Gun control is a law or policy passed with the aim of limiting the possession and use of guns or firearms by private citizens. Gun and firearm control have been a subject of extensive debate in the U.S. The establishment of a balance between the personal rights of individuals to own and the government's commitment to maintain law and order has proved a tricky affair. The ownership of firearms and guns is an integral part in the culture and identity of the American people. The origin of gun possession can be traced to the west where the locals had to arm themselves to protect themselves from the Indians, enemies and wild animals. Consequently, the American citizens armed themselves for personal defense and as part of their culture. Additionally, guns are common in hunting, both leisure and for food and have since become a sport in the form of game hunting. Therefore, guns can be seen as recreational and sporting tools, source of personal defense and an item of cultural identity by some while others still see guns as dangerous and lethal weapons.
Guns are tools fashioned and designed to shoot at a living or a dead object. Guns and firearms are indiscriminate in their action because they are inanimate tools of destruction. The gun owner has the power to determine whether he will aim and shoot to kill, maim or scare. Some guns and firearms have the capacity to shoot and kill more than one living being at a time. Some see the gun as a tool for defense, and by defense the person who is trying to protect himself will have to shoot, at the threatening object to protect self (Gorman & David, 2000). Many reasons abound that tend to support gun ownership and possession. Chief among the reasons is the fallacy that people anti-gun possession because of the need to protect the self. This is evident as "Modern guns are reliable, durable easy to operate and the most effective means of self-defense ever devised" (Gorman & David, 2000, p.92) .
In as much as protecting, self is paramount and desired, this does not equate to the number of insecurities promoted by people who own guns (Weil, 2000). Additionally, self-protection to be a duty of the state or government to which a person belongs rather than of an individual.
Proponents of gun control consider guns as dangerous weapons that should be put far from the hands of citizens. These people see guns as lethal and hazardous weapons that have caused the downfall of many prominent and productive citizens. Additionally, guns and firearms are attributable to most of the homicides and murders. Therefore, relation of these issues to gun control complicate the whole matter, and this throws the government into disarray as pertaining the side to take. If anything, the spreading of guns brings more victims. This assertion can be supported by looking at the number of gun wounds reported in America where some states are anti-gun control. The increased numbers of guns in the streets bring more and more victims, teens and young children included. The number of deaths resulting from gun wounds has also increased with the increase in number of guns in private citizen's hands.
The government through the gun control law has set some gun control measures that will ensure a reduction in the number of private citizens, in possession of the guns and firearms. These measures aim at reducing the level of importation, distribution and sale of the guns and firearms. They also aim at ensuring that those in possession of guns and firearms using them correctly. Examples of these measures are licensing requirements, permits, mandatory penalties for unlawful carrying of a gun, increase in enforcement of gun carrying law and add-on penalties for committing crimes with a gun. Licensing requirements apply to both local dealers and private owners of guns and firearms. Local dealers are people whose business is to import and sell guns and firearms. On the other hand, private owners are individuals who own guns either for self-defense or as a sporting gadget. Under the gun control policy, these individuals require licenses in order to have and deal with guns and firearms. Permits, on the other hand, are documents that allow a person to possess and use a gun. Many legitimate gun owners do acquire permits from the gun dealer and show it whenever a need arises. These permits show that the possession of the gun or firearm by the individual is legal (Cook, & Jens, 2003).
Benefits of gun control
Gun violence and mass shootings have been on an increase in the United States of America. The age bracket of the perpetrators of these crimes ranges from school going children to teenagers to adults. The scenario that has led to the raise in gun brutality and mass shootings is the main inspiration behind this paper. Surprisingly, the prevalence of gun-related crimes is running out of control. Incidences of serial murders, high school shootings and homicides are on the increase. This paper shall present an argument for gun control with a keen look at the merits of gun control.
Various benefits result from gun control of the government. These are beneficial to individuals, families and the society at large. Benefits of gun control include lower school shootings. Shooting cases have been on the rise in the learning institutions. The most recent case being in Atlanta where a student sustained injuries after a school shooting. It is essential to note that, many school shooting cases occur in high schools more than they do in middle schools. Increase in school shootings in the United States, is as a result of the augumenting numbers of children and youths in possession of guns and firearms. They readily access these guns and firearms either from their parents or gun dealers whose main aim is to make money regardless of the age of the buyer. They then carry them to school and on the occurrence of a fight or confrontation with a fellow student they retrieve and use the gun resulting in a school shooting. Therefore, by use of gun controls, few youths have access to guns and firearms which results in a reduction, in the school shooting cases (Grier, 2012).
Secondly, there is a reduction in theft cases and robberies. Many thefts occur in highway shops and stopovers, shopping stalls, banks and homes. In many instances, thieves carry guns which they use in threatening the shop and home owners. This enables them to manage the situation and thus carry out the theft successfully without the owners raising alarm. Theft and robberies lead to financial dent on the victims since there is loss of property. In other instances, injuries may occur, and worst occasions lead to death. In other situations, theft and robbery victims may shoot the thieves in self defence leading to death. Therefore, with implementation of gun controls, there is a reduction in robbery and theft cases (Stell, 2001).
Another benefit of gun control is the reduction in gun accidents. Gun accidents mainly occur is a situation where the person in possession of the gun mishandles the gadget. In many cases, accidents occur from the inappropriate carriage of the gun. It is essential for gun owners to know that they should load the gun only when need for its use arises. Also, they should avoid holding the gun with their finger on the trigger. However, this information is only available when one purchases a gun or firearm legitimately and gets a chance to be taught how best to handle and carry a gun or firearm. In conjunction to the high number of illegal ownership of guns and firearms, many gun accidents occur since few people have the knowledge of handling them. It is due to these cases that gun control is essential and its implementation a necessity. As a result, a reduction in gun accidents. It is apparent that gun control is beneficial to the public. Research shows that "a majority of people in posseesion of guns support gun control measures via legislation from the government" (Cook & Jens, 2003, p. 1331).
Reduction in suicide cases is another benefit of gun control. This is a difficult point to prove because an individual has a variety of choices in ways of committing suicide. Using a gun can be a last resort because it is more painful and would lead to more disfigurement and pain. Many suicide cases involve the use of poison, hanging one self or use of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide use is common because it is quite, slow and painless. However, in conjunction to this topic, committing suicide by use of guns and firearms is a vice and thus should be controlled. Implementation of this control to commit suicide through guns and firearms is unavailable to the army and police officers who have gun allocation from the government. All in all, through gun control by the government, there is a reduction…