A Debate on whether Guns should be Banned in the United States or Not
Banning the use and ownership of guns among law-abiding citizens is currently a debatable issue in the United States. The number of people who own guns in the US is increasing on a daily basis(Lott 440) as many streets are turned into battlegrounds where innocent citizens are beaten and killed by criminals as a result of owning guns. Criminal activities by state continue to increase as many citizens continue to acquire guns through either legal or illegal ways. Many incidences involving illegal ownership of guns have been reported in different states including Chicago, Philadelphia, and Illinois (Wilson 234).
Many crime incidences including sexual abuse inflicted on women, drug abuse and trafficking among the American youths can be directly linked to illegal gun ownership. There are rising cases of burglary and attacks on less fortunate members of the society including women, children, and the handicapped (Wilson 78). These attacks account for the increased mortality rates associated with ownership of guns by citizens. Time has come when policy makers need to collaborate with other stakeholders to ban guns in US due to its negative effects. This paper supports the need to ban guns and discusses whether individuals should be allowed to own them.
There are multiple reasons as to why the US federal government need to collaborate with the state government and other stakeholders to ensure that gun ownership is exclusively banned. First, allowing many people to own guns accounts for the tremendous increase in the number of periodically reported violent crimes. Wilson argues that the higher the number of guns owned in a given state accounts for the higher cases of homicides and burglary caused by firearms in each and every state (40). Comparative studies associate the rising number of murder cases and criminal activities with poor enforcement of the existing gun control laws and Acts. For instance, United States has over 20,000 laws and policies that address appropriate ownership of guns. However, these nobble laws have never been implemented due to lack of commitment.
Contrary, the government has allowed unrestricted access of guns to every segment of the population (Husak 98). Today, guns are owned and used for different purposes by children, teens, and adults. In most case, such illegal ownership of guns has always resulted in increased cases of death of innocent civilians. For instance, in 2002, a gunman killed himself after killing seven people and injuring seven others during a prayer service at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Another case was recorded on March 27, 2008,when robbers armed with guns killed five innocent citizens in Kentucky and Georgia (Husak 45). These cases keep on increasing as more people are issued with guns.
Today, some criminologists believe that increased federal and state regulation of firearm owning would play a critical role in reducing the incident rates of injuries and murders caused by guns (Lott 120). Comparative studies conducted to analyse the impact of banning guns produce encouraging findings. According to a study carried out by Lott banning firearms and guns can help in reducing death cases of innocent civilians, make the community safer and help to raise a more civilized community (122). In addition, this study established that banning guns could help in increasing personal safety in homes by reducing the risk of firearm related homicides.
Lott argues that owning a gun creates a false sense of safety among people which persuades them to indulge in dangerous activities that cannot only threaten their security but also claim others’ lives (Sidlow 123).For instance, an angry family member with inadequate knowledge on how to use a firearm may be tempted to use it to settle home-based disputes with colleagues. Husak ascertains most of the parents who have realized the dangers associated gun ownership to their children are trying to keep them far from unauthorized personnel (102).
Nevertheless, the growing number of people who own guns in the US accounts for the rising number of public shooting incidences which claim a lot of innocent lives. For instance, if students are allowed to own guns they may be tempted to use them when carrying out their periodic demonstrations. Such students may lose their temper when ridiculed by their colleagues and resolve to aimless shooting as a way of venting their anger (Husak56). Similarly, students who are annoyed by their teachers in class can decide to shoot and injure or kill such teachers in a way to vent their frustrations.
On the other hand, there are incidences when owning of guns can benefit the society. It is believed that allowing people to own guns can help in providing effective self-defence since those who have guns can be more resilient to crimes. Additionally, individuals who own guns can also help in protecting and securing their friends and families against violent crimes. According to Sidlow, the inadequate number of police in the US cannot match its growing population and the number of property to be protected hence allowing everyone to own a gun could make the work of defence forces more efficient (332).
The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) argues that providing adequate guns to more law-abiding citizens can help in reducing gun associated deaths and protecting innocent victims such as women and the handicapped. According to Sidlow, women are physically weaker; therefore, they need to carry guns for self-defence against attacks (333). Another study conducted by Husak finds that allowing citizens to own and carry their guns can help in protecting the nation from external invasion (345). The researcher argued that countries with prevalent gun ownership are less likely to be invaded by enemies since every citizen is always prepared to fight back.
Furthermore, most of the guns issued to the public are manipulated to ensure that they are more automated than the ordinary firearms which help in reducing crime related incidents such as robbery, suicide, homicide, and robbery caused by invasion of armed goons (Sidlow335). Lastly, allowing law-abiding citizens to own guns can help in uniting citizens. It is evident that the inadequate number of police and defence forces in the country cannot match the ever increasing American population. Owning guns among citizens fosters cooperation between them and the police hence increasing unity.
Gun ownership among Americans accounts for numerous disadvantages as opposed to advantages. Owning guns increases illegal public shooting, enhances criminal cases and related injuries as well as deaths, and reduces personal safety. However, owning guns has its associated benefits such as protecting ones property and individuals against external threats. As such, the government need to collaborate with the private sector and other responsible partners to identify and execute different measures that can help in the implementation of a ban issued to restrict the ownership and use of guns in the US.
Husak, Douglas. Overcriminalization: The limits of the criminal law. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Lott, John. The bias against guns: Why almost everything you’ve heard about gun control is wrong. Washington, D.C: Regnery Pub, 2003.
Sidlow, Edward. Govt. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011.
Wilson, James. Thinking About Crime. New York : Basic Books, A Member of the Perseus Books Group, 2013.