The issue of gun control has attracted attention of many stakeholders in the United States within the past two decades, including policymakers, members of the public, attorneys, courts, and politicians. Some people have been interpreting this divisive subject from different perspectives due to the involved social, security, and constitutional challenges. The levels of insecurity, deaths, and mass shootings recorded in this country make it impossible for many American citizens to continue supporting the current legal standards or principles that favor a relaxed gun control. The purpose of this argumentative essay is to present a strong case for implementing additional gun control policies and measures to improve the level of security in the United States and protect more lives.
Brief Background Information
The Second Amendment to the American Constitution allows citizens to purchase, own, and use different firearms for safety purposes. This law outlines this as a right that no one should infringe or abuse, including the national government. Unfortunately, the prevalence and availability of more guns in the United States is associated with numerous cases of insecurity. For example, the United States is one of the leading countries with many firearms in the hands of different members of the public (Reeping et al, p. 2). This means that around 100 people would be in possession of over 120 guns (Ausman and Faria, p. 3). The country’s historical struggles encouraged the founders of the nation to introduce the best regulation that could allow more people to protect themselves against any external assault or attack.
Several challenges have emerged that are connected to this trend. According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), the United States recorded over 417 shooting incidents in 2019 alone (Silverstein). This information indicates clearly that violence is a major challenge that affects or makes it impossible for many citizens to focus on their personal objectives (Silverstein). Most of these attacks targeted vulnerable children who lacked arms are were unable to protect themselves. The gun control debate has, therefore, continued in this country since similar cases are reported frequently (Silverstein). At the domestic level, women and children tend to have increased chances of being abused in the presence of a weapon.
Unfortunately, scholars have done very little research to reveal the nature of this problem and the close relationship between crime and the possession of a firearm. Similarly, Reeping et al. write: “how gun law and gun ownership influence mass shooting events in the US is not fully understood” (1). The absence of adequate information or knowledge is a gap that encourages more stakeholders to analyze this predicament from different perspectives. The ultimate aim is to propose and implement evidence-based policies that protect lives. The involvement of all parties will be an ingenious move in an attempt to find a sustainable solution.
Claim and Position
The nature gun control exposes certain loopholes that allow criminals and people with malicious motives capitalize on the current laws to pursue their motives. A tighter policy is needed to reduce such gaps and ensure that no firearms are in the wrong hands. Several aspects or arguments are worth presenting in favor of such a proposal. First, the Second Amendment needs to be studied carefully and appreciate that it does not allow felons to acquire firearms to kill innocent citizens. For example, the possession of a concealed weapon is a malpractice that such a law does not permit or protect (Reeping et al, p. 3). The American society requires a superior action plan to ensure that citizens did not use this amendment to commit crime.
Second, the inclusion of stringent measures will result in reduced deaths and cases of violence in this country. Some of the studies completed in the past have linked gun possession to the current number of homicides and unintentional injuries. Ausman and Faria revealed that around 67 percent of domestic-related homicides resulted from the use of a firearm. Additionally, around 58 percent of suicides involved the use of a gun (p. 5). Phillips went further to propose better checks and stricter guidelines could minimize most of these deaths (p. 869). In countries whereby guns are licensed and monitored efficiently, the level of homicides and deaths associated with such weapons reduce significantly (Ausman and Faria, p. 6). The United States can pursue a similar path to protect the lives of innocent citizens.
Third, the present law fails to prohibit the acquisition and use of high-capacity magazines that exposed more people to unpredictable danger. These resources make it easier for criminals to engage in mass shootings and claim more lives (Phillips, p. 868). Such high-capacity magazines have also been associated with most of the school-related incidents whereby more people died. The decision to ban the purchase of specific cartridges could play a significant role in minimizing this problem of gun violence.
Fourth, the Second Amendment predicted a scenario whereby a person with a gun could engage in self-defense successfully. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of individuals or victims managed to defend themselves even when they had a firearm. Jowit et al. observed that many criminals were smart enough to attack when the victim was less prepared or unaware. Similarly, wrongdoers in domestic violence tend to target their venerable spouses or children when they were not ready or incapable of protecting themselves.
Finally, the decision to allow people to own and carry firearms has become the weakest link in the fight against different forms of violence in this country. This remains true since criminals devise new strategies to steal guns from members of the public (Phillips, p. 869). When more people in a given region have weapons, a new trend of theft or burglary will emerge. Such a development will also threaten or endanger the lives of many unsuspecting citizens (Reeping et al, p. 3). A consideration of these issues can become a new reason to introduce tighter gun policies.
