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The prevalence of death by guns has significantly increased in the past few years. Based on studies, global deaths caused by guns has reached to more than 250,000 yearly and now considered one of the most important problems in terms of health issues according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (Tanner). With the increasing rate of global violation, citizens of every nation are acquiring guns to protect their families. Statistics show that in the late 20th centuries, one of the main reasons why people own guns is for hunting, however; recent research proves that nearly half of gun owner which is about 48 percent, consider ‘protection’ as the main reason of gun ownership (Pew Research Center).
Contrary to gun owners’ beliefs however; studies show that individuals who do not own guns feel safer than having guns in their homes.
They think that gun accidents and other safety concerns are the main factors why acquiring guns can be dangerous for families (Pew Research Center). Considered as the second country producing half of the world’s gun-related deaths, the United States has created laws, rules and regulations on gun handling and ownership. Gun control legislation has been supported by the American people. The legislation includes broader background checks and gun bans on high caliber weapons or ammunition. This law is recognized by some States, but some legislatures are recommending regulations that would annul such federal controls.
Gun safety in the US is still a major controversy in terms of the political and social aspects of gun ownership.
Gun control has not significantly reduced gun deaths in the US and this law is still difficult to implement in terms of its enforcement (Vitelli). To better understand the laws and regulations of owning a gun in different countries. I will analyze and evaluate whether citizens should or should not be allowed to own a gun by exploring the effects and consequences of gun possession. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Halbrook stated that “the right to bear arms “ is an individual’s right which is intended for personal defense purposes. Some countries acknowledge the right of citizens to keep and own guns for protection, but arguments on the constitutional level on gun possession have become a debate in the recent years.
During the 15th century, the Bill of Rights allowed Protestant citizens of England to acquire guns intended for defense in accordance to the conditions allowed by laws (BBC). In the 18th century, Sir William Blackstone, an English judge stated that the right to have arms is tantamount to the natural right of resistance and self-preservation subject to suitability and allowance of law (Blackstone 118). Yet, this right to bear arms is only given to several countries during the 19th centuries which include most of Latin American nations. In the modern generation, constitutions around the globe refer the ‘right to keep arms’ as allowing the government of nations to regulate and control the use of firearms or to require all military service not to provide a right to bear them (Ginsburg et al).
Governments today are now implementing legislation to restrict or regulate gun ownership to reduce gun-related violence. In the United States, non-government organizations such as the Brady Center to Prevent Gun and the Million Mom March have created campaigns for tighter restrictions and regulation of gun possession. The increasing number of deaths by gun has instigated the increase of organizations campaigning for restrictions. According to Halbrook (587), the constitutional status of acquiring firearms is no longer a question but the main argument is how the law regulate the purpose of the regulations. This premise or context led to the controversy whether people should or should not be allowed to keep or possess guns in their homes. The next part of this paper is for readers to understand the different rules, regulations, and legislation created by various countries around the world. This may help the author to analyze the benefits and consequences of the gun ownership and to evaluate whether the government should allow all people to acquire guns. Gun Laws and Regulations Around the Globe As discussed, laws on keeping arms is no longer a big issue but gun laws and regulations have become a challenge for every nation.
Reports show that violence related to gun use have incremented over the years. The United States in particular have integrated a gun control in accordance with the legislation developed by various States. Gun laws and policies are created in accordance to gun manufacture, sale, transfer and possession specific to civilians. Gun laws differ from countries to countries. Most nations have restrictive firearm policies but countries such as Austria, Honduras, Philippines, United States, and Nigeria have a permissive gun legislation. Other countries that regulate gun possession have restricted access to certain types of firearms. Most countries require guns to be registered and should be licensed. There are requirements for gun ownership which requires minimum qualifications such as age, aptitude, and certification of mental health. In Canada, gun possession is categorized in three classifications which include: non-restricted like long guns that are used for hunting; restricted which includes handguns but can be acquired as long as they are licensed and; firearms that are prohibited to civilians such as automatic weapons and military arms (RCMP).
In the United States, the right to keep arms is protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution which most states are guaranteed with the laws stipulated in this constitution. In China, gun ownership is strictly regulated by laws wherein, civilians are not allowed to acquire guns with the exception of hunting purposes. Most of the laws on gun ownership are quite similar to different countries and what is common is the legislation of laws either restricting or regulating gun possession. The question lies in the aspect of how a government implements its laws and regulations in allowing people to acquire guns. Gun Possession: An Assessment The debate on whether civilians should be all to acquire, and own guns has long been contemplated by social experts. With the increasing number of deaths caused by gun-related violence, citizens are thinking of acquiring guns to protect their families. However, with the recent tragic killings and massacres were done by individuals, public debates on the creation of legislation that further restricts the gun acquisition have become a major discussion.
This legislation is more specific to the United States as the killing of civilians including children have increased in the past years. The fact that this violence is committed by people with mental health problems, the regulation should be done the soonest possible time. However, people are clamoring for a precise amendment to gun ownership. The increase of death caused by gun violence has divided the thoughts of American citizens. The Second Amendment is summed up in a manner of positively regulating the right of the people to keep and bear arms which is necessary to the security of a free country. Further, this amendment is conditioned on a well-regulated legislation on gun ownership (Cordova). Social experts are weighing the positive and negative effects of gun ownership. This will give an in-depth discussion of whether people should be allowed to own guns. There are positive externalities of gun ownership which include protection from burglary and attacks. On the other hand, advocates of gun control point out that civilians can be injured or even killed by accidental discharge or criminal misuse of guns. People who feel that gun ownership can have a great advantage provide evidence that outweighs negative effects of the right to own guns.
Laws on gun possession are different in every country. Statistics show that there is an increase in deaths related to violence. It is important for an individual to protect his family in times of danger. Gun ownership is not a human right, but it is a necessity to safeguard and defend oneself from violence. However, it is vital for every government to integrate precise laws and regulations on gun ownership. Requirements in terms of the types of guns, age limit, mental health certificates and possible training on gun handling should be incorporated into the legislation of gun possession. People around the world have different views about gun ownership. Even if governments allow gun ownership, not all citizens will desire to own guns as they are afraid of the negative externalities of owning firearms.
Culture affects the belief of gun ownership as well as the individual’s idealism. The question of whether all people should be allowed to own guns can be answered by the government. Legislations on gun control or its allowability is dependent on the country’s state of affairs. Hence, legislation on gun ownership should be adept, precise and specific according to the need of a nation.
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