The history of the United States describes how its people continue to enjoy the provisions of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Americans are allowed to purchase and own guns for security and self-defense purposes. The Founding Fathers of the country foresaw a scenario whereby more people would be in a position to fight both foreign invaders and criminals. Unfortunately, the events recorded in this country within the past few years challenge the goals and effectiveness of the Second Amendment. The fact that it is easy to apply for and get a licensed firearm in the country means that the challenges associated with weapons remain inevitable. Since past studies have showed that the availability of guns result in increased overall deaths, expose women and children to the risk of homicide, and create room for criminal activities, tighter gun laws could help empower more citizens and protect lives.
Arguments for Tighter Gun Laws
The move to introduce stricter gun laws can help the US overcome the challenge of gun deaths and help protect lives. Kim completed a study that revealed that the US recorded 11,244 non-mass gun incidents and shootings that occurred in around 8,670 census tracts (1). The study when further to reveal that citizens living in poor conditions were associated with homicides resulting from gun violence at around 26-27 percent (Kim 1). Bauchner et al. reveals that “the 36,252 deaths from firearms in the United States in 2015 exceeded the number of deaths from motor vehicle traffic crashes that year at 36,161” (1763). Similarly, the shootings recorded in Las Vegas, Nevada, left a total of 59 citizens dead and around 600 badly wounded (Bauchner et al. 1763). These statistics support the fact that guns are responsible for increased deaths in this country. Some of the people who acquire them legally eventually end up using them for the wrong reasons or goals. These occurrences reveal that a paradigm shift in the licensing and acquisition of guns would be appropriate to help reduce deaths and safeguard more lives.
Additional laws aimed at controlling guns will help protect more women and children who are at a higher threat of domestic abuse. Zeoli et al. indicate that husbands and male lovers in possession of guns tend to have higher chances of abusing their partners positively (45). Additionally, Zeoli et al. assert that women living in homes with guns tend to “be at risk of homicide” (45). In the same study completed in the United Sates, it emerged that “domestic violence that involves a firearm has a higher likelihood of ending in homicide than intimate partner violence that involves other weapons” (Zeoli et al. 45). More children tend to be at risk when of physical injury when living in houses with guns and violent parents. These facts explain why it would be appropriate for the US to consider evidence-based approaches to mitigate such challenges. In most of the neighborhoods characterized by low income levels, cases of shootings and gun-related violence continue to be reported (Zeoli et al. 45). Based on the nature of these problems, the expansion of the current policies to discourage more people from acquiring guns could help protect more children, women, and other vulnerable citizens against possible attacks.
In most cases, criminal steal or identify ways to get guns that have been acquired legally and use them to commit atrocities, such as robbery and murder. A report by Everytown Research and Policy in 2019 indicated that thousands of weapons were stolen annually from stores, houses, and even vehicles (Everytown 1). In most cases, these guns would be utilized to commit a number of offenses, including violent criminal acts and homicides. The nature of this problem was a strong reason for policymakers to consider superior laws and guidelines that could help protect such guns. Such a move would ensure that more criminals were unable to access and use them to commit atrocities. In the report, it is evident that “between 200,000 and 500,000 guns are stolen from individuals every year” (Everytown 1). The ease of obtaining a gun in the US could stands out as one of the weakest links that contribute to increasing cases of burglary and various forms of theft. The nature of this problem should compel the government to introduce stricter laws that would make it harder for more people to acquire firearms. This move will make the country safer while at the same time helping deliver the arguments made in the above paragraphs. The most important approach would be for the government to consider these possible occurrences and promote the relevant advocacy initiatives (Zeoli et al. 45). The expansion of the current gun laws would eventually help mitigate this problem of crime and make more people and their respective homes secure.
Some scholars and researchers have examined the nature of gun law in the US and gone further to offer various counterarguments to explain tighter laws would be unnecessary. For instance, Newman and Hartman reveal that the proposed laws might be incapable of deterring criminal acts and most of the shootings recorded in the country (1527). This happens to be the case since most of these killers tend to have guns registered to them legally. This reality means that some of these criminals would still commit atrocities after finding ways to acquire firearms in an acceptable manner. It is agreeable that the Second Amendment is a progressive policy that has existed in this country to help more people engage in self-defense. This knowledge explains why the government should allow its citizens to own and use such weapons whenever there is imminent danger. The decision to have tighter laws would be inappropriate and capable of undermining the integrity of the country’s Constitution. Finally, Newman and Hartman believe that homicides and domestic violence have been a common challenge even in societies whereby guns are unavailable (1529). The idea that guns increase chances of abuse and injury in domestic settings is weak and incapable of triggering a change in the current laws. From these analyses, it would be agreeable that most of the deaths recorded in the country would not be resolved with finality by imposing harsh laws on gun ownership.
The above counterarguments appear valid and capable of encouraging more people to support new measures aimed at maintaining the current status quo. Unfortunately, the number of shootings and deaths arising from guns continue to trouble many citizens. These malpractices have made more people disoriented or incapable of pursuing their goals. Such deaths also leave many people traumatized or psychologically affected. The proposed suggestions for supporting additional gun laws are, therefore, timely and capable of safeguarding more lives in the country. While it is true that most of the shootings are committed by licensed persons, tighter policies would make it impossible for individuals with mental or psychological problems to access guns. The idea of streamlining the ownership of firearms will allow government institutions to trace such weapons and know when they have been involved in criminal activities (Newman and Hartman 1529). These measures would help reduce most of the deaths recorded in the country. The move would also be pursued while maintaining people’s rights to self-defense in accordance with the Second Amendment. The most important thing is ensuring that there is a perfect balance between the ownership of weapons and their role in protecting lives. The outlined aspects explain why all stakeholders need to be involved and support stricter laws that can eventually help reduce the number of guns in the hands of American citizens.
The above analysis has identified gun control as one of the most emotive and divisive subjects in the American society today. The competed research has offered powerful ideas and facts to explain why the increased availability of guns in the US is associated with a higher number of overall deaths. The analysis has also indicated that women and children tend to be at risk of homicide when living in homes with guns. Most of the stolen guns from private houses, cars, and individuals are eventually used to commit criminal activities. While considering the nature of these arguments and the emerging counterarguments, it becomes quite tighter gun laws could help protect lives and empower more Americans to pursue their social and economic goals.
Bauchner, Howard, et al. “Death by Gun Violence—A Public Health Crisis.” JAMA, vol. 318, no. 18, 2017, pp. 1763-1764.
Everytown. Stolen Guns Pose a Tremendous Risk To Public Safety. Everytown Research & Policy, 2019.
Kim, Daniel. “Social Determinants of Health in Relation to Firearm-Related Homicides in the United States: A Nationwide Multilevel Cross-Sectional Study.” PLoS Med, vol. 16, no. 12, 2019, pp. 1-26.
Newman, Benjamin J. and Todd K. Hartman. “Mass Shootings and Public Support for Gun Control.” British Journal of Political Science, vol. 49, no. 4, 2019, pp. 1527-1553.
Zeoli, April M., et al. “The Intersection of Firearms and Intimate Partner Homicide in 15 Nations.” Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, vol. 21, no. 1, 2020, pp. 45-56.