In Defense of Gun Control Laws
In Defense of Gun Control Laws
Guns have always been associated with crimes. The use of guns may either work in the positive or the negative way. On the positive side, it could help in deterring the proliferation of crimes. The mere use or presence of it is sufficient for other criminals to stop their criminal intents. However, this is just one way of looking at gun use and ownership. If guns could be used for combating crimes and criminals, it could also be used to the proliferation of criminal acts. Many evil minded people would utilize firearms in order to compel people to do as they desire—including unlawful acts.
The mere presence of a gun is sufficient to threaten an individual and to put one’s life in danger. Any wrong move in using a loaded gun might be the end for another’s life. It is due to this reason that the ownership, possession and use thereof are strictly regulated by the state. For anti-gun control advocates, they feel the need for less strict regulations on gun control and ownership. They are advocating that the laws be relaxed and for the law makers that gun ownership is essential in fighting criminals and crimes. It serves as the ordinary man’s protection against abusive individuals.
In this day and age, there so many crimes that are being committed and a great number of criminals causing chaos to society, thus, the need for greater protection against them. Such advocates also invoke that it is their constitutional to own guns. However, in a case decided last June 2008 by the United States Supreme Court, it was upheld that reasonable efforts under of controlling the proliferation of firearms on the hands of private individuals is allowed. The law enforcers and makers however should be guided that there should be no outright ban on handguns (Newsbatch, 2008).
This ruling of the Supreme Court would indicate that ownership of guns is not only limited to the military but it also extends to ordinary individuals so long as there is proper regulation. Indeed there is nothing wrong in the ownership and possession of guns as long as there is proper regulation thereof of the enactment and recognition of gun control laws. Blackstone, a former US District Court Judge also shares the view that the public should not be prohibited of their right to bear arms. They should be accorded this right especially in a country where there is a vast militia power.
The bearing of firearms is the security of the people against abuse and their mode of defending themselves. However, this should be done in moderation and should be properly regulated (Guncite, 2007). In opposition to the claim that the ownership and possession of guns help deter criminality in the country, this cannot hold to be always true. As previously indicates, the use of guns may work positively or negatively. Instead of stopping crimes, it could even be the means of committing thereof. According to the article of Deborah White (n. d. ), the United States has the highest number of private people owning guns.
There are about 80 million Americans of 50 percent of the total homes which own 223 million of guns. Attached with this figure is the fact that more than 30, 000 men and women in the United States die each year due to gun shoot wounds, this is the highest homicide rate from guns around the world. Moreover, it should be noted that among the 30, 000 deaths indicated above, only 1, 500 of which are caused by accidental killings. This is a very alarming figure since it would imply that the high percentage gun ownership and gun shot related incidents have a positive relation.
The more guns there are in the streets, the greater is the number of people dying with a bullet on their bodies. Policy Almanac (n. d. ) also reported that there has been a 173 percent increase from 1985 to 1993 and 126 percent from 1993 to 1999 in the number of homicides which are annually committed with the use of a firearm by persons who are between the ages 14 to 24. The figures should serve as a wake up call for law enforcers and remind them the need to properly regulate the ownership of guns and the use thereof. There should be more restrictive laws to be imposed by the state.
Stricter measures could lead to lesser crime rate as well as crime related incidents. In order the address the issue on gun control, several laws were enacted federally and locally or by state. On the federal level, the first major mandate was enacted in 1934. Based on this initiative, the sale of machine guns and other fully automatic firearms will be regulated. Four years after such legislation, another law was passed requiring gun sellers to have a license. In addition, the law also prohibits the sale of guns to those who have been convicted of violent crimes.
The next law which addressed the issue on gun ownership was passed in 1968. This law is the Gun Control Act of 1968. Based on the said law, imported guns are to be regulated and gun-licensing requirements will be increased. The list of people who should not own and should not be sold with firearms was extended to individuals who have been convicted with any form of non-business related crime, those who are incompetent mentally d those who have been using illegal drugs. After the said legislation, another federal law was again passed in 1986.
Such mandate indicated mandatory penalties on the use of a gun to commit federal felonies. Included in the said law is the prohibition on the use of bullets which have the capacity to penetrate bulletproof apparel. Manufacture and importation of semi-automatic assault weapons were also banned in 1990 (Newsbatch, 2008). After the said law was promulgated by the Congress, another federal gun regulation was passed in 1994, the Brady Bill. The said bill is considered as the most comprehensive federal effort on gun control.
Through this law, a five day waiting period is necessary before purchasers can have their guns. Such period would give the law enforcement agencies to investigate the background of the purchaser. However, this law did not last as it was declared by the Supreme Court to be an infringement on state’s rights. The law was re-drafted and provided that the conducting of background investigation will be accomplished through a national computer system. The provision on the five day waiting period was also removed. In terms of the state or local laws, there has been variance in the enactment of the laws.
However, the common provisions include Child Access Prevention law or the prohibition on leaving a loaded weapon which could be easily accessed by a minor. Another is the concealed weapon law or the need to obtain a license which would allow one to carry a concealed weapon. Others include the following: regulation of private sale to minors, regulating all secondary market sales, ban on assault weapons and the one hand gun a month laws, among others. Despite these seemingly comprehensive laws, there is a need to impose stricter measures in order to regulate the ownership, use and possession of guns.
Although it is recognized that there is a need for guns in the society, the continued sale thereof to private individuals and the growing number of people who own such should be carefully studied. Guns are very dangerous. It carries with it an authority which no other object could possess. The mere presence thereof is already a cause for alarm. People who have such may use it to protect themselves or to threaten other people. Given the extraordinary authority accorded to firearms, people who are not properly oriented with the use thereof may abuse such authority.
Thus, there is a need to regulate the use, possession and ownership thereof to have proper guidance and to eliminate the bad effects thereof to the society. The authority that comes with any firearm carries with it the responsibility to utilize it only to purposes to which it was intended and not to create abuse. Despite the high funding that come from anti-gun control laws, politicians should comply with their basic responsibility to uphold the common good in the society. They should not be easily swayed by the sources of their funds during the last elections.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 7 November 2016
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