Gun Control

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Gun Control

            Statistics show that more than thirteen thousand people die from gun wounds each year in the United States. In comparison to road accidents, the risk of dying from gun-related violence is fifty-six percent higher. The figures are more staggering in comparison to death by acts of god, such as tornadoes and hurricanes. The statistics are not specific to age groups. The risk is aggregated to all segments of the population in the country. The government is doing a lot to prevent premature death caused by other occurrences except gun violence. The call for stricter gun control policies is necessary for our society today. The use of guns is disastrous as proved by the statistics and all the stakeholders should come on board and work out a way to avert the ongoing calamity.

Recently, there has been a surge in the number of mass shootings. In the year 2015, 333 people died and 1,328 suffered both minor and major injuries. In the year 2016, there was a rise 456 died while 1,537 suffered injuries (Carrie 22). In the year 2017, 437 deaths and the injuries were 1,802. Strange enough, the number of deaths attributed to foreign terrorism are not as many. The loose gun control laws have given locals the opportunity to cause more deaths. The evidence of the violence points out that gun control should be a major priority for any regime interested in the well-being of its population. Caveats to pre-empt the purchase of guns should be put in place. Undeniably, the number of guns is circulation is too high to manage.

Currently, it is estimated that the number of guns is circulation in the United States is slightly above 100 million. Seventy percent of the guns in circulation are handguns and that culminates to 70 million (Teret et al. 36). More profound, half of the households in the country have a gun. These statistics explain why gun violence is rampant in the country. Globally, the United States has the highest number of guns per capita. The number is 101 guns per capita with a global average of 10.2. Volatile nations in the world without law and order have lower numbers than the United States. More astounding, the number of guns produced in the country has been doubling each year for the last three years. The demand is growing by the day. In a few years, there will be more guns in the country than people.

The government dictates that citizens should hold licenses for various activities, such as fishing, driving, working as a doctor, teaching and many more. However, it is difficult to understand why some states do not require gun holders to have licenses. Licensing is just a measure of control that checks on the excesses of the gun holders (Kevin & Martin 31). A licensed gun holder is less likely to take part in actions that have the potential to undermine the ability to hold the gun. Additionally, licensing does not undermine the second amendment right in any way. The law only helps to ensure that the then licensees exercise the right safely and legally. The licenses are issued after background checks have been done to ensure that the gun holders are fit. Annual renewals ensure that the gun holders are keeping their end of the bargain on legality and safety. Additionally, the licensing of gun sellers is also necessary. The number of gun sellers should be limited to sellers who understand the laws of eligibility for gun use. However, challenges may arise when an unlicensed individual uses a gun from a licensed holder to commit a crime. Higher penalty charges are required to discourage such actions.

Research has also shown that gun accidents are the cause of death of at least one child each day. Children die or suffer serious injuries after mishandling weapons held by their parents or guardians (Davis 16). A form of gun control can deter such instances. Parents who place guns at the reach of children are not fit to hold the arms. Strict and functional licensing laws are able to check on the suitability of people to hold and the risk involved. Parents with young children carry a higher risk. Further, toddlers are always curious and it becomes fatal when they come across unsecured loaded handguns. Teenagers are caught in school showing off handguns to siblings and friends. Often times, these cases become fatal and it ends up as a shooting scene because of the likelihood of provocation. Statistics show that about 1,300 children die each year of gun-related wounds.

The psychology on why people want to hold firearms shows that the main reason for desiring to hold a gun is protection. The human psyche is mainly about self-interest and self-preservation. For this reason, people want to shield themselves from trouble at all costs in anticipation of worst-case scenarios (Sawchuk 13). The thinking is that if someone is surrounded by people who are gun holders, then, it is normal for them to also want to have one just in case. However, the thinking is still not able to explain why the use of guns is widespread in the country. The situation only explains why it is difficult to enforce gun control. In order for the law to be enforced to the satisfaction of all, then, some citizens must be forced to surrender the guns they hold first. On the other hand, some people who hold the gun for aggression purposes and it is difficult to ascertain the intention at the time of purchase. Consequently, it is better to make it difficult for all potential gun holders. Holding a gun for self-preservation makes it worse to have one since people fire with little provocation. The government should put in place measures to instill confidence in the citizens in the ability to provide security. People should not have to buy guns in order to feel that they are secure.

