Following the shooting on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, the pandemonium regarding gun control seems to be on the increase. Also, the increasing uproar is being directed to the Second Amendment. From every part of the country, citizens are exercising strong opinions on gun rights, the possibility of a gun control policy and what its impact would be.
Many Citizens Still Advocate for Gun Ownership Rights
The argument for and against gun control is quite heated. While a lot of people are clamoring for gun control in the United States, many citizens still maintain their stand and support on the need for a well-armed citizen. According to these people who advocate gun ownership rights, “well-armed citizenry is valuable in keeping all individuals and the entire country better protected and safer at all times.”
The media has also witnessed an increase in gun violence topics, especially after the mass shooting and other serious gun-related crimes that followed. Obviously, the topics on gun violence are discussed side by side gun control policy in America. Particularly, the gun control topic has provoked an outcry from many US citizens and even concerned individuals from other parts of the world who are bent on their rights to defend and protect themselves as well as the people around them.
In the heat of these arguments, some of which are live discussions with the United States’ president himself, one argument stands out: It is the argument about preventing gun control in the Second Amendment particularly and the United States Constitution as a whole. The argument in favor of not restricting gun ownership rights seems to be gaining the upper hand as the citizens involved are presenting strong reasons to have their own weapons as directed by the 2nd Amendment.
According to the Second Amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being essential to the security of a free State, the right of the citizens to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
So, those who are opposing the proposal to deny citizens the right to keep and bear arms are strongly pointing to this portion of the second amendment. They strongly advocate for the right to purchase a handgun of their choice – one you can conceal easily in your pocket and use for self-defense when the need arises.
The Argument in Favor of Gun Control
Those clamoring for gun control are also presenting their strong points. Some of those strong points are based on the record of violent crimes accomplished with various gun types and weapons.
One such records are the one curled from the FBI program data; according to the data, throughout the country, the use of firearms for violent crimes was more than any other weapon. The data revealed that approximately 72% of all murder cases and manslaughter were committed with firearms.
In addition, those in favor of gun control are of the opinion that;
- Increased guns in circulation will lead to increased violent crime
- Making it difficult for criminals to access guns prevent violent crime
- Gun ownership increases the risk of suicide or being killed by others
Supporters of Gun Ownership Rights Insist Gun Control is not an Answer to Crime Reduction
Despite the strong reasons and statistics presented by those who support gun control, people who are clamoring for the sustenance of gun ownership rights insist that the nation won’t reduce crime by restricting ownership and use of guns by individuals.
According to NRA (National Rifle Association), those who think that gun control is the answer to crime reduction should ponder on the following;
- People kill, and not guns. Therefore, violent crimes will decrease if more people use guns to defend and protect themselves.
- The Brady Bill is an example of waiting period laws that should precede a police state
- Since they are contrary to the 2nd Amendment, gun control laws do not conform to the constitution. According to the Second Amendment, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed.”
- In fact, crime rate reduction is not contingent on gun control.
Instead, the government and those concerned should focus on more viable alternatives – people who engage firearms to commit crimes should be subjected to mandatory sentences. This is the solution to increased crime reduction rate – it will yield better results than gun control laws.”
Now, back to the Major Question – Does Gun Control Laws Reduce Crime or Not?
The major question here is whether or not crime goes up or down with gun control. So far, bans on handguns have not met desired expectation in terms of significant impact on crime rates, including murder. Besides, prior to the ban, the amount of handguns out there is huge.
All the efforts to beat the importation and manufacture of handguns with laws have not produced the envisaged result. Why? Such laws end up promoting the existence of the black market for guns.
Laws that attempt to prevent juveniles, criminals and mentally ill people from accessing handguns have not succeeded in accomplishing crime reduction. This is because many of these people already possess guns or would find a way to own one illegally.
A More Viable Solution?
Experts suggest proactive arrests by officers of the law. Particularly, police officers should engage field interrogations and traffic enforcement while on patrol to make proactive arrests in gun-crime spots – and should take away guns from criminals right there and then. A typical example is what happened during the mid-90s in Kansas City; Proactive arrests made by police on crime spots for concealed weapons carry was able to cut back crimes substantially in this city.
In conclusion, it would also be helpful to take a cue from John Lott’s book titled “More Guns, Less Crime“. According to the book, “the rates of violent crime reduce when state pass “shall issue” concealed carry laws.”
In this book, More Guns Less Crime, Lott presents the outcome of the analysis he carried out on crime data involving every county. The analysis covered 29 years period – 1997 to 2005. The University of Chicago Press refereed the different editions of the book.