More and more people own guns nowadays, but many of such owners abuse power received through the weapon. Cases when individuals use guns not for protection but for violent assaults have become rather frequent. Thus, it is crucial to enact more gun control laws in order to restrict mass shootings, as well as individual attacks that do not have any self-defense at their core. The essay will present arguments for gun control through the appeal to logic, ethics, and emotion.
Probably the most important issue to take into account when discussing the need for gun control is the evidence testifying that too many gun owners give little thought to their exploitation of firearms. As a result, there are many instances of homicides, suicides, and mass shootings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US is experiencing a rise in gun-related death after the period of decline which lasted for approximately a decade (Smith).
In 2015-2016, 27,394 homicides and 44,955 suicides involving guns were recorded (Smith). These dramatic numbers indicate that too many people use guns irresponsibly and harm themselves or others instead of protecting lives or property. In their study, Kalesan et al. note that mortality due to guns is “endemic,” and that fatality rates are stable but high (1847). Firearm mortality is the most frequent among people aged 17-25, and it is accountable for 45% of all suicides and 80% of homicides within young adults (Kalesan et al. 1847). Therefore, strict gun control laws are needed to eliminate the instances of murder or suicide that are committed in the US.
Another crucial aspect to consider is the reasons why people use guns and the disparity between these causes and self-defense. The US citizens are frequently shattered by news issues announcing appalling mass shootings. Among other public places, schools are probably the most frequent venues where uncontrolled individuals use firearms to kill dozens of harmless children and adults. According to Metzl and MacLeish, a large percentage of mass murders is committed by mentally ill individuals (240). Also, researchers admit that it is possible to predict gun crimes with the help of psychiatric examination and diagnosis (Metzl and MacLeish 240).
Thus, it seems reasonable that gun control regulations should be altered and that they should become stricter. Only those people who can prove their sanity should be allowed to keep firearms. Moreover, psychiatric checks should be performed regularly and not merely before giving someone a gun permit. Society suffers from many burdens that can turn a stable person into a mentally unstable one, and it is the responsibility of those who allow people keeping guns to control whether these people have the capacity to use firearms.
Finally, there is a rather acute question of ethics and emotions of gun owners since these aspects have a strong effect on other people. Unfortunately, many of the US citizens are biased towards others based on their race, ethnicity, or some other factors. What is even more dangerous is that police officers frequently abuse their power due to such biases. While policemen should be defending peace and protecting people’s lives, there are many outrageous stories of their violation of professional duties. As Fridell mentions, there have been many instances when police officers shot unarmed and innocent civilians (481).
What is more, there is an alarmingly high statistics of unarmed African Americans being killed by the police (Fridell 481). This argument should serve as a serious proof for those who protect the Second Amendment and justify the right to carry firearms by it. If those members of society that are responsible for promoting order break it, there can be no trust in other individuals’ making honest and wise decisions when using their guns.
The most popular argument against strict gun control regulations is the Second Amendment to the Constitution that regulates gun ownership and guarantees the right to keep and carry firearms (Blocher 813). Thus, many people consider that their rights would be violated if stricter gun control laws were enacted. However, because the Second Amendment is not sufficient to provide protection for those citizens who do not own firearms, it cannot be considered as the major regulatory act dealing with the issue of gun control.
Individuals having and carrying firearms should not forget that the initial focus of the Second Amendment is not the right to use firearms but the right to be protected. After all, the citizens not having guns also have rights, and since gun owners violate the right of other people to life, they must not remain uncontrolled. Therefore, the Second Amendment alone cannot stand as a sufficient reason for not implementing strict gun control policies.
While many civilians and legislators in the US justify the right to own firearms by the Second Amendment, it is not viable to regulate this right only by this policy. Stricter gun control laws are necessary due to the high rates of homicides and suicides committed by people who had access to firearms. The mental examination should become one of the requirements to obtain a gun. However, only the combination of approaches will enable the promotion of the lawful use of guns by the US citizens.
Blocher, Joseph. “Gun Rights Talk: Panel IV: Has the Constitution Fostered a Pathological Rights Culture? The Right to Bear Arms.” Boston University Law Review, vol. 94, 2014, pp. 813-833.
Fridell, Lorie A. “Racial Aspects of Police Shootings: Reducing both Bias and Counter Bias.” Criminology and Public Policy, vol. 15, no. 2, 2016, pp. 481-489.
Kalesan, Bindu, et al. “Firearm Legislation and Firearm Mortality in the USA: A Cross-Sectional, State-Level Study.” Lancet, vol. 387, no. 10030, 2016, pp. 1847-1855.
Metzl, Jonathan M., and Kenneth T. MacLeish. “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 105, no. 2, 2015, pp. 240-249.
Smith, Kate. “Gun Death Statistics: CDC Study Says Gun Deaths Are on the Rise After Years of Decline.” CBS News. 2018. Web.