. In 1991 a study was conducted documenting the impact that Washington law on prohibiting guns stated that the enactment stated above of the prohibition in 1976, during this period there was a 30% decline in the number of homicides committed with firearms. Falls (2011) there was also a 25% reduction in suicides that took place with handguns within the Columbia District. The number of suicides and homicides that were committed through other means did not reduce significantly compared to the ones committed with firearms. There were no reductions even in the adjacent metropolitan areas that are Virginia and Maryland. During this period, Colombia recorded the lowest rate of young people committing suicide in the whole of the United States. Even pro handgun experts have proven that the use of a handgun during suicide is a fatal choice for self-protection and therefore do not recommend it.
It is important to note that America’s gun violence problem is mainly a handgun violence problem. Handguns are the leading type of firearm that is used in mass shootings in the United States, the number of handguns tallying up to 144 different handguns that were used on 96 occasions between 1982 to April 2021. These numbers were reached upon from a total of 123 incidences that were reported to the authorities over a period of time, and it implies that during mass shootings, at least 78 percent of the mass shootings involve the use of handguns. This shows that handguns should be banned from private ownership even for recreational purposes that like hunting and fire training exercises (Falls, 2011). These data show that the rate at which the US citizens are using handguns is high, and also it is one of the easiest guns to carry around, therefore, encouraging more citizens to use it as their preferred type of firearm.
It is noted that most of the states have made it easier for the general population to acquire guns, and as stated above, most of the handguns have not been used for the right reasons, and even experts do not recommend the use of handguns during self-defense. Even though the ban on handguns was ruled unconstitutional in 2008 in Washington DC, members of congress and the justice system should review this issue and ban the use and possession of handguns by American individuals after role constitutional rights are not obsolete (Hunter-Pazzara, 2020). Also, the statistics show that there are more fatalities during suicides when a gun was used than when another means was used. This in itself should be one of the main reasons why handguns should be banned. There are other methods that people can use to defend themselves or ensure safety in their homes other than the use of handguns. There are safer options and even safer firearms to use other than the handgun.
Handguns can be done away with by making it hard for American individuals to access them. These can be done by introducing long procedures for acquiring one and even giving specific agencies to issues handguns to specific people. They can also introduce strict background checks that almost make it impossible for one to obtain a handgun. One other way of making it hard for the American population to access handguns is by making the guns very expensive. Although this solution cannot completely do away with handguns, it is a step in the right direction.
The US government can also pass legislation that prohibits civilians from accessing handguns. These laws should expressly state who is allowed to own one and why. The people in the security field should be the only people allowed to own or have access to handguns. The law should also have them go through training, and handguns should be the last resort. Members of the public should also be taught the disadvantages of owning and using a handgun and giving other alternatives to protect themselves (Cooley, 2016). The use of the available statistics can help in convincing the public that the banning of shotguns will reduce gun violence and help keep everyone safe. The public should also be given mental health education as most of the suicide cases reported a gun as used. Security is important for every member of the area, and every resident will do everything to secure their life and those of their dear ones.
Knowledge of a gun-owning resident brings fear among the people. Those who do not own the gun will not trust those with guns as they feel their lives might be threatened. Living with fear is dangerous for every human, and it will make other people move out of their area. People who own guns might inflict damage on their neighbors and animals. It is important for the federal government to improve the security of all areas to help all citizens to live in peace. Without a high crime rate, people will resolve to guns to secure their homes.
Guns are a menace in the USA, as they have more demerits than merits. As much as the federal government gets billions of dollars while licensing these people, they must prioritize human life. Accidents related to gun shooting are common as people are killing each other in the form of self-defense. Perfecting the security system should be a priority for the government, as this will make everyone feel safe. Banning firearm use will promote the well-being of all citizens, and this should be a priority. I believe this argument will help protect innocent live across America.
Cooley, A. (2016). Familial Constitutional challenges to legislation that stigmatizes or prohibits the teaching of LGBT relationships in public schools. SSRN Electronic Journal. Web.
Falls, B. (2011). Legislation prohibiting physicians from asking patients about guns. The Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 39(3), 441-464. Web.
Hunter-Pazzara, B. (2020). The possessive investment in guns: towards a material, social, and racial analysis of guns. Palgrave Communications, 6(1). Web.
Mauser, G. (2015). The number of violent crimes involving guns has been exaggerated by an over-inclusive definition of gun crime. SSRN Electronic Journal. Web.