Although many people believe that additional control measures will protect lives and make it possible for Americans to achieve their economic goals, some groups disagree and consider the importance of allowing citizens to have firearms. They present various points that continue to form the basis for opposition to new regulations. The first one is that the Second Amendment is a constitutional provision that protects Americans and encourages them to possess guns (Reeping et al, p. 2). Policymakers do not need to overturn this tradition since it may expose them to additional danger. The second issue is that most of the studies completed in the recent past have failed to offer strong reasons or convincing statistics to explain how new controls will reduce crime. Many scholars have used the same argument to indicate that increased gun policies will not deter mass shootings or malicious acts in the United States (Miller, p. 279). Consequently, the move to introduce new laws may not address the current issue.
Those against such a change indicate that additional laws will abuse the established citizens’ freedoms and rights. Americans are empowered to acquire guns for defending themselves against any form of attack. With new regulations in place, it might be impossible for citizens to protect their children, assets, and property (Miller 280). Additionally, sporting and hunting activities are pastimes associated with many Americans. Any law banning the purchase and use of different weapons means that more citizens will be unable to pursue such hobbies (Reeping et al, p. 5). Such an outcome will have significant implications on the culture of this country.
The above section has revealed that the debate to introduce additional policies to control the possession and use of firearms remains divisive. Some citizens believe that any effort aimed at banning the purchase of guns will infringe upon Americans’ rights as enshrined in the country’s Constitution (Jowit et al.). They go further to present the issues of hunting and the inability to deter criminal acts as strong reasons to allow the current amendment to stand. However, these arguers have ignored the fact that many people have been losing their lives due to the increasing number of mass shootings and criminal acts (Reeping et al, p. 4). At the family level, cases of homicide and suicide tend to occur when someone possess a gun. Many gangsters consider areas with more licensed firearm owners in an attempt to steal and continue to pursue their aims. Consequently, America continues to record more deaths and shootings incidents that any other nation across the globe.
Policymakers, politicians, and human rights activists in this country need to consider the history of gun control in the United States and appreciate the gaps that encourage persons with mental challenges or criminals to murder innocent Americans. The current statistics reveal that things might get worse if the current legal frameworks remain unchanged (Reeping et al, p. 4). More people will always be ready to examine the nature of such proposals and prepare themselves for their future aims (Miller, p. 283). Those who argue that increased gun control measures may not deter crime should analyze the case of Switzerland which has successful policies. Such requirements have reduced the number of attacks or deaths associated with different weapons significantly (Calamur). This kind of a decision is essential since it will empower more stakeholders to remain unbiased and focus on some of the best strategies to protect innocent lives. The outlined aspects and viewpoints explain why this discussion supports a tighter policy on gun ownership or policy.
The above argumentative essay has identified gun control as one of the most divisive topics in this country today. In the recent past, mass shootings targeting innocent civilians and children have become a norm in different regions. The number of homicide and suicide deaths linked to guns has continued to increase significantly within the past two decades. These facts explain why the Second Amendment should not be a barrier towards formulating superior policies that are influenced or guided by the problems many citizens have to go through in their daily lives. In conclusion, tighter gun laws are, therefore, needed in this country to protect lives, reduce crime, and promote economic performance.
- Ausman, James I., and Miguel A. Faria. “Is Gun Control Really About People Control?” Surgical Neurology International, vol. 10, no. 195, 2019, pp. 1-13.
- Calamur, Krishnadev. “The Swiss Have Liberal Gun Law Laws, Too: But they also Have Fewer Gun-Related Deaths than the U.S.” The Atlantic, 2018.
- Jowit, Juliette, et al. “Four Countries with Gun Control – and What America Could Learn From Them.” The Guardian, 2016. Web.
- Miller, Steven V. “What Americans Think About Gun Control: Evidence from the General Social Survey, 1972–2016.” Social Science Quarterly, vol. 100, no. 1, 2019, pp. 272-288.
- Phillips, Charles D. “The Politics of Firearm Safety: An Emerging New Balance of Power.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 18, no. 7, 2018, pp. 868-870.
- Reeping, Paul M., et al. “State Gun Laws, Gun Ownership, and Mass Shootings in the US: Cross Sectional Time Series.” The BMJ, vol. 364, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1-6.
- Silverstein, Jason. “There Were More Mass Shootings than Days in 2019.” CBS News, 2020. Web.