The invention of the gun has brought more worries to the world than it has brought safety in many instances. It has been an instrumental defense tool meant to protect one from invading danger. Unfortunately many are times when guns are misused. Initially, guns were manufactured for military action during war times but with time they changed and became a tool of defense for civilians.
Safer use of gun
According to Cottrol (1993), in the United States, there has been a timeline amendment in the constitutions to make the existence and use of guns safer for the world. It shook the whole world and not only America in 1963 when president John F. Kennedy was assassinated and there was increased awareness of the relative lack of control over the sale and use of firearms in America and the whole world in general. This created a turning point in the amendment of gun control policies, and until 1968, it is evidenced that guns were sold over the counter and through mail orders and catalogs to any adult in the American nation. But the regulation did not start in 1968 at the history book records that in 1791, the bill or rights included an amendment that regulated the keeping of arms and restricted it to the militias only. In 1873, the state of Georgia passes a law banning the keeping of handguns. However, the law was ruled unconstitutional and thrown out.
In 1865, southern states passed laws that forbade the possession of firearms by the Black. In 1871, the National Rifle Association (NRA) was formed to improve the civilian’s marksmanship in preparation for war. Hence this was a way of allowing the ownership of guns by the civilians. All American adults were hence trained how to use guns although to protect their country but also to protect themselves. In 1927, the American congress passed laws that banned the mailing of concealable weapons. In 1934 the congress approved the National Firearms Act which controlled automatic firearms like submachine guns. In 1938, The Federal Firearms Act placed the first limitations on selling ordinary firearms. People in Gun business were required to obtain a license for the Federal Firearms and a cost of $1. Persons convicted of felonies were denied permits for gun sales. The Gun Control Act of 1968 kept firearms out of the hands of those not legally entitles to possess them and limitation was on age, criminal background, or incompetence.
Other acts of 1972, 1977, 1986 (Armed Career Criminal Act, Firearms Owner Protection Act, and Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act), 1989, 1990 (Crime Control Act of 1990), 1994 (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act), 1997, and others were all enacted in trying to bring about responsible gun use. It is evidenced by all these acts that there have been unending efforts to try and control the possession of guns in civilian hands. Since the time of the assassination of President J. F. Kennedy, other acts that caused disturbance to the public have also happened. The rate of crime has increased at an alarming rate and the numbers of deaths due to irresponsible use of guns in the hands of civilians are alarming. The state of Virginia is just recovering from the shock of a student who killed six students with a gun. But what if the other citizens around had guns also?
Could they have defended themselves?
According to Michael Williamson, (2007), there are just more than enough reasons to enact gun control measures in the United States and other parts of the world. But the question that we all ask ourselves is “Is gun control the remedy for the rising level of crimes?” The answer to this question is obviously no! Many reasons justify that we should not enact gun control measures.
Reasons against gun control
There are many reasons also against gun control same as there are reasons supporting gun control. First, in it’s the second amendment, it is stated that people are allowed to keep and bear firearms. Gun control is enacted with the basic notion that ordinary Americans are too emotional and ill-tempered to be trusted with guns in their possession. But I can argue against this because it depends on the individual. The state of insecurity is rising not only in America but also in the whole world. The world has suddenly turned high-tech and the police are no longer able to control the burglary attacks that are taking place.
According to Mary Kellen (2006), in countries where gun control has been enacted like in England, home invasions and criminal attacks have increased overnight since the criminal knows that their victims have nothing to defend themselves. If the criminal is sure that their victims are carrying guns, there is a low probability that they will attack them. Widespread gun ownership is the best way to deter crimes that are rising on daily basis. According to David Kopel (1998), instead of enacting gun control measures, they should be thinking of creating public awareness and raising the moral obligation of the citizens to be responsible citizens who can protect each other. Federal policies keep firearms out of the hands of those who need them most like blacks and women who are usual targets of attacks.
According to John Hylam (2006), gun control crates burdens for American citizens who are law-abiding and infringe upon their constitutional rights provided by the Second Amendment. Allowing the American population to own guns will be one of the best measures to deter crime and the rising cases of terrorist attacks. Justin Yifu Lin (2007) argues that a country like Israel has realized this the hard way. Israel has realized that it is not always that the police will be there and hence they have allowed their citizens to own guns. This has reduced terrorist incidences by a great percentage. Think about the Virginia killing and imagine if all people around had guns. Instead of taking their cover, they would have first killed the attacker and could have saved some lives.
According to John Taylor (2006), it is amazing to learn that over the last two hundred years, the American courts have never invalidated a gun control law based on the second amendments but how comes the NRA now knows the constitution more than the courts and want to enforce gun control measures. It is with the knowledge that guns don’t kill people but what they do is just to make the bullet go faster and hence can kill. This clarifies that one does not need a gun to kill. A mind with killing intent, will obvious do so with little regard to the method used. The security circumstance in the modern world needs much more than the gun control measures that were previously enacted.
The debate about gun control should not be centered on the gun as a killing tool but it should also see the gun as a defense tool. The gun is not the one that kills, but it the person with the gun who kills. Enacting gun control will leave the life of United States citizens at the mercy of few social deficit people who can kill them at will owning an illegal gun. If everybody is allowed to own the gun, people will fear others since they will know that, they have the same defense power as others.
- Cottrol, R. (1993). Gun control and the Constitution; New York City: Garland.
- Hylam, J. (2006). Arguments on Gun Control; Federal Debt Relief System Publication
- Kelly, L. (2007). Gun Control Timeline. New York Times Article, 2007
- Kopel, D. (1998). Trust People: The Case against Gun Control. Policy Analysis no. 109
- Lin, J. Y. (2007). Gun Control: The Case of Terrorist and Gun Control. Cato Journals, Vol. 34(7): 91-102
- Mary, K. (2006). The Case against Civilians: Gun Control. The John Birch Society Article no.110
- Taylor, J. B. (2006). Arguments against Gun Control: Security. Cato Journal, Vol. 23(6): 90-98
- Williamson, M. (2007). It is amazing what one has to believe to believe in gun control: 40 Reasons For Gun Control. Kentucky Coalition Articles on Gun Control