The theme of gun control is a sensitive and controversial issue which has been a subject of discussion for eons of time. In the wake of recent tragic mass shootings, the issue has polarized individuals in regards to what is the best solution. In one side of the debate, there are individuals who favor having restrictions placed over guns. On the other hand, there are individuals who are opposed towards regulating and controlling guns. The individuals against gun control mainly consider controlling guns will not solve the existing challenges created by guns such as crimes or mass shootings. Having the right to control guns is an effective deterrent. All law-abiding citizens should be allowed to carry guns, this is so as to defend themselves against individuals who may have intentions of harming them such as in mass shooting cases.
Controlling of arms and guns will not deter criminals from possessing the guns. Whether there are laws passed so as to restrict the usage of guns by criminals will not in itself solve incidences of mass shootings. This is because criminals already have an intent of not obeying the law hence whenever they are presented with an opportunity of using them in the public, they tend to use them irrespective of the laws and regulations that are in place. It is for this reason that controlling guns will not be an effective mechanism since criminals do not operate on the laws of demand and supply. Instead the main reasons that lead to them performing heinous acts such as mass shooting lies solely in issues such as their psychotic behavior (McClellan, Chandler & Erdal 623). To this end, there is a need of seeking mechanism which should be used at taming these criminals from performing or carrying out their activities within the public.
Since past and present laws have failed towards enacting stringent measures of controlling and regulating selling of firearms to criminals, there is a need of looking for alternative perspectives that have led towards this crisis. It should be understood that cases of mass shootings that are carried by criminals are achieved primarily due to having supply of illegal arms in trade. Since there is a lot of money that is made in the black market, there is a need of having to understand that somebody will profit from selling these illegal firearms in the black market and they later settle on the wrong hands. As a result, criminals are known to obtain these firearms in an easy way as long as they have money to spend in buying them. If criminals want a gun, there is nothing that will stop them from accessing one. It should be understood that criminals search for guns since they already have several enemies who are trailing them. Rather than being caught with no form of security, criminals believe by having a gun to protect themselves would help them from unwanted harm (Cooper 103). Thus, n trying to restrict guns in the population in the efforts of reducing mass shootings in the public will not only be detrimental consequences but also one which will leave the public exposed to gangs and criminals who are equipped with mostly illegal firearms that have been bought in the black market.
The other argument against having more and more regulations placed in controlling guns so as to minimize mass shooting is that, in the minds of gangs and criminals, the more and more there are regulations that are restricting guns, the more these efforts makes the criminals and gangs be happy. This is because they understand that the more and more laws are enacted to limit guns in the population, the easier it becomes for having greater chances of civilians not defending themselves whenever they are attacked. The civilians will not have the means of defending themselves from individuals who have intentions of harming them on a grand scale. For the record, states which have allowed more and more citizens to arm themselves with guns are seen as having low rates of crime and mass shooting than in states which have suppressed the right of self-arming of its citizens.
It should be understood that regulating and restricting of arms in the public for purposes of reducing mass shootings does only affect the citizens who follow the law. This law does not, however, apply to the criminals and gangs. Rather, if there is or not a ban or regulation of guns, criminals have ways of accessing these firearms and use them for their own sinister purposes. The laws and regulations that are placed for gun laws have in no way the capacity of controlling or curtailing the selling of illegal guns to gangs and criminals. The state of Chicago for incidence does not allow for the selling of handguns (Siegel 1123). Rifles, shotguns, and ammunition in this stare can be bought by individuals who have firearm owners’ identification card. As a result of this, the Chicago Area is one of the places whereby acquiring guns is a tenuous exercise. This is in centrally to the incidences of the mass shooting, crime, and violence that are seen in the area unlike in areas which have n stricter measures like Chicago.
