Only Law Abiding Citizens Will Be Affected by Strict Firearm Legislation.

All Americans want to walk freely through the streets without fear and feel safe at home. Street crime rate has increased in several times especially in large cities, along with the number of night burglaries and armed robberies, while many offenses are related to the “war against drugs”. Criminals in their criminal activities often use weapons, even in states and cities where gun ownership is banned or severely restricted. In most states, a possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a serious crime is a crime. However, professional criminals still easily obtain weapons and use them as before for their destructive activities. So, gun control laws are evidently unable to take away weapons from the hands of criminals. Moreover, there is a point of view that the restriction on the purchase and use of arms violates the rights of law-abiding citizens because criminals do not feel any discomfort in the current system of control and prevention of violent offenses. Thus, the main aims of the assignment are to research the problem of gun control in the United States, and to discuss the statement that only law-abiding citizens will be affected by strict firearm legislation.

First of all, it is necessary to mention that the problem of gun control in the United States has deep roots, and nowadays it is still actual and sharp because recently U.S. President Barack Obama again called upon his compatriots for support the initiative to tighten control over firearms in the country. Observing the history of the country, it is possible to note that “fear for personal safety and a feeling that the courts were not being harsh enough with criminals stirred both sides on the gun issue, one to urge tighter controls over the distribution of weapons, the other to propose doing away with controls but increasing the penalties for illegal use of weapons” (Edel, 1995). Thus, people have always been concerned about their fate, and security issues were often resolved with weapons.

As we know, in some states, citizens have the right to keep and bear such means of self-defense as short-barreled firearms. The list of countries which allow the own citizens to bear firearms include the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, etc., while other countries prefer to forbid people to keep such dangerous firearms originally designed for defense. Anyway, the turnover of certain types of weapons is legalized almost in all countries. For instance, in the United States almost every person may purchase firearms being able to follow several obligatory conditions.

The right to own firearms is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The country ranks first in the world in the number of weapons in the hands of the population, and the highest number of armed violence. The number of people dying from bullets in the U.S. is in 15 times above the level of casualties in other advanced economies (Edel, 1995). But the problem is not in the arm by itself; moreover, some people mistakenly believe that the problem is exactly in the weapon by itself. Following this mistake, they call authorities to deprive law-abiding citizens of their rights to have a possibility to stop crime, explaining this fact by a statement that such an approach will help to stop violence, killing and maiming caused by criminals or careless gun owners. One group of people just does not like guns, other group of people can not understand how someone else could love arms, and these people are looking for every opportunity to ban gun ownership for everyone – except the state.

Looking attentively at the situation with arms in American society nowadays, there is a possibility to suppose that the problem of gun control is more complex than it may be seen for the first glance. On the one hand, statistical data show that a big majority of states that make a possibility to openly carry guns legal for everyone less suffer from crime, and owners of firearms much less become the victims of robberies and assaults. It is also necessary to mention that the use of firearms as a means of self-defense rarely ends with the bloodshed. But on the other hand, there can be mentioned many cases of crying abuse of arms, when innocent people lost their lives in a result of massacres. Also official statistics of developed countries demonstrates that the level of killings and violence is greatly increased by toughening the right to possess arms (Klein, 2000). So, despite the resistance of a large part of Americans, legislation of separate states and the country as a whole maintain standards that should protect American citizens from possible dangerous situation, where gun can save human life.

Peaceful, law-abiding citizens have a reason to believe that their right to have a gun can not be canceled. It was a very important reason for those American revolutionaries who achieved success many decades ago in building a new country. They demanded the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, before ratification of the Constitution. They wanted to control the new national government and the inevitable tendency of the state to restrict the growth and transformation into a force to suppress their own citizens. They knew that without firearms they can not hope to resist the likely future state of tyranny. Right to revolt against tyranny would mean very little without a weapon in the hands of people who love freedom. In such a way, this idea of ​​the American revolutionaries was justified and validated by the further course of history. Dictators and autocratic ruling bodies invariably seek the ways to disarm the people in order to concentrate power in their own hands and deprive people of any hope of success in protecting their peace and freedom.

Dwelling on basic human rights, the right of citizens to possess weapons warrants a second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Its formulation allows not to distribute these guarantees on firearms. But of course, there exists even a more fundamental reason than approval of possession of weapons by the Constitution. This reason can be called a presence of individual human rights. It is a truth that a possession of a gun or pistol does not violate anyone’s rights. If a person has a gun “Magnum -357”, a hunting rifle, shotgun or machinegun, it would not hurt anyone. A person can have hundreds of rifles and ammunition. It does not violate anyone’s rights. There is no reason to declare a criminal a people who has firearms and does not use them in criminal activities. It is necessary to respect all human rights for possession, including rights to purchase, possess, and use property which was acquired peacefully and fairly, even when the speech is going about firearms.

Moreover, the person can have many reasons to possess firearms: it does not matter whether it is used for self-defense, hunting, investment, competition in shooting, collecting or someone just got it inherited from a beloved grandfather. As long as a gun owner does not bring anyone harm, no one has the right to complain. It is purely up to the person. So, many restrictions in firearm legislation will more affect law-abiding citizens than criminals because supporters of gun control do not care about any of personal constitutional rights or individual right to control own life and property. In fact, supporters of provision of strict firearm legislation use the term “gun control,” just to focus the public attention on an inanimate object, and the harm that this thing can cause, thereby hiding the fact that in reality they only want to control other people, violating their rights in one or another way. It is a well-known fact that any single law can not prevent all acts of violence and evil.

