In the US, the increase in cases of gun violence has generated heated debates over legal gun ownership (Krouse 33). Thirty-three states permit its lawful citizens to own firearms. The Right to Carry (RTC) law allows law-abiding citizens to be issued with gun permits. Critics assert that the current increase in the number of gun related crimes results from the country’s lenient gun ownership law.
According to critics, appropriate gun policies and legislations would reduce the ever-increasing cases of violence in our society. However, those who advocate for gun ownership have challenged the belief that amendments of gun ownership laws would reduce the number of criminals with firearms. Proponents assert that having more guns in private hands would reduce the level of crimes.
Based on the above arguments, this paper seeks to highlight the reasons why gun ownership law should not be amended. My position differs from those who propose that gun legislations should be reviewed. I believe that the introduction of gun control measures in the US would violate the people’s rights as stipulated in the US constitution.
This implies that the government is obliged to safeguard individuals’ rights by ensuring that all Americans are allowed to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their properties. Gun rights advocates estimate that up to 3.6 million defensive uses of gun are reported annually (Ferro 153). According to the US Department of Justice, the figure is said to be higher since most self-defense scenarios go unreported.
Through these incidences, it is a fact that citizens can successfully defend themselves with guns. Similarly, individuals who own guns should be aware of these rights, and acknowledge that the right of an individual to own and bear arms is not just a slogan but central part of the Second Amendment.
In the society, several factors influence the prevalence of crime and violence. Poverty, drug abuse, and psychological issues are the major factors to blame for the increase in the rate of gun related violence in our societies. Similarly, unavailability of strict gun law has been blamed for the increase in the murder and suicide cases in the US (Roleff 90).
Sociologists suggest that relevant stakeholders should tackle with these underlying issues for the gun related violence in our society to reduce (Sheptycki 310). Researchers have indicated that if gun control were enacted in the US, law-abiding gun owners would reduce in number. On the contrary, the number of criminals with guns might not reduce.
It is postulated that if private gun ownership was banned, criminals would still access these weapons using other illegal means. This implies that crime rate might increases, as criminals would be the only ones armed leaving the public unprotected. Through these recommendations, gun proponents argue that the current gun legislations are the most effective means of reducing crime if they are fully implemented.
I believe that if more citizens that are law-abiding own more guns, criminals would be more scared to commit acts of violence. This theory bases its effectiveness on the fact that criminals fear to attack armed individuals. According to classic and neoclassic theories, criminals are rational individuals who can reduce the violent acts if the perceived costs of crime prevail over the perceived gains from committing a crime (Wintemute 156).
This implies that an increase in the number of legally permitted guns would lead to a reduction in gun related violence and crimes due to the increase in the cost of committing such crimes. Similarly, research findings indicate that states that enforce laws permitting legally abiding citizens to carry concealed guns have realized a drop in crimes and violence.
The drop in crimes and violence is attributed to reactions criminals, especially those without guns, respond to when the cost of committing crime increases. Notably, it has been pointed out that criminals shift their criminal activities to conducive states without RTC laws when RTC laws are enacted in specific states. In some instances, criminals have shifted to other types of crimes such as larceny because of enforcement of RTC laws.
In this regard, the government should stop its initiatives of trying to implement tougher gun control measures. Instead, the government should increase sentencing penalties and waiting periods to discourage criminals from committing their wrongful acts.
Those who oppose RTC laws have presented several arguments as to why allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed guns is dangerous (Lott & William 36). According to their opinions, the concept that increase in the ownership of guns by the citizens would reduce crime is based on limited researches. These individuals believe that more researches should be carried out to substantiate on such claims.
Similarly, these individuals believe that there are many unlawfully guns being carried before the law. Therefore, an increase in the number of permitted guns does not mean that the level of protection would increase. Instead, they suggest that the increase in the number of legally permitted guns would increase the pool with which criminals would access guns.
Another reason why I believe gun legislations should remain unrevised is that gun industries contribute huge revenue to our overall GDP. In the USA, gun industries manufacture several guns for sale in the country and overseas. Through this, several jobs and taxable proceeds have been generated improving on our economy.
Although gun control proponents suggest that the negative effects of private gun ownership in the society outweigh these benefits, it should be noted that the gun industry has every right to rear up and fight back as tobacco industries. In conclusion, we should acknowledge that if tough gun control laws are enacted other problems would arise.
Similarly, we should dismiss the gun legislation myths and believe in scientifically proven facts. It might be true that the removal of guns would reduce gun related violence, murders, and other crimes, but such moves will make it easier for criminals to prey on weaker citizens who would find it difficult to defend themselves.
Similarly, we should note that the number of suicides and homicides would not reduce with the removal of guns. As an alternative, we should note that there are several unpreventable options people would explore to commit homicides and suicides. For instance, if the number of guns owned by the public is reduced, individuals opting to commit suicides and homicides would turn to other means that might endanger the lives of other individuals in ways that shooting do not.
Equally, we should let the public decide on whether gun control legislations are appropriate, as interferences with these laws would not only be against their constitutional rights, but would also undermine the returns gained from the gun industries.
Ferro, Geffry “Gun shows across a multistate American gun market: observational evidence of the effects of regulatory policies.” Inj Prev 13.4 (2006): 140-155. Print. In this journal, Ferro explores several effects of gun legislation across several states in the US.
Krouse, William. “Gun Control Legislation.” Congressional Research Service 1.12 (2012): 1 118. CRS. Web. The journal focuses on several researches that have been done on private gun ownership.
Lott, John, and William Landes. “Multiple Victim Public Shootings, Bombings, and Right-to Carry Concealed Handgun Laws: Contrasting Private and Public Law Enforcement.” Social Science Research Network Working Paper Series 1.1 (1999): 22-56. Cite You Like. Web. Lott and William highlight several cases of public shooting in the US in a bid to bring into light the dangers of private gun ownership.
Roleff, Tamara. “Consensus statement on youth suicide by firearms.” Archives of Suicide Research 4.1 (1998): 89-94. Cite You Like. Web. This journal examines the prevalence of youth suicides by firearms in the last few years.
Sheptycki, James. “Guns, crime and social order.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 9.3 (2009): 307-336. Cite You Like. Web. This journal compares the relations between violence in the society and the number of guns owned by the citizens.
Wintemute, Garen. “Gun shows across a multistate American gun market: observational evidence of the effects of regulatory policies.” Inj Prev 13.3 (2007): 150-155. Cite You Like. Web. In this journal, Wintemute explores several effects of gun legislation across several states in the US.