Gun violence is an ongoing issue in the United States. Gun control laws attempt to reduce the amount of gun-related crime that occurs by placing restrictions on who can own guns, where they can be sold, and how they are sold. Gun rights supporters argue that gun control restricts their Constitutional right to bear arms while others argue against their ability to use their firearms in a safe and responsible manner. Gun control supporters argue that the issue of gun violence is made worse by allowing simple, everyday citizens to have easy access to firearms.
The main argument for gun rights is that it is every citizen’s right to bear arms as stated in the second amendment of the United States Constitution: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. ” Gun control supporters argue against this stating that reasonable regulation is needed in order to ensure guns do not get into the wrong hands.
Gun rights supporters also argue that gun laws are ineffective because criminals do not follow them. According to Gunpolicy. org, “Every year, more than 30,000 people die from gunshot wounds; nearly two-thirds (17,500) are suicides (some with guns borrowed or stolen)” (“Gun Policy”). Gun policy argues that if there were less available firearms it would take longer for someone who wants to commit suicide by firearm to acquire one. Gun-related homicides occur every day in the United States and in countries across the globe.
Some states in America have what they call constitutional carry, meaning that it is legal to openly carry a firearm without a permit or license; this has led to people carrying firearms into public establishments such as stores, restaurants, churches and even schools. Gun control supporters argue that “most of these mass shootings end before police arrive because civilians (and students in particular) with guns stop them” (“Gun Control”).
Gun control laws could also include background checks on purchasers; stricter requirements for gun storage; and more thorough reporting of lost or stolen firearms by federal agencies and local law enforcement agencies. Gun rights supporters would likely be against any sort of gun registry which would make it easier for the government to confiscate firearms. Gun control laws further promoting background checks would only affect law-abiding citizens and wouldn’t stop criminals from obtaining firearms through illegal means.
Gun rights supporters also argue against gun control by stating that not enough is done to punish those who break firearm regulations; according to Gunpolicy. org, “less than 1% of all recorded offenses in most countries are cleared by indictment” (“Gun Policy”). Gun policy argues that if gun crime was punished more strictly it may be an incentive for people to follow the rules and regulations involved with firearm possession. There are many consequences of owning a firearm some being intentional while others being accidental.
Gun rights supporters state that self-defense is one of their main reasons for owning a lawfully owned firearm, but studies show that a firearm owner is four times more likely to be shot during an assault than they are to shoot their assailant (“Gun Control”). Gun rights supporters also state that gun-related crime would not decrease if there were stricter laws because criminals do not follow them. Gun control supporters cite that despite the numerous firearm regulations, “in 2014, there were 505,006 violent crimes committed with firearms in the U. S. , which averages out to approximately one every 48 seconds” (“Gun Control Laws Reduce Crime Rates”).
Gun control supporters also argue that owning a firearm makes it easier for someone to commit suicide. The Center For Disease Control reports that “for each age group, suicide was 19-24 times as prevalent among persons using a firearm as those using other methods” (“Suicide”). Gun control supporters argue that in a household with a gun, there is also a significantly increased risk of death by suicide, homicide and unintentional shooting.
Gun control laws would make it harder for someone to commit suicide because if they couldn’t get access to a firearm it may take longer for them to acquire one which would give the person time to rethink their decision or seek out other methods such as seeking professional help. Gun rights supporters state that “the vast majority of firearms accidents were caused by people who did not store their guns properly” (“Gun Control Laws Reduce Crime Rates”).
Gun policy argues that regulating and controlling gun usage reduces crime rates; Gunpolicy. org states: “More than 90% [of peer-reviewed studies] find an impact of right-to-carry laws on violent crime…10 peer-reviewed studies find that concealed carry laws are associated with increases in the aggravated assault” (“Gun Control Laws Reduce Crime Rates”). Gun control supporter arguments are backed up by research that shows that stricter regulations concerning firearms reduce gun-related violence. Gun rights supporters also argue against regulations involving lawful firearm possession because criminals don’t follow the law.
Gun control supporters would most likely state that it is more difficult for a criminal to get their hands on a firearm if gun-related crimes were punished more severely. Gun policy states, “Studies based on proxies for firearms availability such as execution rates, number of prisoners serving time for gun crimes, importation and production statistics do not support the argument that tightening firearm regulations will invariably reduce the firearm stock” (“Gun Control Laws Reduce Crime Rates”). Gun policy also argues that stricter regulations on firearms would decrease gun-related crimes because there would be less access to guns.
Gun control laws are extremely important to have in place, but they should be stricter. Gun violence has become a major issue in the United States, and many of the gun-related deaths could have been prevented if certain firearms were restricted or prohibited. Gun control laws don’t go far enough, especially with concealed carry permits being so common across the country. Gun control is not an issue that should be ignored because it can save countless lives every year.
Gun violence is becoming more relevant as time goes on because people are buying guns at a much faster rate than ever before. The number of firearm related deaths was 36,252 for 2013 alone . That’s almost 100 people killed per day by guns (Guns). Out of those numbers only 1.3% of gun murders are committed with legally obtained guns. Gun violence will continue to be a major issue in the United States if gun control laws are not enforced at all levels of legislation. Gun control, including an assault weapons ban, background checks on all firearm purchases, and restricting magazine capacities can help resolve this epidemic.
Gun violence is on the rise because Americans have more access to guns than ever before. There are currently between 270 million and 310 million firearms in civilian hands (Guns). That number has surpassed the peak number during the 1994-2004 federal assault weapons ban. The U.S population was only about 245 million total people then, so there is no doubt that there are more firearms per person now than ever before.