Good Example Of Should Guns Be Legal Or Illegal? Essay
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The question of whether guns should be legal or not is one that has been debated by proponents of both sides for decades. Those for guns being legal, believe it is their constitutional right for the purpose of self-protection. Those against guns being legal hold the position that gun ownership poses a great threat to society and oftentimes, ends up in the wrong hands of criminals and individuals with mental illness. In this regard, opinions differ and there has yet to be found a mutual consensus among the two sides.
The real threats are still surrounding people in everyday life. Guns should be banned for civilians in order to decrease the rate of crimes committed. This includes government keeping a watchful eye on the regulations and distribution of guns within society in order to ensure safety and security for ordinary people. Thus, even though possession of guns is right according to the Constitution and people’s need for self-defense, guns should be illegal in order to decrease the population of potential criminals and those who use guns for their own unlawful deeds.
When individuals are allowed to purchase guns at will, there is a constant threat that guns will be used to harm someone. Society has run amuck with gun violence as the answer to solving its problems; killing many in its wake. It can be impossible for a gun dealer to distinguish between potentially dangerous and law-abiding people. It gives grounds to the legal distribution of firearms to possible felons, the mentally ill and even terrorists. Harry L. Wilson (2007) makes a remark regarding the illegal use of firearms, “Safe storage laws and gun safety requirements should be universal” (Wilson 11). He makes the case that firearms should not be regarded as an ordinary item similar to foods and other goods.
The statistics on gun ownership in the United States is staggering. Democratic and constitutional rights are a significant part of the American consciousness and dignity. Gun ownership is a prevalent part of the American lifestyle. Studies reported by Larry Siegel and John Worrall (2014) found that an estimated amount of firearms in America equals 300 million with more than 50 million households possessing guns (Siegel and Worrall 79). Nearly everyone living in America are gun owners.
Another looming issue with gun ownership is the possibility of children having access to firearms in the home. It cannot always be assumed that adults can keep control of their guns at home, although this should be their responsibility and priority to ensure they do not end up in the hands of children. It is a sad reality, but true that accidents and fatalities occur when children have access to firearms. This culture of an intentional desire for gun ownership has become a pervasive part of society.
There are numerous incidences of gun violence taking place in schools and across college campuses nationwide. Mass killings at schools like Sandy Hook, Columbine, and Virginia Tech made national headlines when gun violence erupted. In each instance the root cause was mental illness or in the case of Columbine, bullying was a precursor to the carnage that took place there. All of the accused in these cases had open access to the guns. They were not vetted to discern if they were eligible to purchase firearms.
Because firearms can be easily purchased, youngsters with fragile psyche can easily use them to kill others or even to take one’s own life. Bullying in schools has become another prominent issue in our society that has led to gun violence as a means of retribution. In sum, the social space becomes more dangerous and unstable in terms of security and personal protection. Criminal justice appears to lag behind these dangerous threats and concrete events when firearms are used against the civilians.
On the contrary, it is clear that people want to feel safe and secure with the help of firearms in their households. It is about the right for private property and self-defense. It is also clear that law-abiding people believe that prohibition of firearms would make them easy targets for real criminals who would find alternative avenues of obtaining firearms. In this scenario, a person is unable to defend themselves from the criminal, because they have no right to buy and store guns for self-protection. As a result, the fragility of the social life gets higher, and criminals would still find a way to obtain firearms to carry out their heinous acts of civil disobedience.
In the study conducted (Wilson) he found that “it is the availability of illegal guns, not the overall availability of firearms, that is most strongly related to crime” (Wilson 74). People in support of gun rights are frightened by the possibility of being disarmed while criminals will still have free reign to promote gun violence at will. In this regard, the role of the government and its agencies should be increased while controlling and regulating the flows of firearms across the nation. To make society safer, law enforcement personnel should provide stricter regulations on criminals, while banning guns. Anti-gun campaigns are not always an easy thing to do, but it serves as a good solution in conjunction with multifaceted efforts of the government regulations and restrictions that are monitored and fixed nationwide on each level of local, state, and federal jurisprudence.
John R. Lott (2013) also assumes there is no way out by banning the guns, because criminals will have an advantage over their victims (including women, children, and elderly) and it will reduce the extent of their fears while attempting to break into homes with residents there (Lott 168). In fact, the psychology of criminal activities changes when they have no resistance on the part of their victims. In this respect, it is vital to think of the role police officers play and their duty to protect the society from criminals. While making guns illegal, the government should increase law enforcement in order to combat the scope of potential danger coming from criminals.
Moreover, the well-known practice of gun registration will not work effectively for those who support the gun control position. Criminals will most assuredly find a way around this in order to avoid being caught and surveilled. Many already purchase guns illegally or steal them from the scene of the crime (Wilson 138). A criminal’s environment is a contributor to his accessibility to guns. Those criminals living in low-economic or socioeconomic conditions are more likely to have access to guns. Additionally, there is a disproportionate imbalance between law-abiding people and criminals in these areas; especially black ones (Lott 75). In this respect, the reformation should start with the reorganization of these problem areas by paying attention to the supremacy of law for residents living there. In turn, it will enable law enforcement to persuade the rest of the population that the situation is under control.
In current day society, the threat is constantly increasing, and policy-makers are likely to change the laws in different states while paying close attention to the size and characteristics to particular kinds of guns. With the overwhelming choice of having guns legally among people, more opportunities present themselves to those who want to have whole arsenals of weapons. These facts should be registered and duly regulated and controlled by officials.
With the statistics of gun violence and gun deaths on the rise, it lends itself to strong considerations as to just who should be allowed to have guns. In that regard, law enforcement should only be allowed to have guns and other weaponry. If that becomes a reality, the Second Amendment would no longer stand for its original intended purpose and would need to be amended to ban individuals from gun ownership. This issue has already created enough turmoil within society. To amend the Second Amendment would threaten the rights of individuals.
Some of the efficient methods to decrease the gun-related violence are to enhance sentencing for gun-related criminals and “to use the police to crack down on illegal gun carrying or to increase patrols in high-crime areas” (Wilson 85). These are mere recommendations in which to control the situation in terms of the nationwide legalization of guns. As the problem is still very difficult to solve, experts and society should still work on how to make guns illegal.
Society is split into the gun control and gun right groups. Guns should be illegal in order to make them less harmful for law-abiding citizens who want to live in a safe and protected society. The role of law enforcement should increase, and along with policy-makers should work hard towards a solution of providing social protection from criminals in lieu of banning guns from the population. Meanwhile, the critics of this viewpoint agree that being disarmed will not make criminals any less dangerous, however, legalization of guns gives law-abiding citizens a strong case for self-defense.
Lott, John R. More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2013.
Siegel, Larry and John Worrall. Essentials of Criminal Justice. New York, NY: Cengage Learning, 2014.
Wilson, Harry L. Guns, Gun Control, and Elections: The Politics and Policy of Firearms. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. 1442 words
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