For a long time, a gun has been the main tool for law enforcement. The perception is that a police officer cannot execute his or her mandate fully if they do not hold a gun. The more lethal a weapon the more control a police officer have against resistive suspects. The perception is not helpful in the quest for gun control. Often times, police have also been incriminated for shooting and killing with the slightest provocation. Some of the killings are uncalled for and are avoidable with some level of restraint (Teret et al. 37). Statistics indicate that the police have shot three hundred and sixty-two people so far in the year 2018. The relatives of the victims might not have closure since the deceased will never be subjected to the due process. The law is clear on the perception of innocent until proven guilty by a court of correct jurisdiction. Some activities such as hunting also encourage the culture of holding guns. Such activities demystify gun holding and they make people comfortable holders.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is powerful lobby groups in the country. The association draws its power from its overwhelming membership and activities. The members contribute millions of dollars and it has corporate sponsors (Younge). The members are passionate about the right to hold guns without any restriction whatsoever. The main mantra of the association draws attention to the fact that people kill not guns. For this reason, it is a moral issue. The association has a great influence on politics in the country. The lobbyists facilitate the election of people who are anti-gun control to Congress and other elective posts. Consequently, it makes it difficult to pass laws for the enforcement of gun control given their strong opinions on the matter.

            According to the National Rifle Association, the general population must be free to hold weapons for protection against criminals. A more logical position would be to steer efforts to disarm the criminals for the safety of all (Kevin & Martin 32). The weapons that are in the hands of the criminal were once held by people with the intention of protecting themselves too. The association needs to rid itself of the influence of the gun producing companies. The safety of the Americans should be placed higher than the appetite to make profits. The association has turned a blind eye to the happenings in the society today. The statistics are staggering but the association is not willing to place blame on the right to hold guns. Instead, they rationalize the right by blaming individuals but the cases keep recurring.

            The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution was enacted to protect the right of people to hold arms. The law was put in place to act as protection in case of an attack. The people were to defend themselves in case of an attack (Kevin & Martin 33). The amendment stated, “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the scrutiny of Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Now, there is no danger of a pending attack on the American people that may require citizen intervention. The country has the forces and machinery to thwart such efforts. The second amendment is then not relevant.

            Gun control is an idea whose time has come. The casualty numbers suffered each day are many and it should be a matter of national concern. The government has a duty of protecting the citizenry from all aggressions including local. The second amendment proposed freedom to wield guns at a time when the safety of the country was uncertain. At that time, the government was not empowered to protect its citizens as it is now. The population should feel safe in the country and leave the duty of protection to the government. A nationwide campaign is necessary to rally citizens towards ridding itself of the weapons in the society. The rallying call should come from the top leadership of the country. The situation needs to be remedied by a permanent solution.

Works Cited:

Arnold, Carrie. “DIY Gun Control.” New Scientist, vol. 234, no. 3124, 06 May 2017, pp. 22-23. EBSCOhost, Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.

Clarke, Kevin, and James Martin. “A History of Violence.” America, vol. 215, no. 2, 18 July 2016, pp. 31-33. EBSCOhost, Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.

Davis, Zac. “A Vision of a Gun-Free America.” Eureka Street, vol. 28, no. 4, 25 Feb. 2018, pp. 16-17. EBSCOhost, Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.

Sawchuk, Stephen. “A Teachable Moment for 2Nd Amendment.” Education Week, vol. 37, no. 24, 21 Mar. 2018, pp. 1-16. EBSCOhost, Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.

Teret, Stephen P., et al. “Making guns safer.” Issues in Science and Technology, vol. 14, no. 4, 1998, p. 37+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.

Wolfson, Julia A., et al. “The US Public’s Preference for Safer Guns.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 106, no. 3, Mar. 2016, pp. 411-413. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.303041.

Younge, Gary. “Young people can’t change US gun law alone—but they could tip the balance.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 2 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “Young people can’t change US gun law alone—but they could tip the balance,” Guardian, 23 Feb. 2018.

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