The debate over the necessity to limit the freedom of weapon possession in the United States has been going on for decades now. Advocates on both sides have some compelling arguments as to whether or not the government should employ more restrictive measures regarding gun control. The article Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? provides fifteen reasons for and against it, some of which feature chilling statistics and rather uncommon angles from which one can look at the situation.
One of the most convincing arguments against the establishment of laws restricting the freedom to bear arms is the possible infringement upon people’s right to self-defense. Con 3 in the article states that 2.5 million a year is the number of times guns are used in self-defense, which is, by essence, “a basic natural right that grows out of the right to life” (Should More Gun Control, 2020). Whether there is a right to use force while defending does not seem to be a topic of discussion. It is evident that every citizen has to have an opportunity to protect themselves in the heat of the moment when the interference of the third party is not possible. DeGrazia and Hunt argue that, consequently, there is a right to have guns and use them when necessary (2016). Granted, the problem with guns is that they might be lethal – which crosses the boundaries of conventional self-defense. In the case of an attack on one party by the other, there is an increased likelihood that someone will end up being killed or injured. However, under these circumstances, there is the attacker – the guilty party – and there is the defender – the innocent one. The likelihood of injury or death will befall either one of them, and since the innocent’s security is preferred to the security of the guilty, the burden is to be put solely on the guilty (DeGrazia and Hunt, 2016). Thus, the ethical side of the issue protects the person trying to protect themselves.
When speaking about the person’s right to be safe inside their own home – which seems to be an unchallenged one without any questions – one of the major advantages of enacting legislation concerning gun control comes to light. Pro 4 in the article points to the necessity to protect women from domestic abusers since a study has shown that more than 85% of women killed by firearms are American – and a woman in the United States is 11.4 times more likely to suffer from the gun homicides (Should More Gun Control, 2020). One might think that the consequences of abuse in a family are terrible regardless of the presence of a weapon at the hands of an aggressor. However, Lynch and Logan state that when delving into risk factors of domestic violence that ends with murder, one of them was an abuser’s access to a gun (2018). It has been noted that firearms are the weapon that is used most often when killing a partner in the United States and that its presence in situations of abuse increases the risk of a partner being killed. Not to mention that it is male partners with a higher likelihood to kill their female significant other with a gun than non-intimate offenders when committing a crime – and intimate partners in America are more likely to get murdered by a firearm than by anything else combined (Lynch and Logan, 2018). To assume that there is nothing that can be done about it is to encourage femicide.
To sum up, there are different arguments backing up different points of view when it comes to either of the sides of this debate. However, the most persuasive ones seem to be the ones concerning a person’s right to be defensive – or to stay safe – in their own household. A country could barely be called free when no one can at least give themselves a chance to provide protection for themselves and their loved ones – whether it is with a gun or not.
DeGrazia, D., Hunt, L. H. (2016). Debating Gun Control: How Much Regulation Do We Need?. United States: Oxford University Press.
Lynch, K. R., & Logan, T. (2018). “You Better Say Your Prayers and Get Ready”: Guns Within the Context of Partner Abuse. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33(4), 686–711. Web.
Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? (2020). Web.