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School shootings and domestic violence as well as high criminal activity in the streets have become a part of modern life, especially in countries where people can buy a gun legally. Without a doubt, the USA can be regarded as a clear illustration of the negative effects of this approach on people’s personal safety. According to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Americans have the right to own a gun or firearms for their personal safety and the protection of their property (Spitzer 21).
However, proponents of gun ownership emphasize that the existing regulations are already very strict, while criminals do not comply with the laws. At the same time, research shows that owning a gun raises the risk of being hurt or killed, or committing a crime (Hamilton and Kposowa 85). Therefore, it is essential to ensure the introduction of stricter gun control laws that would limit people’s access to dangerous weapons, prohibit certain groups from owning firearms, and require detailed and effective background checks.
To start with, it has been found that people owning weapons are much more likely to be involved in violent acts. Significantly, the prevalence of gun ownership in the United States is associated with increased rates of suicide, which is regarded as one of the central public health issues (Lewiecki and Miller 27). In addition, researchers argue that this correlation is becoming more pronounced as compared to previous years.
For instance, Johnston reports that the rate of suicides involving the use of weapons increased by over 65% in 2015. Moreover, ownership of weapons is also closely linked to accidental gun injuries and deaths. In particular, 40% of gun injuries are sustained in accidents. Although accidental gun deaths account for only 5% of all cases, it must be noted that a third of these cases involve children (Spitzer 61). Thus it is essential to make sure that guns will not find their way into the hands of the wrong people.
In order to achieve this goal, it may be sufficient to focus on three factors. First, Loria suggests that policies that require stricter background checks should be introduced. As a result, weapons will not be in the home of a domestic abuser or emotionally unstable person with a history of violent crimes. Second, it is important to limit people’s access to dangerous firearms that can cause injuries or death (Loria). Finally, it is essential to educate people and raise their awareness of gun culture. Of course, K-12 education should become one of the platforms for this kind of training. Students should be taught about the consequences of having weapons, rather than its benefits or ways to obtain a gun.
In conclusion, it is important to emphasize that gun control efforts in the USA are failing as the prevalence of violence in the streets and domestic settings is alarming. More importantly, many innocent people (especially children and adolescents) are injured or killed in gun accidents. For this reason, stricter gun control policies and regulations are urgently needed in the country. It is essential to limit certain people’s access to weapons (especially dangerous firearms), to ensure the efficacy of background checks, and also to incorporate discussions of these issues into the K-12 curriculum. As a consequence of these steps, people will focus on the responsibilities and hazards rather than on media images or a false feeling of security when considering the purchase of a gun.
Hamilton, David, and Augustine Kposowa. “Firearms and Violent Death in the United States: Gun Ownership, Gun Control and Mortality Rates in 16 States, 2005-2009.” British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, vol. 7, no. 2, 2015, pp. 84-98.
Johnston, Ian. “Suicide Rates Boosted by Easy Access to Guns, Researchers Say.” The Independent. 2017. Web.
Lewiecki, E. Michael, and Sara A. Miller. “Suicide, Guns, And Public Policy.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 103, no. 1, 2013, pp. 27-31.
Loria, Kevin. “Gun Control Really Works — Here’s The Science To Prove It.” Business Insider. 2018. Web.
Spitzer, Robert J. The Politics of Gun Control. 6th ed., Paradigm Publishers, 2014.