Free Critical Thinking About Point Of View On Social Issue
In this article, I would like to focus on the prevalence of gun culture in the US, which is turning out to be a social issue with an ever rising number of shootout incidents. It is also one of the most widely debated topics of late and is a matter that affects almost all citizens of the country, man or woman and young or old. Most of the states do not require a state permit or a license to procure a gun, except in the case of semi-automatic and fully automatic machine guns. According to the report made by FBI, there has been an average of 11.4 incidents occurring annually, with an increasing trend from 2000 to 2013. U.S leads the world by a wide margin when it comes to the ownership rate of guns. This article stresses on the necessity of restricting the sale of guns and limiting the availability by bringing in new laws or making amendments to the existing laws.
I have chosen two articles which throws more light on how the gun culture is impacting the nation. The first article is a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), based on the study on the active shooter incidents in the US between 2000 and 2013. This report, made with the joint effort of Texas State University and FBI focusses on providing the information which will enable the federal, state and local law enforcement to get a better understanding of the shootout incidents and patterns and help them prepare to prevent such incidents in the future. This article contains all the data and analysis based on this data to arrive at valuable pieces of information that shows the shooting pattern trends over the years and other statistics included. As this report is published by FBI, the information contained in this is straight from the horse’s mouth and can be deemed to be fully reliable and credible.
The second reference I have chosen is an article published in Forbes.com – “Disarming Realities: As Gun Sales Soar, Gun Crimes Plummet” . This article provides an argument contradicting the first one and has been selected as it provides the opposite point of view and acts as a counter argument. Forbes is a renowned magazine worldwide known for its well-researched articles providing credible information and the various lists and rankings. The articles getting published in Forbes grab a lot of attention for their quality and genuineness. In this article, the author cites the statistics compiled by the US Department of Justice and the research report published by the Pew Research Center to infer that the gun related crimes are in fact showing a declining trend in the last two decades. He argues that the gun related crimes are being blown out of proportion and a change in perception in the society is required.
After reading both these articles, my point of view that the sale of guns should be restricted has been cemented further. The various laws advocate the availability of guns for its citizens as a mean for self-protection. But as the statistics prove, guns have been used for killings and mass murders. Even more worrying is the matter that many schools are turning to killing fields and numerous innocent lives have been lost in the past years. It is estimated that around 100 lives have been lost in various schools in the US during 2010-’14 owing to shootouts. In 2014 alone, it is estimated that 27 students lost their lives. As per the article published by FBI, educational institutions account for just 25% of the deaths due to shoot outs. The maximum shoot outs have happened in the commercial areas, which contributes around 46% of the total shoot out incidents. The Forbes article, though is exhibiting a few statistics, there are many not so convincing facts like- “guns were used in less than 10% of all non-fatal violent crimes”. This phrase does not make sense as the possibility of fatality in gun-related crimes is high. If guns are used, the higher chances are for the incident to become fatal and not non-fatal.
Both these articles are well researched with the backing of sufficient data which helps the reader to formulate and educated opinion. The matter is of grave concern that even though the law advocates responsible use of guns by the citizens, the reality is in contradiction. There have been instances of kids even young as a 5 year old getting access to guns and accidentally shooting others or self, resulting in deaths. The need of the hour is not a blanket ban, but implementation of strong laws to restrict the sale and use of guns, in order to ensure that these machines are handled by responsibly. It is also required to enforce the laws more strictly, so that awareness is created among the public about the consequences of committing a crime using a gun. Yet another recommendation is to strengthen the police department to make them better equipped to ensure safety for the public.
Bell, L. (2013, May 14). Disarming Realities: As Gun Sales Soar, Gun Crimes Plummet. Retrieved from Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/05/14/disarming-realities-as-gun-sales-soar-gun-crimes-plummet/
Blair, J. P. (2014). A study of Active Shooter Incidents, 2000-2013. Washington DC: Texas State University and FBI, US Department of Justice.