Gun Laws and Violence
Each year, a number of people die from guns. The popular saying is “guns do not kill people, people kill people” which is true; however, guns are used to aid in violence and many would argue that eliminating guns through stricter laws would decrease violence. As the number of gun owners in the world increases the government and its citizens would benefit from implementing stricter regulations regarding the safe keeping of guns in the home. The lack of gun safety results in the ability to access these guns with distressing outcomes. While many individuals argue that guns need to be restricted within the United States, the real argument is for allowing the Constitutional right to bear arms while implementing stricter laws to ensure these firearms do not fall within the wrong hands.
The Right to Bear Arms
America is formed on the information within the Constitution and the Amendments. The United States Constitutions Second Amendment gives the right to bear arms to every American Citizen. To deny citizens with the right to bear arms would be a form of taking away rights to citizens, rights that are what America is built on. Nevertheless, guns are one of the leading causes of death. As individuals fight for their rights to bear arms they fail to realize that some individuals use that right for harm even though other individuals may be responsible gun owners.
Firearms Laws, Rules, and Regulations
Firearms are available to anyone over the age of 18 without a record in most states. Though some states within America provide their own gun laws that consist of more restrictions on gun ownership other states lack these regulations. It is quite easy for an individual to get a license in one state, buy a weapon, and then move back to the original state with an illegal gun.
With so few restrictions in place the Government cannot defer criminals from buying guns legally or illegally. With these many states that allow for purchasing of guns without further investigation into the background and history of the individual it is too easy for these weapons to fall into the hands of criminals, unstable individuals, and households with children. Comparing Further Restrictions
Countries that have stricter gun control laws have fewer gun-related deaths. Japan has some of the most strict gun control laws of any country. Within Japan, citizens may not even be in possession of a handgun in their home without facing a sentence of 15 years in prison (Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide, 2012). Needless to say, death by guns in Japan is rare. In countries where the laws against guns are uncommon, such as South Africa where the murder rate is 50-55 individuals per every 100,000 which is five times higher than the United States murder rate, the number of individuals being injured or killed by guns is excessive (Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide, 2012).
Many Countries require gun purchasers to register their weapons and participate in gun safety courses. The use of registered firearms provides the government with easy access to tracking these weapons and ensuring that weapons do not fall into the hands of individuals deemed unworthy of owning a weapon. The use of gun safety courses provides individuals, especially those with children, with information on how to safely be the owner of a weapon. Individuals learn about the importance of keeping weapons out of reach and locked in a safe not loaded.
Stricter laws make the legal purchase of guns timelier but these Countries still have deaths due to gun violence. Even though the restrictions slow the process of obtaining guns they are still obtainable. The use of restrictions is not meant to stop the sale of guns but make the sales safer. Laws eliminating firearms lead to the good guys not obtaining legal guns but the bad guys who obtain their weapons illegally will almost certainly continue to do so.
In the year 1997 alone 10,369 people were murdered by guns (Agresti, 2010).
As the number of individuals killed by guns, either intentionally or by accident, increases it is important that regulations are implemented. Without the purchase of guns these homicides might not have been committed. If guns were not on the streets there would most likely be a decrease in the number of murders committed by guns. Stronger gun laws may make the use of guns for violent crimes less likely. Guns are the easiest and fastest way to commit murder and without them the crime would be reduced. Conclusion
As the population increases and the number of individuals owning guns grows it is essential that the regulations and requirements for owning a gun are stronger. Though individuals may feel that they are responsible gun owners there is still the possibility that a situation will happen. Although the Constitutional rights of individuals should not be violated, the current lack of regulations for gun ownership within the United States should not continue. The United States must take measures to monitor firearms through implementing the requirement for gun safety classes, properly secured locking of firearms, and registration of all firearms.
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Agresti, J. D. (2010). Gun Control: JustFacts. Retrieved from http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide. (2012). Gun-Control in the UK and USA. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/heliconhe/gun_control_in_the_uk_and_usa
One of the most debatable topics in the United States is the availability of guns. The debate on the topic of gun laws focuses on those who believe that owning guns is a Constitutional right while others believe that owning guns is a leading cause of much of the violence within the United States. However, there is a balance between the two debates that will lead to a better conclusion to the topic. Making guns illegal will only lead to criminals possessing illegal firearms while the law abiding citizens will be faced with the threat of criminals with firearms while they have no source of protection. At the same time, the current laws do not require every state to follow laws that would allow for the government to ensure that the firearms do not legally fall into the hands of criminals or those not responsible to own firearms.
By implementing further laws, rules, and regulations, the government can further protect the right to bear arms while enforcing legal use of firearms for sporting events, survival, and protection, not for crime. The government should enforce the participation in gun safety classes prior to the purchase of a firearm. The government should also implement laws that require gun owners to securely lock all firearms and store ammunition in a separate location. Finally, the government should require the registration of all firearms upon purchase, resale, or giving the firearm as a gift.
By implementing further laws, rules, and regulations, the government can enforce stricter laws to protect against firearm crimes. However, the right to own and use guns is still an option. By implementing these changes, the parties from both sides of the debate will have a way to meet in the middle, providing citizens with their constitutional rights while minimizing the risks of gun crimes.