Pros and Cons of Gun Control in the US

December 29, 2014 | 0

 Gun control in the United States, as also throughout the world, refers to efforts made primarily by the government or administration to control, manage, and regulate the sale of guns. It also includes different rules and regulations related to distribution of guns, their use, and ownership restrictions.

Pros of gun control

Some pros of gun control are discussed below:

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  • Constitutional right of Americans: Advocates of anti-gun control often argue that the ‘second amendment’ gives all Americans a constitutional right to possess and bear arms. However, many interpret the 2nd amendment differently. It has been argued that the amendment refers to the rights of ‘militia,’ a fighting force or an army created for protecting the state, to possess arms for this particular purpose; and that it does not refer to the rights of individuals who want to protect themselves from their enemies.The text of the second amendment states “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”It may however be noted that the main purpose of gun control laws is to limit the number of guns available for purchase, which may be used to kill/injure innocent people.
  • The argument of self-defense: Activists against gun control have argued that excessive regulation or banning the use of guns will allow only criminals to have access to them and law-abiding Americans will be left at their mercy. This argument does not hold any ground. It may be noted that even though the number of guns in the United States far outnumber the total population of the country, it has definitely not lowered the instances of gun crime. In fact, gun crimes have seen a steady rise!Whether or not there are gun control laws, criminals will always find a way to get them illegally. Regulation of gun possession can however prevent criminals from getting guns at businesses and homes. It is also important to remember that possession of guns by both sides will only cause unwanted bloodshed. The underlying problem is the fact that gun ownership and use has now merged into the way of life of American people.
  • Hunting and other gun sports: Over a period of several decades, the recreational use of guns in America has become quite popular. Banning guns or creation of restrictive laws on the use and ownership of guns is not going to make that much of a difference to this harmless sporting activity. After all, hunting and varied sports require only bolt-action rifles. You will never see sportsmen at the Olympics or at varied world events using Kalashnikovs or machine guns for target shooting! It can also be argued that almost no recreational gun activity requires the use of hollow point high-caliber bullets which mushroom upon contact with flesh, making terrible wounds; or M4 carbines or other machine guns with a firing rate of hundreds of rounds per minute or with high-capacity magazines!
  • The 2nd Amendment was coined when the United States was still a young nation, wherein there was a need of the citizens to defend themselves from invaders and foreign aggressors. The situation in modern America is a lot different now.
  • The use of guns in sports and other recreational activities tends to add glamor to it, which can desensitize people from the harmful and fatal effects of gun use. By placing stringent checks and balances, gun control laws will cause an eventual reduction in the manufacture of total firearms and their possession, which can later bring down the rate of “violent” crimes and thus decrease human suffering.
  • Guns only have one function, i.e. to kill. Hence, a decrease in the number of firearms will mean fewer people have access to it, which means that fewer people will get killed. Tragic incidents such as the Columbine High School massacre will then be far and few in between, or completely absent.

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Cons of gun control

Some cons of gun control are discussed below:

  • Prohibiting, banning, or restricting the use of guns is not going to make them less deadly. Gun control will also not make them vanish from the face of the earth. Americans have a legal right to own and bear firearms so that they can protect themselves, their property, and their family.
  • A part of gun ownership laws guarantee Americans a right to own firearms; however, an amendment to the law poses a lot of hurdles in owning a handgun. Several American citizens feel that this part of the law infringes on their constitutional rights.
  • Guns are not responsible for the deaths of people. It is the individual who pulls the trigger and kills people. Thus, restricting access to guns may not make the society safer than it is now. It may also be noted that most cases involving criminal use of guns are carried out with weapons and guns that are not registered or legally purchased. They are either stolen from legitimate owners or smuggled into the country.
  • Anti-gun control supporters also argue that access to guns allows law-abiding Americans to be better equipped in dealing with unsavory encounters with criminals. This eventually lowers the overall crime rate.
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