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Death, Suicide, Homicide, Theft, Burglary and Robbery are all common occurrences in today’s world. A fair amount of these crimes are not even committed by real criminals, but by individuals who, in control of a gun, lose sight of their morals and beliefs and strictly act on impulse. It is estimated that seventy percent of people who attempt suicide decide to end their life on an impulse, mostly less than an hour before the attempt. A suicide attempt with a firearm rarely offers a second chance. Various countries have different laws relating to the possession of firearms. In America, there is huge debate on whether allowing weapons increases or decreases crime. When people have the ability to own a gun, they can develop a different mindset. When possessing full control of the gun, they can start having strange uneasy thoughts and feelings. The gun takes on a life of it’s own; such is the Frankenstein Effect: what was built by people to serve people takes on a life of its own, becoming a powerful entity that demands the people to serve it instead. (Cite). Gun possession alters ones state of mind in a negative way therefore gun control should be increased. Throughout my paper, I will discuss the perception of the gun as a monster; why we should lock it out of our lives and why we should learn to live without them to create safer communities for our nations benefit.
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.” Even with this right to bear arms, people in our world today have found ways to find loopholes with such right due to its loose interpretation and these people use it in a way that allows them abuse the power of gun ownership. Gun control has “always generated a social and political debate concerning the availability and restriction of firearms within the United States.” (Harr 2007) The “Gun Control” law decides whether or not one is eligible and responsible enough to own such lethal weapons but still are in desperate need to create tougher requirements and tighter regulations.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) argues that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees individuals the right to own and carry guns. They are concerned that federal regulations will continue to increase until owning a handgun will be difficult to achieve, infringing on their Constitutional rights. They also argue that if law-abiding citizens have guns, they are safer from criminals, bringing crime rates down. (Harr 2007)
The Brady Act of 1993 is an amendment that implements a five day waiting period for purchasing a firearm, the five day waiting period includes a background check to verify criminal records or pasts. The Brady Act is intended to regulate gun ownership and limit the amount of guns being distributed to the public. Even though these background checks are a good start in the right direction, background checks cannot tell whether a person is mentally unstable or not; the act should include a few more tests to determine one’s mental stability. Not being responsible or safe with dealing such weapons can lead to fatal injury or death, whether accidently or not. Even though we have a right to bear Arms, this does not mean that everyone in the world is responsible enough to deal with the handling of such a deadly weapon.
In a 1991, a report by the General Accounting Office, that surveyed unintentional firearm fatalities, found that 23% of those deaths occurred because the person firing the gun was unable to determine whether the gun was loaded or not (Miller 2008). Clearly this shows that the majority of gun users are not properly educated in gun usage. People need to become more aware with what is going on and become more comfortable in handling firearms. With this evidence, you can see how there is plenty of room for accidents and mishandlings. The most disappointing part is that the majority of these mishaps could be just as easily be avoided.
Those who advocate for gun control claim that by making firearms more difficult to obtain, especially handguns, the number of both deliberate and accidental shootings will reduce. Also, they support licensing all people who own firearms and registration of each gun. However, registering a gun gives no guarantee that the owner cannot use it for crime. Bryan Uyesugi shot and killed seven employees of the Hawaiian Xerox Corporation on the second of November 1999 (Moffat 2002). He arrived at the office in the morning and shot seven people. The fact is that this man owned seventeen registered firearms.
The media reports is biased while reporting guns issue. For instance, the story that gained international media attention about the Columbine high school students who managed to stop a shooting in school (Lott 2000). In this case, the killer students shot themselves thereby ending the attacks. In the majority of the reports, the news reporters did exceptionally well at using negative connotations towards guns.
Also, there are at least a dozen U.S. case–control studies in the peer-reviewed literature, all of which have found that a gun in the home is associated with an increased risk of suicide. While some suicides are deliberative and involve careful planning, many appear to be impulsive and are often caused by an immediate stressor, such as financial stress, the break-up of a romantic relationship, the loss of a job, or a run-in with police. These studies add weight to the argument that people who live in communities with a lot of guns are more likely to kill themselves (Hawton, 2007). However, in a recent study by Dr M Miller, Harvard School of Public Health, Miller reports that the previously noted association between household firearm ownership and heightened risk of suicide is not explained by a higher risk of mental disorders among gun-owning families (Miller, 2009). In reality, the overwhelming available evidence compiled from the psychiatric literature is that untreated or poorly managed depression is the real culprit behind the high rates of suicide not the machinery assisting in such tragedies.
In conclusion, it is evident that gun ownership comes with substantial benefits. However, government and media bias against them result to gun control legislation; which is costly in terms of a large number of lives lost due to bad policy. Allowing ordinary citizens to defend themselves decreases violent crime consequently saving lives. Gun ownership, therefore, is beneficial and not everybody who possesses a gun makes bad decisions; the majority of gun owners should not be punished for the selfishness and ignorance of the few. Citizens should have the right to own a gun. But the rights of gun-carrying citizens should not outweigh the rights of others.
Therefore, gun ownership not be restricted. Gun control laws should be made stronger in order to secure handling of firearms. Moreover, the government should make the qualifications to make gun ownership more strict.
The nation’s inadequate gun laws should be revised. Some of the measures that should be put in place to control the destruction are mandating the locking devices for each firearm registered in the country. This will control the guns by limiting who fires them. Secondly, just as people are not allowed to drive until they have been taught, the same should apply in this case. The government should introduce a gun-education course. Also, courses to teach adults on the storage of guns should also be emphasized. In addition, according to Grudem (2010), background checks should be performed on all those who wish to purchase guns to be confident of a clean background of their criminal record.
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