The Issue of Gun Control In USA Research Paper

Abstract

This paper discusses one of the debatable issues faced by Americans today, namely the issue of gun control. The research question is the following: “Should the state and federal government ban enforcement of more gun control laws?” Due attention is paid to presenting of possible objections to the issue. Finally, the opposing views are rebutted. The key finding is that enforcement of more gun control laws by the state and federal government could resolve many gun related problems faced by American citizens today, including increased crime rate caused by easy access to guns, accidental gun related deaths, suicides, gun theft, mass shooting, easy children’s access to loaded guns at home, etc.

Introduction

Gun control is one of the acute issues faced by Americans today. Statistical data shows that in the United States, there are “88.8 guns per 100 people, or about 270,000,000 guns, which is the highest total and per capita number in the world” (Should More Gun Control Laws be Enacted? 2018). Some people believe that enforcement of gun control laws should be banned, while others state that more gun control laws should be enacted. As this issue is a debatable one, it requires a thorough consideration to ensure that the state and federal government make a right decision. Currently, “ 22% of Americans own one or more guns (35% of men and 12% of women)”, according to statistics (Should More Gun Control Laws be Enacted? 2018). There is a need for considering the impact of America’s gun culture which involves many historical events from colonial history, revolutionary movements, American frontier expansion, and adoption of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution says, “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” (The US Constitution, Amend. II). The research question is the following: “Should the state and federal government ban enforcement of more gun control laws?” Thesis statement: The state and federal government should not ban enforcement of more gun control laws because more gun control laws will help to address a number of gun related problems faced by Americans today, including increased crime rate caused by easy access to guns, accidental gun related deaths, suicides, gun theft, mass shooting, easy children’s access to loaded gun at home, etc.

The major reasons to enforce more gun control laws

More gun control laws should be enforced by the state and federal government to ensure that the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms is not violated. Gun control laws have become part of American history because there were many events in colonial times that demonstrated the support for gun ownership, ban on the transfer of guns to Catholics, slaves, and Native Americans; regulation of the gun powder storage in home settings and others. According to researchers, “American culture is gun culture – not merely in the sense that in 2009 about 124 million people lived in households that owned a total of about 270 million guns” (Lott, 2013, p. 1).

In fact, if more gun control laws are enforced, the number of crimes will be reduced significantly, including suicides, gun theft, mass shootings, and domestic abuse crimes. These types of gun related crimes are caused by easy access to guns. It is possible to provide more permit requirements and bans on gun sales to young people in order to ensure less access to guns. As a result, the number of accidental gun deaths could be reduced too, because enactment of more gun control laws could strengthen mandatory safety regulations (Squires, 2012). There is much evidence taken from academic sources that show improper methods of disciplining children. Loaded guns are kept at home,  posing a serious risk to children’s safety. There is a need for enforcing stricter laws to ensure that loaded guns are stored safely and securely. It is possible to prevent the growth of tragic events, such as accidental deaths and gun injuries caused by children’s access to guns at homes. In other words, the state and federal government should enforce more child access prevention laws to hold the owners of guns accountable for the safety of gun storage (Squires, 2012). According to statistical data, in the United States, “15 children and young people are killed by guns each day, most of them in and around their own homes” (Squires, 2012, p. 34).

Moreover, enforcement of more gun control laws could significantly reduce the costs of the government spent on gun violence. In their study, researchers explored the effect of household gun prevalence on homicide rates, placing emphasis on the marginal external cost of gun ownership. They considered a superior proxy for gun prevalence and the percentage of gun related suicides. The key finding on the effect of gun prevalence on gun homicide rates shows that “the average annual marginal social cost of household gun ownership is in the range $100 to $1800” (Cook & Ludwig, 2006, p. 379). Widespread gun ownership does not guarantee a general deterrent to criminal activity. There are different risks that should be addressed by the government, including “the possibility that guns will be misused by the owners or transferred to dangerous people through theft or unregulated sale” (Cook & Ludwig, 2006, p. 380). It is obvious that the social costs of gun ownership are considerable, and they affect the regulation of guns in the United States.

The Opposing Views on Gun Control Laws

The opposing views on gun control laws are few. The most influential views include the ones related to the constitutional right to keep and bear arms and to the need for ensuring self defence. Actually, the state and federal government should ban enforcement of more gun control laws for the purpose of compliance with the law. The Second Amendment of the US Constitution says that it is necessary to protect the right of all American people to keep and bear arms. Gun ownership should be protected by the US Constitution because it is an American gun tradition. However, enforcement of more gun control laws could lead to infringement upon the constitutional right to bear arms. This right should be perceived by all Americans as a fundamental right that allows American citizens to maintain liberty and democracy. According to researchers the gun issue is associated with the growth of crime rate and violence, and increased tension caused by racial conflicts (Squires, 2012). However, it becomes clear that if the state and federal government allow enforcement of more gun control laws, the Second Amendment of the US Constitution will not be violated. The right to own and bear gun will remain fundamental, although some restrictions could be enforced to address the needs of society. Anyway, American citizens should understand that they could maintain liberty and enjoy the rights of free speech, a free press, freedom of religion and the other legal protections provided by the Bill of Rights.

