GunRights: More Guns, More Safety
AnArgument that Gun Control Policies do not Deter Crime and that thereis a Need to Look for Alternative Solutions to Firearms Restrictions
Thisresearch paper argued that flexible gun rights have greater meritsthan restrictive firearm control policies. This paper utilizedresources found from academic articles, accredited journals, andtrusted online platforms. In addition, the Second Amendment wasreiterated in relevance to an American’s right to individual gunownership. The Supreme Court’s decision in TheDistrict of Columbia, et al. v. Hellercase was shown to validate the assertion that the U.S. Constitutionprotects gun rights. The history of changing gun policy, incidencesof firearm violence, and ownership statistics has been discussed andtheir correlations examined. It has been proven that gun control doesnot directly affect a decline in firearm violence. Alternativesolutions to gun control such as not passing unconstitutional lawsthat ban firearms, registering all the citizens with emotionalinstabilities, as well as those with aggressive mental disabilities,increasing research on how to treat such conditions increased,conducting joint operations to seize all the illegally ownedfirearms, making black market purchasing of new firearms moredifficult, funding Homeland Security to protect schools, banks,hospitals, government buildings, and other grounds where massshootings are likely to occur, performing weapon certification andrecertification on every American citizen that possess a firearmevery year, and imposing stricter punishments on individuals chargedwith the inappropriate use of deadly weapons have been explored.
Description of what the stereotype is for a gun owner
Firearms are not a deterrent to crime, and placing restrictions or denying access to articles of self-defense to lawful citizens is not a solution to criminal activity.
Second Amendment guarantees right to bear arms
Concerns regarding gun ownership are not valid
There are alternative solutions to gun violence that do not involve gun control policies
Gun Policy History
Original Statement in the Second Amendment
Review of different interpretations
Finalize with Supreme Court judgment in 2008
Changing U.S. Policies on firearms
National Firearms Act of 1934
Gun Control Act of 1968
Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984
Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act of 1986
Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993
Today’s Firearm Debate
Review major Gun Control Arguments
Less gun restrictions deter crime
Allowing carrying of concealed handguns reduces violent crimes
Research causes of gun violence
Research stopped because of NRA influence
Research should be a focus
Educate the public on proper gun safety
Offer emergency training
Create healthy and safe public outlets for children
Make conflict resolution a focus
Prove that children without outlets have a tendency to end up in gangs
GunRights: More Guns, More Safety
Whenone thinks of a gun owner, two major stereotypes come to mind. Thefirst one is that of an angry middle-aged white man that isstockpiling his firearms as he awaits the downfall of the government.The second stereotypy is that of the dark-skinned criminal that isawaiting his chance to take by force that which does not belong tohim. Hardly does one think of the young female collegiate trained infirearms who understands that guns offer security in a world ofstrangers, and that guns are to be respected and not abused in amoment of high emotion. No matter a person’s perception of who agun owner is, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center shows thatalmost a quarter of Americans own a firearm, and that almost eightypercent of gun owners cite protection as the motivating factor forownership (Bangalore& Messerli, 2013).Despite current gun control laws, a recent report from the FBI’sUniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) found that “firearmswere used in 71.5 percent of the nation’s murders, 40.8 percentof robberies,and 24.2 percent of aggravated assaults” (McCollister,French, & Fang, 2010).Limitingfirearms does not deter crime, and placing restrictions or denyingaccess to articles of self-defense to lawful citizens is not asolution to criminal activity. The Constitution’s Second Amendmentguarantees the American citizen “the right to bear arms,”concerns that gun ownership leads to gun violence has never beenvalidated, and alternative solutions to gun crime besides gun controlpolicies should be examined. Gun control policies do not deter crimethere is a need to look for alternative solutions to firearmsrestrictions
America’sGun Policy History
TheUnited States Constitution’s Second Amendment asserts, “Awell regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a freeState, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not beinfringed” (U.S. Const. amend. II, ratified 1791). Part of thecommon debate regarding whether this amendment actually grantsAmericans the right to wield firearms points out the introductorylanguage of the amendment itself: “A well regulated Militia,” isnot a clearly defined statement and that most gun owners could hardlybe called part of any militia. However, in the case of Districtof Columbia et al. v. Heller,the US Supreme Court majority opinion syllabus stated, “The SecondAmendment protects an individual right to possess a firearmunconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm fortraditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home”(Appelbaum& Swanson, 2010).Despite this statement, our country has undergone many different guncontrol policies throughout the years.
In1934, President Roosevelt signed the National Firearms Act, whichCongress passed in response to lawlessness and the rise of gangsterculture during Prohibition. In 1938, Congress passed the FederalFirearms Act, which required those involved in the sale of guns toobtain a Federal Firearms License and to record the names andaddresses of all gun purchasers. In 1968, the Gun Control Act passedafter the assassinations of President Jon F. Kennedy, Martin LutherKing, and Robert Kennedy, which expanded license requirements,required more-detailed record keeping, and banned mail orderpurchases of firearms. In 1993, Congress passed the Brady HandgunViolence Prevention Act, which imposed a five-day waiting period andbackground check before that sale or delivery of a firearm.