Researching the problem from various perspectives, there is a necessity to explore the main “pros and cons” of gun control. The main arguments in order to support legalization of short-barreled firearms are: law enforcement agencies can not cope with the shaft of crime, so the state must allow the own citizens to protect themselves and to get additional security guarantees; crimes using legal weapons are rare; the presence of firearms in the civilian population, according to statistics of foreign countries, reduces the rate of violent crime; created uncertainty for potential criminal, in many cases, stops the criminal from criminal assault; having guns, citizens feel themselves more secure (Doherty, 2008).

Among the most common argument “against” gun legalization could be considered the following statement: exactly today American citizens are extremely aggressive and not ready to get a gun; the level of tolerance in the society is at a level that any altercation turns into a knife fight, after the introduction of such rules will begin a kind of “slaughter” with the use of guns; a culture of having guns and using it in a proper way is almost forgotten in America nowadays; exorbitant level of corruption in the country would not allow to complete effective control over the licit movement of firearms among civilian weapons.

Paying attention to different acts of prohibition in the past, we can compare contemporary attempts to provide restrictions in firearms legislation with dry law because proponents of gun control are similar to the adherents of the prohibition of alcohol in the early twentieth century (Cook and Ludwig, 2000). To explain, supporters of dry law spawned organized crime, they caused bloody and brutal war between criminal gangs and corrupt the entire criminal justice system by declaring alcoholic beverages outside the law. The same thing is happening today with the “war against drugs” or “war against firearms”. Historical facts have proved that the prohibition of alcoholic beverages did not stop people in their desire and attempts to drink alcohol, as well as laws against drugs can not stop drug use. It seems that announcement of gun ownership outlawed will also fail just as well.

But the problem is in quite another fact because the first victims of restriction will be law-abiding citizens, while criminals will continue to use firearms with habitual frequency. To explain, possible restrictions as well as ban for gun ownership will deprive respectable citizens of their civil rights because weapon ban will only make it more expensive and give organized crime more opportunities to extract profits from the arms at the black market. Moreover, it is also possible to suppose that violence will spill into the streets in new internecine wars. There are no doubts that criminals will not give back their weapons, while many law-abiding citizens will do it, and it will make them vulnerable before the armed bandits.

Thus, taking everything into a consideration it is possible to state that only law-abiding Americans have a right to decide how best to protect themselves, their families, homes and property. Millions of Americans have a gun at home, and this fact allows them to sleep calmly. Studies show that in those regions, where the possession of weapons is prohibited by law, criminals commit more robberies residential burglary (Moorhouse and Wanner, 2006). People have no reason to fear the man who holds the weapon at home, except for the robbers, of course.

Nowadays, the police did not have enough resources to ensure the continued safety of people’s home, business or street at any point. Very often the police officer appears just after the crime to make a report, while an investigation is usually unsuccessful. Life in the poor quarter increases the risk for people who want only to live in peace and go about their business. So, possession of personal weapons is not just the first but it is their only line of defense.

Making a research, we have also realized that only the presence of weapons in citizens can prevent violence, reduce its spread or completely eradicate it. Convicted criminals polls show that fear of armed citizens deters crimes (Klein, 2000). It makes sense. If the raider knows that buyers and sellers in the store can be armed, then he probably will consider a danger to the own health too much to try to rob this place. According to statistics, the offender will soon be driven away by armed victims than convicted and imprisoned for the crime. Thus, the widespread possession of weapons will bring more security all around. It is impossible to ignore the fact that sometimes mentally ill persons open fire in public places, usually with a weapon that is stored without legal permission. But those who control the weapons tend to react to these cases of violence with calls for tougher laws relating to rights of other normal people to have guns and to protect themselves. In such a way, announcement of gun ownership to be illegal criminals will hurt millions of law-abiding Americans who harmed nobody and do not threaten anyone. It seems that to stigmatize these innocent people by the label of a criminal will be a flagrant violation of morality.

In conclusion, we have researched the problem of gun control in the United States, and discussed the position that only law-abiding citizens will be affected by strict firearm legislation. Moreover, we have also proved the fact that peaceful and safe custody and use of weapons should not be a subject to criminal law or legalized restrictions. Law-abiding and responsible citizens do not need and should not need anyone’s permission or license to be engaged in peaceful activities. Possession of weapons as such does not harm anyone, and criminal penalties for its storage have no moral justification. Moreover, instead of banning guns, politicians and the police should encourage its responsible ownership, as well as training and safe handling of weapons. Thus, responsible, well-armed and trained citizens are the best protection against crime in the country and from the threat of foreign invasion. America’s founders knew that perfectly well. This is still true today.

 

Works Cited

Cook, Philip J. and Ludwig, Jens. Gun Violence: The Real Costs. Oxford University Press, 2000.

Doherty, Brian. Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle over the Second Amendment. Cato Institute, 2008.

Edel, Wilbur. Gun Control: Threat to Liberty or Defense against Anarchy? Praeger, 1995.

Klein, E. The Gun Control Movement has Found its Voice: But Still Needs to Find its Way. Berkeley Media Studies Group, 2000.

Moorhouse, John C. and Wanner, Brent. Does Gun Control Reduce Crime or Does Crime Increase Gun Control? The Cato Journal, vol. 26, no. 1, Winter 2006.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

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

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

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

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

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

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

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

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

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

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

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]
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