The United States leads the rest of the world in the sheer number of guns possessed by civilians. However, gun control and the laws governing it are some of the most controversial issues in the United States today. Both the side in support of gun control mandates as well as the side against them have strong arguments defending their cases. This being said, some of the points on each side of this debate are extremely flawed.
The side in opposition of gun control laws argues that if someone intends to kill another human being, then they will find a way to do it, with or without a gun. So why shouldn’t they be able to have a gun on hand to protect themselves in such an instance? On the other hand, the people who are proposing these gun control regulations cite multiple statistics that prove letting civilians carry firearms does not reduce violent crimes at all, in fact it actually increases them. Statistics have proven that states that have the strictest laws concerning gun control also have the fewest gun related deaths. However, nothing about this data says that these two variables are related causing people to distrust the data. These numbers also include both homicides and suicides. The inclusion of suicide by gun in these numbers has caused some opponents of gun control laws to doubt these figures yet again.
Other developed nations around the world that have harsher laws governing gun control have much fewer mass shootings than we do in the US. A perfect example is Australia, which hasn’t had a single mass shooting in the past twenty years. Thirty five people were killed in the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996, after which the Australian government implemented numerous laws and programs to prevent anything like this from happening again. Several types of heavy duty firearms were banned and a mandatory gun buyback program was instated. These programs took a huge number of guns off of the streets and caused homicide rates to drastically drop. Currently, the murder rate in the United States is more than four times that of Australia.
In the United Kingdom, almost all types of handguns are banned from civilian possession. Since the passage of this law back in 1997, murder rates in the UK have decreased only minimally. These statistics are often called into question due to over or underreporting by law enforcement officials. Germany has numerous extensively strict gun control laws, but a few years ago a minor was able to steal his father’s gun. This boy’s father left his gun out against safe storage laws in Germany at the time. With this illegally obtained gun, he was able to kill fifteen people and wound nine. One major argument against many gun laws is that even if there are strict laws, people still can and will obtain guns.
Many other countries have stricter laws on guns to simply make it much harder for anyone to get their hands on a gun. That way people can still get guns if they want them, it’s just harder to do so. Another common argument against gun control is the fact that there are other kinds of weapons out there in the world, and if someone really wants to kill someone else, they’ll do it. No matter whether they can get a gun or not. They’ll either kill their victim by a method other than a gun, or they’ll find another means to obtain a gun, usually illegally.
Criminals believe that the laws don’t apply to them, so many opponents think that our laws won’t do anything to stop these criminals. There are a number of states that consider any law prohibiting the possession of guns to be unconstitutional, and thus these states have instated little to no laws governing it. This enables so many people to easily obtain guns in these states, people in other states are able to cross state lines in order to get guns easier. Many US citizens want to keep guns on hand to prevent any sort of military takeover, whether it be from an international or domestic source. They also want to have guns close by as a deterrent for criminals, whether these criminals are burglars or random assailants on the streets.
People hope that the fear that their victim might have a gun will prevent criminals from committing said criminal acts Safe storage laws are another common form of gun control in other countries. It’s an effective practice because the people that want to own guns can still do so, just as long as they keep them safely stored, away from children and thieves. This regulation prevents a lot of innocent, and some not so innocent, people from being shot and/or killed. However, some people complain that if they locked away their guns, then they wouldn’t be readily available in the case of emergency. These same people fail to realize that guns are rarely ever right there when you need them.
Safe storage would also prevent a large number of criminals from obtaining guns, seeing as many of them get guns by means of theft. Proponents of gun control laws all agree that these laws can help prevent numerous deaths by keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals. Many people believed that the right to carry laws would potentially reduce the crime rate because criminals would be deterred from committing crimes by the possible presence of guns. But the numbers show quite the opposite, right to carry laws have been proven to actually increase the number of crimes that occur, specifically in cases of aggravated assault.
In my personal opinion, a good idea to control the number of guns possessed by civilians is to slowly implement small laws that take guns as many guns as possible off of the streets and out of the hands of civilians. Most mass shooters just want to one up each other, they aim to kill more people than the last shooter did. It’s all about the media coverage, these shooters are publicized to the point that they become a household name all across the country. If we stop publicizing these shootings so much, it might help reduce the number of shootings in the future.
Another good way to prevent shootings like this would be to ban semi-automatic weapons or ones that have large magazines. Banning any guns that would enable a shooter to fire a large quantity of bullets in a short amount of time would help prevent a lot of senseless shootings. Whether or not the United States should enact stricter gun control laws is one of the most heavily debated topics in this day in age. Both sides have some really good arguments, the pro gun control laws side cites statistics and numbers that show that stricter gun laws would lead to less gun violence. Those that are against gun violence genuinely believe that being allowed to have guns on hand is a constitutional right and they should be able to defend themselves.
Personally, I agree with those who are for more gun control laws. I agree that we should crack down on gun possession, as it would decrease the amount of violence in the United States exponentially
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