Gun Control Policies
Table of Contents
Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in 2012, the United States has experienced more than 316 school-related mass shootings and other firearm-related deaths. Recent statistics indicate that more than two hundred million firearms are in the hands of civilians. Gun control implies the legal measures undertaken to restrict and prevent civilians’ use and possession of guns and firearms. Broadly, gun control refers to the legal restrictions on the use and ownership of weapons, including those that predate the creation of gunpowder. Gun control in the U.S. has faced equal support and opposition. The issue remains a fraught political matter that pits individuals regarding it as an essential need for public safety (Spitzer, 2020).
In contrast, others view it as an infringement on personal liberty. Gun control is controversial in the U.S. since the constitution protects gun ownership. Opponents of gun control argue that gun control will hinder law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves from armed criminals. As a proponent of gun control, I believe that increased gun control will limit individuals’ access to guns and firearms, reduce crime, and save lives.
Gun Control to Reduce Deaths
Increased gun control will help reduce gun deaths and mass public shootings. It is easy to carry and openly buy a gun in some American states, like Texas. Following the Robb Elementary School Shooting in May 2022, President Biden proposed gun control and reform, supported by many other legislators. On the other hand, pro-gun legislators claimed it was time to build safer schools and arm the teachers (Kort, 2020). Rather than arming schoolteachers who will have to train as law enforcement or spending more resources from the education fund on metal detectors, it is important to make it harder to purchase guns. It is also time to end easy access to firearms and white supremacists and to stop politics from obstructing research funded by the taxpayers’ inquiry into gun-related deaths and injuries. The science of gun control is clear: more guns do not necessarily reduce crime. As evidenced by recent incidents in the country, guns kill more innocent children yearly than car accidents. Innocent individuals die from gunfire more often than active military members or on-duty police officers.
The Second Amendment and Gun Ownership
The prevalent gun culture in the United States stems from the country’s revolutionary beginnings, frontier expansion, colonial history, and the Second Amendment. The United States’ second amendment states the necessity of a well-regulated militia in Free State security. It also partly reads that the government shall not infringe on the citizens’ right to bear and keep arms. Gun control proponents argue that the second amendment was primarily intended for militias. According to the proponents, the second amendment is aimed at reducing violence. Even gun owners support the government’s new gun restrictions. The Second Amendment should not be used as a right to own guns. A 2008 court ruling claimed that the gun ownership rights in the Second Amendment, like most rights, are unlimited (Newman & Hartman, 2019). A similar ruling in 2016 asserted that the Second Amendment does not protect individuals from carrying concealed guns in public. These rulings upheld the law that requires a good cause and a permitting process to carry a concealed firearm in California.
Gun Control to Protect Women and Children
The U.S. also needs strict gun control to protect women and children from stalkers and domestic abusers. Research claims that women and children are vulnerable to gun violence. Research also shows that most American states have no restrictions against misdemeanor convicts from owning guns. In addition, some states do not require convicted domestic abusers to relinquish their already owned guns. As a result, this vulnerable population is at a greater risk of being killed whenever a gun is present during domestic confrontations. More gun control rules in the U.S. mean creating stringent laws. The country also needs more security attached to gun transactions to prevent dangerous individuals from acquiring guns (Spitzer, 2020). These laws are also necessary to limit the number of firearms available for public purchase. For example, people often buy guns for protection, but none of these people really need an automatic assault rifle for their defense.
Licensed Guns in Circulation
In 2013, the Institute of Medicine published a journal reporting that almost all firearms used in criminal acts initially enter circulation through legal transactions. The article claims that most of these guns were stolen from homes during property crimes like car thefts and burglaries. Increased availability of firearms encourages crime and larceny. Most gun owners with transaction permits to conceal weapons may never use the guns to further a crime, but these guns end up in criminal activities like burglaries if stolen (Newman & Hartman, 2019). Gun control proponents argue that the rules should apply to private sales and gun shows. Not all gun show dealers in the U.S. are subject to FBI background checks. In Philadelphia, for example, no law says a private gun show dealer has to check the buyer’s background before selling them a firearm.
Gun control is necessary because the likelihood of armed civilians stopping crimes is low and could aggravate the danger. Based on the available data on mass shootings in the U.S., armed civilians have never prevented such incidences. This fact is contrary to the popular opinions of activists regarding gun rights, arguing that armed students stopped the 2002 Appalachian mass shooting in Virginia when most of the students involved were former law enforcement officers. Moreover, the existing data indicate that the students managed to subdue the shooter after his bullets ran out and he had stopped shooting. Most average gun owners, despite their responsibility, do not possess any law enforcement training or experience in handling life-threatening events. Most of the time, when there are threats, guns make the situation dangerous and unstable, putting more people in danger.
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- Kort, R. (2020). When Conspiracy Theorists Align with the Existing Laws: The Public and Counterpublic Rhetoric of Gun Control After Sandy Hook.
- Newman, B. J., & Hartman, T. K. (2019). Mass shootings and public support for gun control. British Journal of Political Science, 49(4), 1527-1553.
- Spitzer, R. J. (2020). The politics of gun control. Routledge.