The United States is one of the countries where gun ownership represents a significant issue due to the large number of registered guns. With almost 400 million weapons (approximately 130 guns per 100 individuals), the US is leading the pack on a global scale (British Broadcasting Corporation). The increasing percentage of American citizens who own at least one gun shows that the country’s firearm culture is overly pervasive and tends to resort to the militant nature of colonial history. The presence of the Second Amendment also affected the debate on gun possession to a certain extent, outlining the right to keep and bear arms but failing to address the possible infringements (British Broadcasting Corporation). The heated argument between the opponents and the proponents of the Second Amendment shows that gun control is a complex issue that cannot be ignored or evaded at all times.
Positive Effects of Gun Control
One of the main reasons why gun control could become a source of constructive change is the opportunity to reduce the majority of societal costs linked to gun ownership and consequent violence. With nearly $3.5 billion at stake, hospital charges are reaching extreme levels because of the constant exposure of Americans to shootings (Peek-Asa et al. 3). Firearms cause lots of damage due to incredibly costly hospitalizations that put a burden on Medicare and Medicaid as well. The lack of insured individuals makes the issue even more complex, making it safe to say that gun control could be one of the few ways to reduce the prevalence of violence and focus on improved life insurance (Spitzer et al. 772). Also, the number of people killed by guns could be reduced by a notch, which is another socioeconomic indicator missed by the opponents of the Second Amendment.
Speaking of deaths related to the possession and bearing of firearms, it should be noted that stricter gun control regulations might reduce the percentage of accidental gun deaths across the country. Even though gun owners tend to install more safety devices on their firearms, most children might find a way to injure or kill themselves while inspecting weapons. Knowing that at least one-fifth of firearm-related fatal injuries in adults could be prevented with the help of gun control, the government could introduce additional safety measures to gain more insight into destructive human behaviors (Spitzer et al. 772). The government cannot predict every single case of self-inflicted gun violence, but it can set the tone for future regulations by banning at least some of the guns available to civilians.
Negative Effects of Gun Control
When it comes to the opponents of gun control policies, one of the key arguments is that gun control does not aid the country in terms of deterring crimes. Firearm owners represent the essential variable influencing the outcomes of gun possession on a nationwide level since murder rates remained unchanged after a ban on assault weapons (Oraka et al. 181). One of the reasons why gun ownership could have a positive impact on the prevalence of violent crimes is that a smaller percentage of firearms would remain concealed. Accordingly, gun ownership is an intention to protect one’s self and not to engage in multiple-victim shootings. Criminals cannot be expected to behave the same way they did, knowing that retaliation from victims could also affect them.
Another factor makes it safe to say that gun control is unlawful and represents a negative trend that should be stopped. As a variation of invasion of privacy, gun control regulations could leave enough room for unjustified micro-stamping and biased background checks (Hemenway et al. 216). The increasing amount of personal information that the government could attain could be a damaging factor for all American citizens, irrespective of their socioeconomic status and access to resources. There are no specific limitations on how the information should be stored and shared upon request with other governmental bodies. Accordingly, it cannot be guaranteed that the government steps away from expanded background checks completed without the given person’s consent (Oraka et al. 182). The constitutional right of American citizens to bear arms should not interfere with the government’s willingness to exercise unlawful surveillance.
The presence of diverse evidence on gun control does not allow for a firm stance on how the American government should proceed to reap all the benefits. Both the opponents and the proponents of the respective legislation support their claims with real-life evidence and maintain a clear view of the government’s ability to control the possession and bearing of firearms. The increasing number of human victims associated with mass shootings and individual gun violence makes it safe to say that individual freedoms should not be infringed but only to an extent where guns do not represent a threat to the community. There is a rather thin line between how the two contrasting groups perceive the Second Amendment, so the entire nation should participate in the prevention of negative outcomes of gun ownership. Otherwise, the debate will prevail, leading to no constructive decisions.
British Broadcasting Corporation. “America’s Gun Culture in Charts.” BBC News, 2020, Web.
Hemenway, David, et al. “Selling a Gun to a Stranger without a Background Check: Acceptable behavior?” Injury Prevention, vol. 24, no. 3, 2018, pp. 213-217.
Oraka, Emeka, et al. “A Cross-Sectional Examination of US Gun Ownership and Support for Gun Control Measures: Sociodemographic, Geographic, and Political Associations Explored.” Preventive Medicine, vol. 123, 2019, pp. 179-184.
Peek-Asa, Corinne, et al. “Cost of Hospitalization for Firearm Injuries by Firearm Type, Intent, and Payer in the United States.” Injury Epidemiology, vol. 4, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-9.
Spitzer, Sarabeth A., et al. “Costs and Financial Burden of Initial Hospitalizations for Firearm Injuries in the United States, 2006–2014.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 107, no. 5, 2017, pp. 770-774.