Liberty Vs. Order In Gun Control Research Paper
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Control, Gun Control, Law, People, Policy, Self-Defense, Public, Liberty
The year 1968 has made one of the biggest developments in legislative history. The federal government was able to establish the currently known Gun Control Act of 1968. The said act aims to cease certain people from buying firearms. All the while, the act also makes it easier for those who are officers of the law to track guns or any firearm used in crimes. There are two sections that are provided in the Act. Both provisions are vested with important roles to accomplish the following goals. First, the act makes it illegal for any individual obtaining a firearm from a licensed seller to make untrue remarks. This goal is with respect to any information material to the legality of the sale (Harvard Law Review, 391). Second, the act makes it illegal for an individual to make statements in the lines of the information needed by this chapter to be held in the licensed seller’s records. The circuit courts were found to have been divided on their positions regarding the mentioned provisions provided with the mentioned measures. The debated concept was whether or not these provisions made it illegal for a “straw buyer.” The straw buyer was one who purchased a firearm for someone else who could legally purchase it himself to present himself as the “actual purchaser” (Harvard Law Review, 391).
The public still has considered a stricter law governing the management of gun control after taking its effect in the 1980s. According to Fleming, the population between 2008 to the present have, during the majority of the times looked for stronger controls on guns and firearms in the market. As an example, a Time poll from June 6, 2011 gathered data stating that 51% of the public preferred a stricter gun control law. 7% of those surveyed, favored a more lenient statute against gun control and 39% of the group thought that the existing gun control law was “just right” for their preference (135). In a CBS News and New York Times poll, 46% of the individuals surveyed thought it more necessary to have stricter laws. Also, 13% less strict and 38% wanted the laws to be left as it is. The same poll also revealed that among the public, there is a great difference in opinion when the different political parties were considered. As an example, 27% of the Republicans thought it necessary to have stricter laws as compared to the 68% of their Democratic counterparts (Fleming, 135). These two mentioned polls show that the general public view on the gun control policy is greatly divided. Many favor stricter gun control laws on the side of order and many people follow the principles of liberty who require no changes or a more lenient policy in controlling guns (Fleming, 135).
Because of such talks, there is a great division of the discussion whether to have stricter laws on gun control or not. From this point of view, the debate on liberty versus order comes into play. On the grounds of having the rightful privileges to carry a gun and on the basis that owning guns endanger the citizens’ rights carry the fact that there are more and more people who suffer from being victims of gun violence every year. As an example, DeGrazia discusses that the year 2012 was yet another year for grave gun violence in the country (1). According to the researcher, there were almost a dozen mass shootings recorded for that year alone. Two of which was attention-worthy as per DeGrazia’s analysis. One was on July 20th when a man named James Holmes entered the premises of a theater and used an AR-15 assault rifle that killed 12 people and wounded 58 more before his gun stopped firing. Another case narrated by DeGrazia was the case of Adam Lanza, who used a Bushmaster assault rifle in killing his mother alongside twenty elementary school students with six staff members of the school. Unfortunately, he also took his life after the incident in Newtown, Connecticut (DeGrazia,1). The incidents mentioned above opened the doors of a national discussion on gun control. Whether a change in the gun control policies is necessary is still undecided. Therefore, on that note, the United States Senate has evidently failed to support a new bill that required universal background checks for purchasing firearms (DeGrazia,1).
These horrific events mainly call for a better study of whether gun control policies truly violate people’s rights to properties such as firearms. Some people may take the side of keeping firearms on the basis of self-defense. However, as DeGrazia states, there is truly a right to self-defense and it does make proper sense that an individual must enjoy considerable liberty in practicing such a privilege (9). Then again, almost certainly, a legitimate consideration has its boundaries. Quoting from the Supreme Court, “the right to attain firearms is not merely a right to possess and carry along any weapon of choice in any manner for whatever purpose it may serve.” In the simplest of terms, an exaggerated use of nuclear weapons to defend oneself from household threats is an excessive way to use self-defense to safeguard his or her rights. For such a reason, gun control policies that are at the very least reasonable responses to such dangers do not violate one’s right to self-defense. This fact is because; the limits of the right to self-defense are rightfully moderated by rational conditions of protection (DeGrazia).
With such consequential outcomes, the argument posed in this paper focuses on the idea that the rights of gun ownership minimizes the safety of the members of the household as compared to having a gun-free home. Evidences suggest that having a gun at home makes members of the house more vulnerable to committing suicide. Also, the risk of death by homicide has greater chances of happening in houses practicing gun ownership. Lastly, the risk of accidental death is most evident in households with firearms (DeGrazia, 10). With evidences and arguments such as those mentioned, the government’s move to order for gun control lessens the dangers to public safety. Having guns at home or in possession of any place increases the risk of the people to suffer a violent death. To conclude, with the right to carry firearms, an individual also has the right not to be assaulted. Such a right neutralizes the claims of gun owners to their right of carrying firearms. People must bear in mind that constraining some of the rights to carry dangerous weapons such as guns, promote the welfare of the general population (DeGrazia, 16). This reason, therefore, calls for moderate assertions to make on the current gun control policies. Therefore, an order does not hinder one’s liberty; thus control only strengthens the other privileges that a person rightfully deserves.
DeGrazia, David. "The Case for Moderate Gun Control." Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 24.1 (2014): 1-25. John Hopkins University. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.
Fleming, Anthony K. Gun Policy in the United States and Canada: The Impact of Mass Murders and Assassinations on Gun Control. London: Continuum, 2012. Print.
Harvard Law Review. "Gun Control Act of 1968 — Material Misrepresentation — Abramski v. United States." Harvard Law Review 128.1 (2014): 391-400. Print.