Individuals who want to buy a gun first undergo a background check and thereafter wait up to a month before being allowed to legally carry a gun. Still on the state of Chicago whereby it’s hard to obtain a gun legally, it is comical that it is the state where it is the easiest to obtain the gun illegally. In this state for instance, there are thousands of illegal firearms that are in the streets and most of them are unregistered. The trend of the guns trooping into the streets every month is worrying despite measures been put I place to restrict as much as possible for individuals to obtain guns in a legal manner.
Another instance which has depicted contrary evidence of attempting to regulate and ban guns so as to prevent mass shootings can be observed n England. The 1997 changes that were imposed of banning all guns and hence making it illegal for individuals to own guns made matters worse. Since the passage of this regulation, it has been observed that there have been increased incidences of crime in the streets of London unlike when there was an allowance of individuals to own and use guns legally (Khimn 14). Despite England being perceived as a nation with the stringiest rules that were in place towards regulating guns in the population, the law not only created an illusion whereby the individuals not only felt that they were safe but also placed them in the hands of criminals at a very disadvantaged position whenever encounters with these criminal gangs occurred in the streets. This is mainly due to the citizens being defenseless and unarmed whenever they were confronted by the gangs.
A more startling piece of evidence is that after two years of passing this law in England, the rates of crime increased by up to 40 %, the incidences of armed robbery did also increase up to 53%. For the period of 1997 up to 2001, the rates and incidences of crime more than doubled in England. Individuals in London are six times more likely to be robbed and defrauded at gun point than individuals who are staying in New York. A closer look of the 13% occurrence rates of burglars that have occurred in the U.S have indicated that the burglars fear more of armed homeowners than the fear of the law itself. On England, the incidences of burglary are noted to be five times more than the incidences that are occurring in New York (McDonald, Steven & William 80). The application of regulating and restricting guns in England not only crated unintended consequences such as lawlessness in the streets but also led to the increase of crime rates being occasioned in its streets (Khimn 15). Criminals in England were due to this regulation motivated and could now openly perform their illegal and criminal activities with no fear of the public reciprocating back with the same level of fire arm.
The case of Britain has played itself in American states that have in the past passed such kind of laws. It has been observed that in states that have passed more and more laws of restricting gun control, the less effective these gun laws have been towards limiting incidences of mass shooting and other criminal activities. For instance, of the 15 states which have the highest incidences of homicide, 10 of them lead in the homicide rates. The state of New York despite having stricter gun laws is also observed as having more than 20% of the nation’s total number of robberies being performed in its streets (McClellan, Chandler & Erdal 625). The banning of gun laws in Washington D.C is another example which indicates that the state has consistently had the highest numbers of homicide as well as crime and robbery rates than in the states which did not pass stricter gun laws for its citizens.
In summary, it is evident from the arguments presented above depicting that have stricter guns does not necessarily correlate with reducing the incidences of mass shootings and crimes. There is an inverse relationship that has been observed in states that have stricter gun laws with the incidences of crime and armed robbery being measured of the same in these cities. To this end, effective strategies need to be applied so as to end mass shootings rather than using the method of restricting the possession of guns by the public. Restraining mass shootings requires other interventions beyond restricting gun laws in the society. More and more gun laws have been observed as being less effective in solving this crisis.
- McDonald, Stephen, and William Salomone. The Writer's Response. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2017. Print.
- KHIMM, SUZY. "In Tragedy’s Wake." New Republic, vol. 246, no. 12, Nov. 2015, pp. 13-15. EBSCOhost
- Siegel, Michael, et al. "Firearm-Related Laws in All 50 US States, 1991-2016." American Journal of Public Health, vol. 107, no. 7, July 2017, pp. 1122-1129. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.303701.
- Cooper, Terry L. "Are Unlimited Gun Rights Constitutionally Protected?." Public Integrity, vol. 19, no. 2, Mar/Apr2017, pp. 101-103. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/10999922.2016.1254489.
- McClellan, Chandler and Erdal Tekin. "Stand Your Ground Laws, Homicides, and Injuries." Journal of Human Resources, vol. 52, no. 3, Summer2017, pp. 621-653. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3368/jhr.52.3.0613-5723R2.