Argumentative Essay Against Gun Control Restrictions

The right to own a firearm is enshrined in the US Constitution, and today, the state not only ranks first in the world in the number of weapons in the hands of the population, with over 47% of households being armed, but is also first by the scales of armed violence. According to Alec MacGillis (31), since 1976 to 2010, 2.949 people were killed in 645 massacres across the US, where in more than 75% of the most resonant mass murders criminals gained access to weapons legally. On a whole, the number of people dying from bullets is by15 times higher in the United States than in other advanced economies (Carlson 340). Therefore, the police, government, and the general public are now greatly concerned about the risks associated with the acquisition of weapons. However, in our mind, the fundamental question is whether gun control will really reduce the level of crime. Let’s briefly look at some of the main objections to the possible restrictions to be imposed on the acquisition of firearms.

Above all, the right of citizens to the acquisition, possession and use of firearms is a natural right that cannot be limited, since its restriction or abolition is an attack on human and civil rights illustrating the undisputed evidence of the usurpation of power by a group of persons of the ruling class. The political regime where the right of citizens to bear arms gets limited or is not recognized at all can, thus, be characterized as oppressive or tyrannical. Indeed, the right to bear arms is a certain attribute of freedom, a free right to self-defense, and a person deprived of it won’t be able to protect many of one’s other rights, which puts a citizen in a position of inferiority.

In support of this argument, the statistical data confirm that the majority of firearms in the American households are used legally and adequately for the means of hunting, sports, and self-protection, with legitimate use of weapons exceeding illegitimate (i.e. criminal) by 3-5 times (Siegel et al. 1915). According to a survey, even people using firearms mainly for a hobby tend to believe that their homes are much safer due to the very fact of weapons’ availability, whereas limiting the access to weapons will create serious obstacles for not only hunters and sportsmen, but most vulnerable social layers in the first place, including women, children, elderly people and people with disabilities (Obeng 395). Thus, in particular, the recent Gallup poll showed that 53% of the Americans oppose the ban on semi-automatic weapons, while the restriction of gun control is advocated by only 43% (Webster and Vernick 140). Another Gallup poll showed that 55% of the Americans would like to ease current restrictions on weapons even more or at least leave them unchanged (Webster and Vernick 141).

It is also important to mark here that in addition to the wave of calls to limit the legal sale of weapons, each firearm-associated tragedy in the United States also shows to provoke the even greater demand for buying firearms for self-defense reasons, as well as contributes to the popularity of self-defense courses (Obeng 396). Indeed, the survey conducted by the US Department of Justice demonstrated that 25% of those who did not use firearms self-defense while being robbed were physically affected by offenders, and were either beaten, raped, or wounded (Siegel et al. 1916). Meanwhile, among those who used their guns for self-defense, only less than 8% suffered additional harm. Besides, in most cases, self-defenders did not kill anyone and did not even get hurt, and yet managed to demonstrate a weapon or fire a warning shot (Siegel et al. 1917). Thus, according to Webster and Vernick (178), only 1% of criminals who attacked households were wounded, and only 0.1% was killed. As Obeng’s (397) observations show, even people with minimal training may provide a threat for a criminal. Thus, about 60% of the US prisons inmates admitted in Webster and Vernick study (235) that they sometimes refused to conduct the crime act when suspecting that the victim was armed.

On the other hand, there is an opposite argument that is often used by people challenging the freedoms of owning firearms and is particularly important in the context of this debate. For instance, as Arinde and Barker (1) claim, 25% of violent crimes and 60-67% of murders in the United States are annually committed with legally owned firearms, and according to Kasravi (15), every case where a firearm is used for self-defense counts 22 cases of illegal/improper use of weapons, including suicide. In this regard, we reckon that the evidence should be viewed widely and percentage-formulated data should be used with caution. In particular, it should be kept in mind that the factual number of crimes committed with firearms is steadily decreasing since 1993 (Webster and Vernick 89). Besides, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, states where the least restrictive laws on gun ownership operate, observe by 22% lower rates in violent crime, 30% fewer murders and 46% fewer robberies (Carlson 341). Similar situation is evidenced by the foreign statistics: for instance, after the introduction of the right to bear arms in the Baltic States and Moldova, the number of homicides dropped rather than increased (Carlson 348). On the contrary, in Brazil, where the legal acquisition of firearms is almost impossible, these does not prevent criminals from arranging daily armed street fights and killing people freely (Carlson 347).

Furthermore, such facts as the established system for licensing able to weed out people with a criminal records, neuropsychiatric disorders and substance addictions, and the easiness of identifying firearm’s owner through legal registration forms also speak in favor of avoiding gun control restrictions. In the end, the inaccessibility of firearms may only cause people to look for a replacement. As Marvin Wolfgang beautifully put this based on a classic study of homicides in Philadelphia in 1958, few murders committed as a result of a shot could have been avoided simply because a firearm would not be readily available at the time … to achieve their goals, the offenders would have chosen any other weapons at hand (cited in Webster and Vernick 112). Thus, if the majority of homicides are committed with firearms, it is mainly due to the fact that offenders now prefer this type of weapon in comparison with others. After all, it is well-known that do not kill people, but people kill people.

Thus, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention rightfully summed all of these factors up, there is no confirmed evidence that the tightening of the gun control laws will affect the reduction of crime rates (Carlson 350). Given this, we suppose that both supporters and opponents of the gun control laws restriction may agree on two major things: first, the debate on the rights to possession and carry firearms is one of the most fruitless in the modern society, and second of all, criminals will always find a way to get weapons into their hands. From here, what the author personally believes in, the limitations imposed on free access to firearms for ordinary citizens will simply make them even more vulnerable in face of danger.


Works Cited:

Arinde, Nayaba, and Cyril Josh Barker. “Stop the Guns. (Cover story).” New York Amsterdam News 20 Dec. 2012: 1+. Academic Search Premier. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

Carlson, Jennifer D. “States, subjects and sovereign power: Lessons from global gun cultures.” Theoretical Criminology 18.3 (2014): 335-353. Print.

Kasravi, Niaz. “Caught In The Crossfire.” Crisis (15591573) 120.2 (2013): 12-17. Academic Search Premier. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

MacGillis, Alec. “Guess Where The Gangs Get Their Guns?.” New Republic 245.14 (2014): 30-31. Academic Search Premier. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

Obeng, Cecilia. “Should Gun Safety Be Taught In Schools? Perspectives Of Teachers.” Journal Of School Health 80.8 (2010): 394-398. Academic Search Premier. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

Siegel, Michael, et al. “The Relationship Between Gun Ownership And Stranger And Nonstranger Firearm Homicide Rates In The United States, 1981–2010.” American Journal Of Public Health 104.10 (2014): 1912-1919. Academic Search Premier. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.

Webster, Daniel, and Jon S. Vernick. Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. Print.

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[Accessed: November 26, 2021] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]
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