“In order to reduce gun vilolence in the U.S., there should be stricter gun regulation.”
Violence and crime in today’s society is inevitable. Human nature is full of hatred, jealousy, and chaos. Throwing guns into the equation adds security for some, and vulnerability for others. Gun regulation is a topic of debate that has been going on for years and looks to be going on for many more to come. Although, each side of the issue seems to have a possibility of security for all, a healthy median of both sides proves to be hard to come by.
On the side of no gun regulation, advocates explain that a concealed handgun provides safety, and that people who defend themselves (with guns) may indirectly benefit other citizens. Cab drivers and drug dealers who carry guns produce a benefit for cab drivers and drug dealers without guns (Lott 18). This theory seems like it could be quite effective, but it brings questions of whether drug dealers would even obey gun regulation laws if imposed, since they are already braking the law by dealing drugs. One might ask why do drug dealers need guns? The answer is quite simple, most violent acts are due to drug and alcohol abuse (Write 313).
The ability to carry a concealed weapon provides safety to the insecure and vulnerable. Erika Schwartz (the first runner-up in the 1997 Miss America pageant) made her decision to carry a gun after becoming a victim of a carjacking. Other women carry a weapon due to their fear of rape. Laurence Rockefeller’s reason to pack heat is because he carries large sums of money and feels that a gun will protect him from becoming a victim of a mugging (Lott 23).
Advocates of no gun control say that the current gun regulation of a waiting period to help potential murders time to “cool off” is a total waste of time. Any one who leaves the scene of an argument, drives to a gun shop, buys a weapon, loads it with ammunition, and returns to kill the awaiting victim can hardly be said to be acting in the heat of the moment (Sullum).
Gun regulation only prevents the innocent from having the right to protect himself or herself. Felons and criminals will go to all costs to get a weapon to kill, gun regulation or not.
Stricter gun regulation, in theory, will get the guns off the streets and into the hands of those deserving and qualified. Sending a message to society that guns are not acceptable and will not be tolerated as a viable source to end an argument, is gun regulation’s main goal. A recent effort in our nations capital, Washington D.C., to get guns off the street brought in over 2,300 guns that were turned over as part of a successful buy-back program. A program that has become fairly popular in America, such cities a New York and Minneapolis are looking into a similar program as well (Thurman).
In an ideal world, there isn’t any violence, guns, or worry. Unfortunately, America isn’t that world. Therefore, actions must be taken to achieve that ideal world. Gun regulation doesn’t mean absolutely any guns and safety for all, but rather it puts guns in the hands of those qualified to use them. Looking at society today, the problem with gun violence is out of control. Causing gun control activists to emphasize that change must occur.
Phillip Cook, and economist at Duke University argues that if you introduce a gun into a violent encounter, it increases the chance that someone will die (Lott 20). This outlook on gun control favors the idea of stricter regulation. Even if someone legally purchases a concealed weapon and three months later goes and gets in an argument, who is to say that that person will not lose control and start repelling rounds? This is a situation that must be addressed and recognized as something that is extremely possible. By allowing random people to carry a concealed weapon is placing a lot of trust into the American society.
On the idea of stricter gun control, one needs not to worry about whether gun control actually works of whether it is needed. The important thing is the message it sends.
As the issue of gun control heats-up, advocates for both sides of the issue must realize that no matter how many guns we buy-back or how many permits we give out, gun violence will always be prevalent in our society until we attack the issue from another angle. That angle is education.
Peggy Noonan writes: “There ought to be more gun control-in families that keep guns. Parents should teach their children that guns are fearsome, that they should be respected and feared for their power to destroy. Guns kill.” Teaching children at a young age that guns and violence isn’t the answer to resolving a disagreement should be expected from their role models. Children are our future; we must communicate with them to ensure a bright and vibrant future for all. Stricter gun regulation may keep felons from buying guns, but it won’t keep them from committing violent acts and stealing guns from someone else.
Programs such as gun buy-back are good. They work to get guns out of circulation, but we must realize that that program is not the answer. The Concealed Weapons Prohibition Act, which was introduced last year into legislation, would override the laws of 31 states that allow citizens who meet certain objective criteria-typically, passing criminal background checks and completing a training course-to carry hand guns. The legislation recognizes a few privileged categories including police officers and security guards; anyone else seeking a carry permit would have to demonstrate “compelling circumstances”(Sullum). This act would prove useful granted how liberal the “compelling circumstances” are. One should be in favor of the businessmen the right to be able to protect themselves from the wrath of those seeking to large amounts of money they carry with them. Women like the Miss America runner-up should have the right to protect herself from rape and other crimes.
As a society, America must realize that the time is now that we must stop the madness.
We must talk to the youth, educate those seeking a carry permit, and realize that we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Lott Jr., John R. “Will more guns mean less crime?” Consumers’ Research Magazine
Dec. 1998: 18-23.
Noonan, Peggy. “Looking Forward.” Good Housekeeping July 1998: 178.
Sullum, Jacob. “Can’t Bear It.” Reason Magazine 05 Aug. 1998. 7 Sept. 1999 http://www.reason.com/sullum/080598.html.
Thurman, James N. “As more carry hidden guns, who’s safer?” The Christian Science
Monitor 01 Sept. 1999. 7 Sept. 1999 http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/1999/09 /01/pls3.html.
Write, James D., Peter H. Rossi, and Kathleen Daly. Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime, and Violence in America. New York: Aldine Publishing Company, 1983: 313-315.