The Pros and Cons of Gun Control in the U.S
The argument for and against stricter gun control laws has been an ongoing issue throughout the USA for many years. It is a controversial issue, mainly due to the fact that the majority of westernized countries are either opposed to the legality of firearms or have strict procedures and checks for those seeking a license. Despite many American civilians in favor of keeping the second amendment - the law that was passed to permit the right of the people to keep and bear arms - there has been calls for gun laws to be more controlled and involve stricter checks, mainly due to many tragic and distressing events that have been happening over recent years through the states of America. But what are people's reasons for and against these laws, and will they truly make a difference? In this OneHowTo article, we're going to discuss the pros and cons of gun control in the United States.
Pros for gun control
Let's start by assessing all the pros of gun control so you know how these laws can act in favor of US citizens:
- An obvious pro for gun control in the US is that it would help to reduce the amount of deaths caused through the use of firearms. Thousands of people are killed in America every year through the misuse of firearms, and the public are being made more and more aware of these tragedies through the media all the time.
- Statistics often show that whilst people feel owning guns will help to protect them through self defense in the event of a robbery or an attack for example, many of those people who have felt the need to use self defense, haven't in fact used their firearms. Firearms have been used more frequently in disputes between individuals, rather than to protect or save themselves in a threatening situation, again meaning that these dangerous weapons aren't being used for the purpose that many owners claim to have purchased them for.
- The last point made leads us into the next. A dispute or argument is more likely to become violent if there is a firearm present. A pro for gun control is that further background checks including criminal records would mean people more likely to use guns irresponsibly, perhaps those with a history of violence towards others would hopefully lessen these violent outbreaks.
- Another pro for gun control is that the harder it is to legally own a firearm, the more care and caution will be taken by owner. Unfortunately in the US, many legally owned guns are stolen by criminals and felons, most commonly through car theft or property break-ins. A majority of these guns are found during crime scenes or on criminals being apprehended.
- Countries with restrictive gun control laws have much lower suicide and homicide rates that the United States. For example, to get a gun in Australia you are required to go through several stages including background checks, training and an official application, meaning that guns used for what is considered inappropriate use is limited and infrequent.
Cons for gun control
Now you know the pros of gun control in the U.S, take a look at the cons of this measure so you can have a well-formed opinion on the subject.
- Some statistics have shown that banning the ownership of guns in certain states did not significantly decrease the number of homicides in the overall state and in fact only impaired people's rights to own a firearm.
- A high majority of firearm owners in the U.S own a gun to protect themselves and their homes in the event of a break in or attack. They feel gun control infringes upon their right to self defend and denies them the feeling of safety.
- It has also been argued that gun control in the U.S won't stop criminals from acquiring guns, committing murders or carrying out criminal offences. Gun control therefore will only prevent those who are law abiding citizens from having the right to own a weapon for their own safety.
- Some Americans feel that the background checks needed to support gun control will be an invasion of their privacy. For successful background checks to be carried out, the government and other authorities will need information on citizens including names, addresses, criminal records, health records, mental health history and other personal background history. For some people this feels like an infringement of their rights.
- Another argument against the control of firearms is that it is not restrictions placed on guns that is required to stop murders, violence and misuse of weapons, but is in fact further education on the use of guns and the risks that they impose. As many people have said before, it is not guns that kill people, it is people that kill people. And the only way to prevent this is more mental health screenings and lessons for younger children on how to be a responsible owner of a firearm and to teach those with a history of violence how to control violent impulses.
There are many arguments for and against gun control and unfortunately it is a topic that many U.S citizens are divided over. Many people own firearms responsibly, however an unfortunate number of tragedies happen at the hands of these dangerous weapons. It seems it is a topic that will be discussed not only now, but well into the future too.
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