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Debate of Gun Control in America Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Dec 13th, 2019

Gun control issue

The issue of gun control raises a very contested debate whenever any act of violence is committed and a gun is involved executing it. Several stakeholders, including politicians, policy implementers, gun lobbyists, and the civil society have been engaging in the discussion for over a century, but an ultimate response is yet to be reached.

Those suggesting that ownership of the gun is illegal and unethical observe that the local authorities and the federal agencies in charge of the gun control policy are not doing enough in terms of policy formulation because the rate at which people acquire guns and use them to destroy life is alarming.

Indeed, it is a threat to the national security. For the advocates, they present a dissenting view by noting that the law goes too far, which amounts to infringement of individual rights.

Opponents of gun control defend the argument that each American should be allowed to own a gun since introducing control measures prevent individuals from protecting their lives and property. For instance, hunters, sport shooters, and recreational gunmen should be allowed to acquire guns since their aim is not to harm anyone, but instead to enjoy their lives (Lavery & Hughes, 2008).

The Second Amendment to the constitution allows free ownership of guns in the country. Since life is highly valued, any person should have the ability to protect it at any given time, irrespective of whether the state has an effective and sufficient security system or not.

Major debate

In this article, it is argued that gun control should be embraced in the country and stronger laws ought to be drafted to stop unnecessary loss of life. Proponents of gun ownership suggest that certain groups should not be allowed to acquire guns meaning that controlling the distribution and ownership of these dangerous weapons should be supported.

For instance, the society would be unmanageable if criminals and the mentally challenged were allowed to acquire guns. Similarly, children should not be given an opportunity to own any form of a lethal weapon, including guns because they might use them to commit mass murder.

Since the 1970s, a number of legal and social reviews suggest that the rates of gun-connected felonies have gone up in the country as compared to other industrialized states, such as Britain and Canada. New York City implemented the gun control policies and the result was positive since cases of crimes went down.

The development of technological weapons poses a serious threat to the very survival in society, something that has forced legislators to reconsider their previous decision on gun control. Before the Supreme Court ruling in 1939, the constitution allowed several militias to own guns, as it was important in the preservation of the national and state security.

If not managed in the right way, arms, weapon technology, gun possession, and regulatory laws have the potential of damaging the society.

The establishment of the national gun registry could perhaps generate personal issues while utilization of invalid or ambiguous gun control rules could lead to loss of life and property. The truth is that a lasting solution to the issues surrounding ownership of guns is yet to be reached, but controlling the supply and ownership is inevitable.

Views of opponents

In the newspaper article published by Morris on April 21, 2013, it is noted that gun ownership is directly related to homicide in the sense that the community would be safer if only the government is given the responsibility of protecting the populace.

In fact, no one would be willing to start a fight once he or she realizes that there is no gun to rely on in protecting oneself. If each person is allowed to acquire a gun or any form of a lethal weapon, chances are high that individuals would be reluctant to cooperate with the authorities.

Each person has to depend on the government for protection and this explains the reason why an individual would first dial the police hotline once he or she is attacked in the house. This facilitates obedience and loyalty to the government leading to peaceful coexistence.

However, the case is different for the individuals with guns because they might end up rising against each other since they are fully armed. Allowing ownership of guns in the country would be taking the society back to the times when the social contract never existed whereby life was nasty, brutal, and short-lived.

At that time, individuals were highly appetitive and self-centered because selfish interests overrode communal or common interests. Based on the views of Hobbes, there should be a leviathan, which is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the interests of each person.

The government acts as the leviathan or the common authority that should offer protection to all people in the country, including the ruling class. Human beings are naturally brutal and aggressive and allowing them to own guns would be fuelling mass murder and crime.

The study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that ownership of guns and the persistent rates of homicide were inseparable. The correlation between guns and homicides is compared to the relationship between Nicholas Cage and horrifying films.

Additionally, a strong correlation between gun ownership and suicide exists. Planning a suicide mission is like strategizing on how to make a wedding successful since an individual has to sit down, figure out all the options, set the date, and execute the plan.

Since shooting is the most effective option, an individual would likely apply it, but the situation would be different if gun ownership is controlled. Data from various governmental sources as regards to suicide prove that a state with a high number of gun ownership has a higher suicide rate while those with gun control laws have low cases.

For the last thirty years, the US has experienced at least sixty-two mass shootings in several states. Criminals or illegal gun owners did not perpetrate the mass murders, but instead those licensed to defend their wealth using the weapons were the culprits implying that possession of guns is a threat to human life.

Official governmental data proves that licensed gun owners carried out forty-nine mass murders and the weapons used are believed to be high-capacity magazines. The government has all the reasons to control gun usage and ownership in the country if life and property is to be protected.

In case it is necessary to own a gun, then only short-guns should be issued out or be recommended to the applicants since they do not have the capacity to exterminate the lives of many people. In other countries, such as Australia, the government has been quick to take action once wrong usage of the gun is reported to the state security agencies.

For instance, the conservative premier moved in to take stern action in 1996 when mass shooting led to the deaths of over thirty-six individuals. In the crackdown, over six hundred automatic weapons were repossessed and destroyed while several short-guns and pistols were recovered from individuals.

Views of proponents

Proponents of gun ownership in the country support their claims by noting that the Second Amendment to the constitution permits free ownership of weapons, including all forms of guns. However, this is not true because the constitution was amended specifically to give the state militias some powers to defend their territories following the formation of the union.

It was felt that the union was weak and it could not have the capacity to protect the aggressor from harming the locals. Advocates of gun ownership simply quote the phrase “bear arms,” yet they neglect the key word, which is the militia (Morris, 2013). The US was going through several problems and conflicts since some regions were simply concerned with disturbing peace and security.

The government lacked sufficient structures and measures to deal with the rising cases of crime and loss of life through ethnic, racial, and religious clashes. The enemy would invade any time and the government would take sides meaning that a possibility of a genocide occurring was imminent.

The militias served the interests of the public because they would be deployed as the state army, but the current system of gun ownership simply fulfils the interests of an individual.

Based on this, the law should be reinterpreted the way the Supreme Court did in previous years to prevent individuals from owning guns in the country. Since the constitution appreciated the sovereignty of each state, the militias were justified to own guns.


Lavery, J., & Hughes, W. (2008). Critical Thinking: An Introduction to the Basic Skills. New York: Broadview Press.

Morris, M. (2013, April 21). 10 arguments for Gun Control. LISTVERSE. Retrieved from

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