Gun Control Debate in the US

Protect Your Rights to Bear Arms – Gun Control Debate in the US

The American political system constantly tries to establish the balance between security and freedom, and gun control is a staple example of this problem. Inclination of American people to firearms is a deeper issue than the pursuit of self-defense. The right of people concerning the firearm use is written in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which is a part of the Bill of Rights. Therefore, for some Americans a firearm is a potential way to defend them. Robert Levy, a chairman of the board at the Cato Institute, stated “The Second Amendment was accomplished by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which affirmed that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to bear arms, in part for self-defense” (Levy1). This means that it is an integral part of the concept of American freedom and culture. Therefore, before introducing any prohibitions, the government should prove to the public that the restriction of the right to firearms is necessary, effective, and that other measures cannot provide better security.

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The possession of guns is very popular in the USA, and nearly 300 million barrels of guns are in the private use. According to the estimates of the Swiss research center Small Arms Survey, the USA has a leading position in the world regarding the number of hand firearms per head, around 89 barrels per 100 persons. However, most families do not have firearms. This means that if a person has a crush on guns, he seriously acquires and stores several units at once.

Can the government decrease the level of crimes related to the violence against a person, particularly murders, by reducing the number of guns in general and firearms in particular? The leaders of many police organizations have united in their efforts to reach the adoption of federal laws concerning the decision of gun use control by the World Congress. The policemen of some large American cities often appear in the media with calls to impose restrictions in this field. A few years ago, Willie L. Williams, former police commissioner of Philadelphia and currently the chief of police in Los Angeles, said, “The violent use of firearms in Los Angeles is among the most pressing problems facing the city” (Freed 1). This proves the fact that the increased use of semi-automatic weapons during the criminal attacks is appalling. The prohibitions are significantly late to reduce the incidence of murders. He said, ”There are so many of these weapons around” (Hinds 1).

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There are some objections to gun use control in the USA. The police are not the only communities that want to buy guns. A few years ago, many sociologists and criminologists dealt with the issue whether gun control would reduce the crime rates. There were Some objections to the restrictions imposed on the acquisition of firearms. John R. Lott, the author of the book More Guns, Less Crime, represented the research of crime problems. He stated, “Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves” (Fenig 1). J. Lott analyzing the national statistics proved that due to the right of the population to use the firearms the crimes with force reduced. According to this book, the law concerning guns possession decreased the level of murders by 3%, violence by 2%, and robberies by 2%.

Some people consider that the amount of gun owners is too high. The opponents of these restrictions often pay attention to the fact that due to the firearms possession, the gun control will be ineffective. About ten years ago, the sociologist James Wright, Peter Rossi and Kathleen Daly (James Wright, Peter Rossi & Kathleen Daly) estimated that private individuals have more than 100 million of guns, and nearly half of American families keep at least one gun or pistol. With such a reserve of firearms, these intentions are inefficient. The issue how to achieve any significant reduction of the available firearms amount is very important.

Another argument that is often used by people opposed to the gun control is especially vital in the context of this debate. Due to the unavailability of the firearms people intend to commit a murder searching the replacement. A few murders committed as a result of the shot could be avoided because a firearm would not be easily accessible at that moment. However, the offender would choose any other gun in order to achieve his goal. The majority of murders are committed with firearms as a result of the fact that the killer prefers only this kind of gun as compared to others. National Rifle Association (NSA) said, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people” (Kyle Johnson 1).

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Some people consider that guns are used to protect them. The greatest number of firearms is used legally in the American families. However, the percentage of gun used for hunting and sport as well as for self-defense is very high. The Americans are particularly interested in security, which they believe their gun can provide.

According to the public opinion poll, even if a person says that he intends to use guns for a hobby, he acquires it only for safety. He considers that his home is better protected if he possesses the gun. With available guns restrictions, according to the argument used by the opponents of gun control, many obstacles are created for hunters and sportsmen as well as it concerns the ability of people to defend themselves.

The others state that the firearms threaten the society. Half of the US population is reasonable and rational, while the other one is unable to recognize the inconsistent and historical wrong position, which is stated in the Second Amendment. It gives the right to own and carry guns and originates in the English Bill of Rights. People can manage without this right, but the American gun owners value their firearms as the previous generations valued their slavery. Surprisingly, in the cases when a person does not seek to acquire guns, he often takes a firearm as a pledge of the personal security, despite the evidence that with the increasing number of gun owners, the safety level is reduced.

Thus, a 16-year-old teenager in Minnesota shot himself in the leg while hunting. A powerful shot from a shotgun occurred after the gun hammer had caught on a loop of a hunting vest. Benton County Sheriff Brad Bennett said, “Deputies were called to a hunting preserve in Glendorado Township at about 3:15 p.m. Officers found Brandon Rischmiller suffering from a shotgun wound to the foot” (16-Year Old Boy Wounded in Minnesota Hunting Accident 1). In the Grace Connection Church city Saint-Petersburg (Florida) a 20-year-old daughter of a local pastor Hannah Kelly was wounded in the head.


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A 48-year-old parishioner of the church Moises Zambrana who decided to discharge his gun before the meeting was blamed for this incident. Investigators from Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said, “Moises Zambrana was showing his gun to two other church members interested in buying a firearm when it accidentally fired” (Daily mail reporter 1). A similar incident occurred in the Catholic Church in Saint Charles (Missouri). Leaving the church after the fundraising, the man, whose name was not released, took the coat off the bench, in the inner pocket of which he had put Cobra Derringer caliber 0.38. The pistol falling went off, but no one, including the owner of the gun, heard the shot due to the firecrackers. The bullet hit one of the fundraisers in the back. He miraculously survived and was only frightened, having spent a few hours in the hospital. The most interesting was that the owner of the gun who discovered that his gun had gone off and he had left it lying on the floor in the church from the television news the next day.

Jack Banas, a prosecutor, said “It was obviously unintentional. We can’t find a criminal charge to go forward with this individual” (Castile 1). It should be noted that the first in US history “Day of weapons” was held a month after the tragic murder of 20 children in Newtown, one day before the birthday of activist Martin Luther King. He was killed by a sniper in Memphis in 1968, and in three days after the US president in Washington had announced about 23 measures concerning the reduction of the armed violence in the country. Almost all American legislators, gun manufacturers, parents of these children, relatives of other victims are involved in this dispute.

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Carolyn McCarthy, a politician, wrote “The United States Constitution guarantees to our citizens the right to keep and bear arms. At the same time that we can all acknowledge this basic right, I believe that we should also be able to come together to develop reasonable laws designed to ensure that the right to bear arms is exercised safely and responsibly” (Toeplitz 1). Thereby, she supported gun control measures proposed by Barack Obama, who said, “My starting point is not to worry about the politics. My starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works, what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe and that we’re reducing the incidents of gun violence” (Rucker 1). The president chose a holistic approach to the problem of the armed violence. For 20 years the president of the United States has first operated the issue of restrictions on military weapons and guns with extended capacity clip, inspections of those who acquire a gun, and the need to prevent illegal arm trade. In the USA the ban on the sale and use of weapons with high-capacity clip acted 10 years, from 1994 to 2004. Since then, the supporters of gun control campaign and its recovery as well as the opponents threaten the courts and other measures that they will not allow a new ban.

The danger that arises in connection with the use of firearms is high. After becoming a living base of the USA, the firearms play an important role in changing the modern life of this country. Moreover, the firearms cause a great danger to the people’s life. Taking into account all the arguments concerning the targets of the guns, namely to protect and kill, the country must find a compromise in order to provide safety to its population.


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