Gun violence has been on the increase on a global scale. More and more school-going children are being incarcerated for gun-related crimes yet the law enforcement agents are being assigned more and more resources to deter the prevalence of crimes. This scenario of having an increased incidence of gun-related crimes is the main topic of discussion.
It is surprising to note that the prevalence of gun-related crimes is increasingly becoming uncontrollable. Incidences of high school students attacking their fellow students with guns are on the increase, issues of gun-related homicides and serial murders are on the increase especially in the United States. Why has this been so?
In analyzing this paper, I will look at some of the current trends concerning gun-related violence. In addition, I will give some views concerning the merits and demerits of gun control.
The aspects of gun control and firearms rights have long been the most mind-blowing and controversial concerns in America. It has proven a bit hard to establish the relationship between the rights of the law-abiding citizens, and the government’s responsibility to provide national security about the state’s power to control firearms, and its main purpose to maintain law and order. The ownership of a gun and defense of oneself regarded as the foundation for the American identity and culture. Guns have attributed to the American westward growth as settlers could protect themselves from Indians, animals, and alien soldiers. Consequently, the citizens became accustomed to the use of a gun for personal defense and as part of American culture. In addition, guns have been used for hunting, which was later developed into game hunting as a sport. Therefore, guns to some may be a tool for recreation and sporting, cultural identity, and as a source of personal defense. While to others, it is still a dangerous weapon, which should not be in the hands of citizens. To these people, it is a weapon whose use is hazardous and lethal, as it has seen the downfall of many productive and prominent law-abiding citizens. More so, most of the homicidal cases have been attributed to firearms. Therefore, these make gun control issues complicated and bound by controversies as to which side should the government take as well as it is law-abiding citizens.
The prohibition of firearm use can be attributed to the rise of gun violence as before the government hadn’t enacted the law, the evil related to gun use was unheard of, but the amendment was never affected completely and efficiently to curb the criminals. Rather prohibit the law-abiding citizens to acquire guns for their good motives such as for recreation and personal defense. Hence, the criminals continued with their illegal activities of terrorizing patriotic citizens, this contributed much to many believing that guns are evil without considering its’ people who are evil.
At the same time, the government enforcement of the firearm control law was supported by ill-motivated who never considered the cause and effects of the guns related losses; rather most of them were highly interested in the funds committed to the research for the issues behind gun control or use. Others never considered the positive impacts of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, as to the guns were evil because they caused loss of life and property among other losses. Nevertheless, they never considered that the same gun could be used to protect the same lives and property.
Anti-gunners have argued that firearms are a threat to public health, and compared them to germs advocating that in absence of guns, violence would be something of the past. More so, they linked the increasing rates of homicide to gun use. However, if these would true, then most of the police officers would be non-existent; rather there are few cases of police officers committing homicides. This implies that not the presence of a gun that causes homicide practices rather there are other factors, which drive these people to such homicidal killings. These include substance use, age differences, economic and ethnic values. Otherwise, police officers would be the most vulnerable to these homicidal killings.
Most of the researches that have scared people on the effects of gun ownership has been found to rely on locally collected data using simplified techniques and methodologies, this has resulted in misleading and inaccurate recommendations and conclusions, concerning firearm possession. However, the studies, which have predominantly relied on time series or cross-sectional data, have been distinctive in their findings, in that they tend to outline the benefits of owning a gun. For instance, in countries where possession of handguns is legal, there has been a reduction in the number of deaths but resulted in a rise in property theft. This can be attributed to the fact that criminals fear to confront an armed individual, rather opt to steal property where there are sure of their safety.
Due to the study findings, the anti-gunners have continuously argued that the enactment of gun carry laws will lead to a rise in accidental deaths resulting from gun use. And that any domestic disagreement, would lead to a fatal shout-out. However, the research shows that many accidental killings of innocent civilians have resulted from police officers rather than from citizens who carry guns. Similarly, they ignored the fact that people who carry handguns not only protect their families but also the public including those against the move. This is because criminals do not know who is armed or not, hence there are reluctant to commit a crime. More so, these would reduce rape-related cases, as women would also be eligible to carry handguns, hence reducing their vulnerability to violence and rape cases.
Many studies have concentrated on quantifying the losses/costs arising from firearms-related death and injuries. These costs include loss of lives, property, medical bills, lost productivity as well s losses related to fear, pain, suffering, and low quality of life. Very few have attempted to find the economic gain of handgun carry laws. For instance, studies have shown a statistically significant correlation between per capita income and, both violent and property crimes. These imply there is a need to reduce the occurrence of crimes to improve the standards of living of many citizens.
Guns may be viewed as both a source of security and a threat to the same security, depending on who is using them, when, and where. However, when we talk of control of guns, we specifically imply handguns. These are not used for hunting or recreation purposes, due to their close range. At the same time, the use of these handguns by civilians has resulted in the injuries of criminals as well as innocent citizens. Therefore, there is a need to check on handgun ownership to avoid these accidental deaths, probably the practice should be outlawed.
However, outlawing gun ownership leaves guns with police officers and criminals. This makes the law-abiding citizens vulnerable to criminals who terrorize them, and yet the police officers have fully curbed on crime. Therefore, there is a need to acknowledge the city’s efforts to protect themselves, something which the government has failed to provide, though they have paid for it through taxes.
At the same time, there is a great need to curb crime as no major developments can occur, with current rising rates of crime, as its effects are hazardous and negative. Hence, it calls for cooperation and involvement of the law-abiding citizens, who are the majority.
- Hal brook, Stephen P (1987), That Every Man be Armed-The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, The University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico, pp.55-87.
- Shield, P (1981), Guns don’t die-people do, Arbor house, New York.