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Controversy surrounding gun control has been existence in America for over a century. While possession of guns has been widely associated with injury and death of innocent people, guns have also been known to save lives and prevent crimes when used appropriately (Valdez 7). According to the federal government’s national vital statistic report of 2001, 11001 people were murdered by use of a fire arm, 924 died as a result of accidental shootings, while 16455 people used guns to commit suicide (Gold 11).
Thousands of Americans are dying each year from gun inflicted injuries. However, the same guns are used by police and other law enforcing agents to protect people against crime. Opponents of gun control such as Kleck Gary oppose gun control citing that such regulations have no significant effect on the overall crime reduction in America. On the other hand, proponents of gun control argue that ownership of more guns often results in increased deaths emanating from use of fire arms.
Authors’ Use of Language
In his book, Point blank: guns and violence in America, Gary Kleck is contemptuous of gun control proponents. According to Kleck, the central rationale for gun control as a means of controlling violence is ‘eminently commonsensical’ (Kleck 429). He argues that the effects of disarming violent people are limited in scope and would not necessarily produce any net violence reducing impact. The writer is critical of the proponents’ views which he refers to as ‘unduly simplified conception of the role of weaponry in human violence’ (Kleck 429).
Susan Dudley Gold accommodates the views of gun control opponents and incorporates them in her discussion. The writer presents the views of proponents and supports them with relevant evidence. She assesses both sides of the discussion and acknowledges that the ongoing debate continues to be complicated by lack of consensus between the two sides (Gold 17). The writer is not cynical of the opposing side; rather, she considers the arguments from both sides in order to make an informed decision.
Evaluation of Evidence
According to Gary Kleck, general gun ownership appears to have an insignificant net effect on the rates of crime although they affect the fraction of crimes committed with guns (Kleck, 430). Kleck claims that gun ownership levels have no net effect on suicide rates especially due to the wide range of alternative suicide methods.
In addition, gun ownership levels appear to have no relationship with the rates of fatal gun accidents since such accidents are rare and confined to a small portion of the population. This makes it difficult to detect any statistical relationship existing between gun levels and accident rates (Kleck 430). However, the writer fails to adequately support his evidence with research findings and statistical data.
Susan Gold clearly outlines the views of gun control advocates and supports them with statistical evidence. The proponents argue that possession of a gun does not guarantee family and property safety. Indeed, such possession endangers lives of family members through accidental shootings and gun related suicides (Gold, 17). This argument is backed by Arthur Kellermann, a medical school professor, who in his research found that death from such incidences occur twice as much as death resulting from killings by armed criminals.
In addition, proponents of gun control argue that the more guns there are, the more the deaths resulting from guns. In support of this argument, the writer cites the report issued by the federal by Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire arms which indicated that the highest rates of violent crimes was in 1990 when the sale of small fire arms was at the peak (Gold 17).
Influence on the Authors
Susan Daudley Gold was heavily influenced by the escalating violence rates across regions of the world. In her book, she gives a statistical outline of the crime rates in various countries as well as gun murder rates. The writer looks at the debate on guns control from both perspectives in order to establish the reasons why criminal rates remain high in most parts of the world.
Gary Kleck was highly influenced by the irony prevalent in the gun control struggle. When it comes to the issue of gun control, the traditional political positions often become reversed. The debate has forced liberals and conservatives to switch places whereby liberalists support gun laws whereas conservatives oppose them. The writer out rightly rejects the proponents view by criticizing the arguments that they place in support of gun laws.
Authors’ Perception on the Topic
According to Susan Gold, the century old argument revolves around the issues of the second amendment, the relationship between gun ownership and crime and the effectiveness of gun control regulations. She is accommodates views from both sides and suggests that the only reason for persistence of the highly controversial debate is the complication arising from the fact that guns are used for both protection and harm.
Gary Kleck on the other hand disagrees with the proponents of gun control citing that there exists no valid relationship between levels of guns and rates of violent crimes. However, the writer acknowledges the need for a workable gun control strategy due to the dangerous nature of gun as a weapon.
Gold D. Susan. Gun Control. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2004. Print.
Kleck, Gary. Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2005. Print.
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Valdez, Angela. Gun Control. New York: InfoBase Publishing, 2003, Print.