Besides, some people argue that the state and federal government should ban enforcement of more gun control laws because gun control laws do not play an important role in deterrence of crime. They consider that gun ownership is the best way to deter crime in the country. Recent studies prove the fact that enforcement of more gun restrictions could not significantly impact the rates of crime both at the local and state levels (Squires, 2012; Lott, 2013; Cook & Ludwig, 2006). According to researchers, gun restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons may lead to higher level of gun-related crimes across the country (Gius, 2013). In their study, researchers assessed the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on the rates of state-level crime. They used the data taken from the period of  1980-2009 and found that “states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states” (Gius, 2013, p. 265). It was also found that bans on guns did not significantly impact the rates of crime at the local and state levels.  Hence, research study proves the fact that “restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the local and state levels. These findings are consistent with other research studies (Gius, 2013).

Moreover, some people suggest that the state and federal government should ban enforcement of more gun control laws because of the need for avoiding infringement upon the right to self-defence. They argue that American citizens should not be denied the sense of safety, guaranteed by gun ownership. According to researchers, “stricter gun control laws produce higher crime” because of the reduced sense of safety they generate (Lott, 2013, p. 23).  In other words, any restrictions could lead to reduction of the sense of safety. There is a widely accepted assumption that guns should be used for self-defence. Currently, the police do not guarantee protection of all Americans, although they work hard to achieve success in reduction of crime and violence in the country. It is evident that enforcement of more gun control laws could lead to reduced opportunities for self-defence. It could be more difficult for Americans to protect their homes and families. It is necessary to consider the fact that the right to self-defence is associated with the fundamental right to life. If the state and federal government ban enforcement of more gun control laws, they will interfere with the ability of law-abiding American citizens to protect themselves against the spread of violence and the actions of criminals. According to researchers, “autonomy and citizenship relate directly to fundamental ideas about personal security and self-defence” (Squires, 2012, p. 34). Hence, the state and federal government should not ban enforcement of more gun control laws because stricter gun control laws help to improve security and protection against criminals through enhanced work of relevant governmental agencies, including federal law enforcement agency.

In general, there are several strict gun control laws that regulate the production, distribution and use of guns in the United States, including The National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Firearms’ Owners Protection Act of 1986, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2008 (Lott, 2013).  It becomes clear that if more gun control laws will be enforced by the  the state and federal government, American citizens will be better protected from the negative consequences of gun ownership, such as accidental gun related deaths, suicides, gun theft, mass shooting, easy access to gun at home, etc. It is clear that criminals could have less chances to steal guns  kept at homes of access to guns is controlled properly.

Conclusion

Thus, it is necessary to conclude that the state and federal government should not ban enforcement of more gun control laws because of the benefits provided by these laws to society in general and to each American citizen in particular. Enforcement of more gun control laws could address a number of gun related problems faced by Americans today, including increased crime rate caused by easy access to guns, accidental gun related deaths, suicides, gun theft, mass shooting, easy access to gun at home, etc. Besides, enforcement of more gun control laws could lead to reduction of costs spent by the state and federal government on prevention of violence.

References

Cook, P. J. & Ludwig, J. (2006). “The social costs of gun ownership,” Journal of Public Economics, 90 (1/2):379-391.

Gius, M. (2013). “An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates,” Applied Economics Letters, 21(4): 265-267.

Lott, J. R. (2013). More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition. University of Chicago Press.

Should More Gun Control Laws be Enacted? (2018). ProCon.org. Retrieved from:<https://gun-control.procon.org/>

Squires, P. (2012). Gun Culture or Gun Control?: Firearms and Violence: Safety and Society. Routledge.

The US Constitution, Amend. II. Retrieved from:<https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-ii>

Annotated Bibliography

Cook, P. J. & Ludwig, J. (2006). “The social costs of gun ownership,” Journal of Public Economics, 90(1/2):379-391.

This source provides much important information about the social costs of gun ownership.Researches give explanation to the benefits of gun control laws and help to assess the consequences of lack of gun control. They state that stricter laws should be enacted to reduce societal costs.

Gius, M. (2013). “An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates,” Applied Economics Letters, 21(4): 265-267.

This article discusses the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates. It can be used to explore the opportunities provided by the state and local government in addressing the problem of gun control. Researchers state that restrictions of concealed gun laws may contribute to the increase in gun-related crimes at the state level. 

Lott, J. R. (2013). More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition. University of Chicago Press.

This book provides much important information on gun control laws and the need for reducing crime rate through increased access to gun ownership. The author is interested in the study of the ongoing arguments over gun-control laws. He states that the attacks by gun control  advocates need to be considered by the local and state governments in addressing the problems caused by gun violence. Lott suggests that more guns mean less crime.

Should More Gun Control Laws be Enacted? (2018). ProCon.org. Retrieved from:<https://gun-control.procon.org/>

This website provides accurate description of the pros and cons of gun control laws, placing  emphasis on the various aspects of gun violence. The areas addressed in this article include reduction of suicide rate, mass shooting, ensuring mandatory safety, self-defence and other issues.

Squires, P. (2012). Gun Culture or Gun Control?: Firearms and Violence: Safety and Society. Routledge.

This book discusses the nature of gun culture in the United States. The author provides much  evidence about the link between guns and violence in American society. The analysis of the different policy directions implemented in the UK and the USA allows drawing relevant  conclusions on the benefits of strict gun laws.

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

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

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

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

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

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

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

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

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

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

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

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]
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