English Humanities Honors class. teacher Mrs. Vogt, period 1, Spring 2012. questions, call [HIDDEN]
Gun laws around the world
Gun laws are a particularly divisive issue around the world, as they are often associated with more or less alarming crime levels. While people are generally inclined to support the expression "guns don't kill people; people kill people," it is only safe to assume that crimes are largely dependent on gun laws. Some countries are known to express zero tolerance regarding gun ownership while others promote the belief that it is perfectly normal for guns to be accessible to the masses. Particular groups believe that harsh gun laws are imposed by bigoted politicians who are unable to understand matters from an objective point-of-view and certain communities consider that gun ownership needs to be controlled using severe means. All things considered, gun laws worldwide differ on account of Constitutions and depending on how people in some countries perceive weapons.
Disasters involving guns are predominant in the media world across the globe and it is only natural for the masses to express disproval regarding gun laws in particular areas. "The context and circumstances may vary, but the lethal consequences of the misuse of guns appear time and time again" (Cukier & Sidel 1). There are practically no areas where people can escape this malady and firearms have come to be considered a public health issue by many individuals. What is even more disturbing is that guns mostly affect civilians, in spite of the fact that they were originally designed to be used in warfare. This epidemic has traveled across the world and has been introduced to all sections of society with no one being able to escape it.
Presidents and small children have been murdered with guns, this standing as proof that firearms can affect anyone, regardless of the respective individual's position or level of innocence. It is essential for countries to devise a clear agenda describing their position in regard to guns and the reasons for which they decided to adopt that particular position. Most people are likely to express disproval in regard to the existence of guns consequent to becoming acquainted with the number of deaths and injuries associated with guns every year. "Globally, approximately 200,000 people are estimated to have been killed annually in homicides, suicides and accidents with firearms, with thousands more killed in military conflicts" (Cukier & Sidel 4).
The problem of guns is especially complex and there are no easy solutions to these kind of problems. Although one might be inclined to believe that less guns would be equivalent to less crime, this matter is particularly controversial. Many countries that have expressed relatively tolerant attitudes in regard to guns have been reported to experience reduced crime levels while countries that enforced tougher crime laws experienced increased crime levels.
Most people are likely to relate to the U.S. when coming across the concept of gun control, considering that this country is known for putting across supportive attitudes concerning guns. The U.S. is impressive when taking into account gun laws because "in 2009 about 124 million people lived in households that owned a total of about 270 million guns" (Lott 1). Even with this, the majority of people in this country have limited experience with guns and most people have not even seen a firearm. Images portrayed in the media are often enough to influence the masses in believing that gun ownership in the U.S. has reached never before seen levels and that the authorities are no longer in control. The number of individuals who own a gun permit and who accidentally shoot other people is much smaller than the number of police officers who shoot innocent people. This demonstrates that gun ownership does not actually lead to an increased number of intentional crimes.
In many cases guns actually prevent crimes from happening, considering that criminals are less likely to go through with a criminal act if they are threatened with a firearm. Moreover, the fact that most people who own guns use them with the purpose of protecting themselves makes it less likely for their guns to be used in criminal acts. A national survey conducted "during 2002 indicates that about 95% of the time that people use guns defensively, they merely have to brandish a weapon to break off an attack" (Lott 3). Taking this into account, it only seems safe to consider that guns act as crime deterrents instead of increasing crime levels.
Shootings that have occurred across the U.S. influence people in believing that it is wrong for normal individuals to own weapons. Even if a person has a gun permit, the fact that he or she owns a gun makes it likely for the respective weapon to be used. The firearm can be stolen or lost and the person finding it might be inclined to commit crimes. High school shootings have influenced authorities from around the world to apply more restrictive gun laws. Even with this, the fact that shootings continued to occur in spite of the fact that laws have become harsher makes it possible for one to understand that restrictions are not necessarily influential when considering guns being used with criminal intentions. High school shooters in the U.S. And in Germany apparently produced their weapons from illegal sources. These individuals did not have access to guns themselves and were forced to procure them illegally. This proves that harsher gun laws are not necessarily the solution to crimes performed with firearms. What is even more surprising is that gun laws have continuously evolved in the U.S. As a result of diverse events (such as high school shootings and as the shooting of President Kennedy in 1968) whereas Germany has maintained most of its gun laws (Braun 11). It appears that gun laws are largely ineffective in stopping crimes associated with firearms and that it is thus difficult to control crime levels through applying harsher gun laws.
When considering gun laws and the effects that they have on crime levels, individuals should discuss in regard to less privileged locations where individuals are more vulnerable to crimes. Discussing in regard to Afghanistan, Somalia, Pristina, or Sierra Leone is likely to make one less impassive regarding the issue of gun control. The authorities in these locations are struggling to lessen the number of firearm-related crimes, but are generally unable to do so because crime laws are not very clear. The fact that poverty and corruption dominates most of these areas makes it even likely for firearms to be effectively controlled. There are even children who own guns in these territories and the authorities are largely unable or unwilling to do anything about it. "There are more than 300,000 child soldiers in the world, and many of them carry small arms" (Hongju Koh 2335). While some people might be inclined to believe that this is not necessarily alarming because conditions are simply critical in these areas, it is especially disturbing that grown men are being sent to fight these children.
Gun laws in the U.S. And in other countries make it possible for the authorities to keep an eye on who uses firearms and on the respective individual's motivation for using them. However, millions of weapons are unaccounted around the world and governments in some areas are unable to verify who owns weapons. The fact that owning a weapon is legal in the U.S. As long as the individual carrying it has a permit makes it possible for guns to be particularly expensive, thus meaning that not anyone can afford buying a gun (regardless if the respective person buys it through legal means or not). In contrast, guns are much cheaper in underdeveloped countries and it is thus much easier for someone to own a…