Inthe United States, the current gun control debate is based on majormass shootings that have occurred in various parts of the country. Inthis regard, between January 2000 and July 2012, almost one hundredand twenty-six mass shootings had occurred in the United States(Follman,Aronsen, Pan, & Caldwell, 2012).The Americans that support more gun control usually argue thegovernment should enact smart gun laws not only to prevent the massshootings but also to ensure that the mentally ill people do notpurchase them. On the other hand, the Americans that do not supportheightened gun control argue that more firearm laws do not preventthe mass shootings. Arguably, more gun control can prompt a civilwar. In this regard, according to Metzl& MacLeish (2015),more gun control translates into firearm confiscation andimprisonment. On this note, confiscation of personal property andthreats of imprisonment are some of the two main causes of civil war.It is apparent that it is not an American style to confiscate anindividual of his or her property and threaten that particular personwith imprisonment. As such, it can be concluded that having strictgun control policies does not curb crime since it contributes to theeruption of civil wars.
LessGun Restrictions Deter Crime
Whencitizens are allowed to carry concealed handguns, this reducesviolent crimes like mass shootings. One of the reasons attributed tothis assertion is the fact that guns are great equalizers among thesexes. In his book titled “Moreguns, less crime: Understanding crime and gun control laws,”John Lott states that murder rates tend to reduce when either moremen or more women are allowed to carry concealed handguns. Thisauthor adds that the effect is more pronounced for women. In light ofthis, if an extra woman is allowed to carry a concealed handgun, therate of murder for women reduces four times more than an additionalman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the rate of murder for men(Lott, 2013). Lott attributes this claim to the fact that if a womanis allowed to carry a concealed handgun, the ability to defendherself changes more than that of men because males are naturallystronger and bigger than females.
Anotherreason attributed to the assertion that more guns reduce crime is thefact that firearms do not kill but people do. Therefore, if thegovernment allows more people to carry guns, less violent crimes aregoing to occur because the citizens are able to protect themselves.Furthermore, as stated earlier, individuals who advocate gun controlargue that persons who possess firearms are bloodthirsty lunatics.However, this is not true because there are people who possess gunsbut they are law-abiding citizens. Simply defined, a law-abidingcitizen is a person that obeys the law. In plain terms, a criminal isan individual that does not obey the law. Therefore, therefore,passing laws that restrict the ownership of firearms affects thelaw-abiding citizens rather than the criminals. Indisputably,criminals will always violate the law. Additionally, criminals willalways carry firearms because they will at all times find ways to getguns. Criminals find their efforts at crime easier because theirvictims are always unarmed a defenseless individual cannot stand achance against an armed one because he or she is incapable offighting back (Lott, 2013). As such, it is worth asserting that guncontrol does not stop criminal activities from occurring but instead,it encourages them since it deprives law-abiding citizens of theirself-defense. The fact that areas with strict gun laws like New YorkCity and Washington D.C have highest crime rates in the United Stateswhile areas where private ownership of firearms is encouraged likeFlorida are witnessing dramatic drops in crime rates reinforces theabove conclusion.
TheAmerican media and politicians hold the belief that passing strictgun laws is a solution to violent crimes and mass shootings. However,this is not true and can be likened to a doctor that treats thesymptoms of flu instead of dealing with the cause (virus) of thecondition. Rather than passing strict gun control policies, there areseveral ways that the American government can eradicate violentcrimes and mass shooting in the United States. First, the governmentshould not pass unconstitutional laws that ban firearms. Second, allthe citizens with emotional instabilities as well as those withaggressive mental disabilities should be registered and a research onhow to treat such conditions increased. Next, both the state andlocal law enforcement organizations like Homeland Security, FBI, andATF should conduct joint operations to seize all the illegally ownedfirearms. On this note, the operations should focus on making blackmarket purchasing of new firearms more difficult.
TheAmerican government should fund Homeland Security to protect schools,banks, hospitals, government buildings, and other grounds where massshootings are likely to occur. Furthermore, in every year, thegovernment should perform weapon certification and recertification onevery American citizen that possesses a firearm. Lastly, the Americangovernment should impose strict punishments on individuals chargedwith the inappropriate use of deadly weapons.
Appelbaum,P. S., & Swanson, J. W. (2010). Law & psychiatry: gun lawsand mental illness: how sensible are the current restrictions?.PsychiatricServices,61(7),652-654.
Bangalore,S., & Messerli, F. H. (2013). Gun ownership and firearm-relateddeaths. TheAmerican journal of medicine,126(10),873-876.
Follman,M., Aronsen, G., Pan, D., & Caldwell, M. (2012). US massshootings, 1982-2012: Data from Mother Jones’ investigation. MotherJones.
Lott,J. R. (2013). Moreguns, less crime: Understanding crime and gun control laws.University of Chicago Press.
McCollister,K. E., French, M. T., & Fang, H. (2010). The cost of crime tosociety: New crime-specific estimates for policy and programevaluation. Drugand alcohol dependence,108(1),98-109.
Metzl,J. M., & MacLeish, K. T. (2015). Mental illness, mass shootings,and the politics of American firearms. Americanjournal of public health,105(2),240-249.