Gun Control Explained
It is truly conspicuous that crime rates are rising in almost all societies around the world. There have been debates about whether or not the gun control laws could decrease the atrocity. One part of the society maintains that there should be restrictions on purchasing guns, while another part convincingly argues that arms limitation does not reduce the amount of crimes committed.
Laws on gun restriction do not have direct relations to the felony. People who perpetrate crime do not obey laws, and regulations can not deter these human beings. Gun control would make innocent civilians even more weak and defenseless. Besides, restrictions would lead the development of black market for guns.
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World has number of problems regarding crime but gun control is not the solution. There are several reasons why gun regulation is not the effective way to decrease crime.
First and foremost, gun control laws decrease the sense of self reliance and personal safety. If firearms were restricted only the criminals would have access to them and law-abiding citizens would be defenseless. If people do not have the means for self protection and they are waiting for police to protect them, then they obviously have decreased personal safety. According to Pew Research 61% of men and 56% of women surveyed maintained that stricter gun laws would interfere with the human rights to defend themselves.
National Rifle Association (NRA) maintains that people use guns for self-defense 2.5 million times a year. Moreover, people who own firearms may be obstacles for criminals. NRA Executive Vice President Wayne La Pierre stated, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Owning a handgun may truly be an effective way to protect lives of people. According to survey (May 9, 2013) 48% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided to perpetrate crimes because they knew that the victims were gun owners.
Secondly, criminals are not averted by regulations. Gun restriction does not deter felons to obtain guns or violate laws. A person which wants to kill people, will kill people no matter if this person has a gun or not. If somebody wants to do something, for instance commit crime, there is nothing that really can be done against. In several countries drugs are prohibited, driving drunk, not wearing seat belts, exaggerating speed limit are illegal but people still continue to do this. Someone, who does not live in accordance to law, does not obey the law on prohibited items.
For instance, in US it is illegal for a certain class of persons to possess firearms or ammunition. This people are called “prohibited persons” and they include felons, those convicted of crimes, unlawful users, etc. However, the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas (November 5, 2017) was committed by “prohibited person”, it means that this person broke the federal law. The code failed to stop the people from violation.
Correspondingly to the above mentioned, there is no correlation between the assault weapons and crime rates. Guns are not at fault for the felony, they are just tools used to do so. If guns are taken away felons just do not kill with guns, they will find other subjects, such as knives or other sharp things, they will find more violent ways to commit crime. Prohibition will not end atrocity.
Accordingly, it may just reduce the gun-related violence, but the amount of crime as a whole will not change. There are some countries that have strict gun control but still have murder, rape, robbery or other types of crime. Mexico has one of the strictest gun control laws in the world. The country has only one legal gun store, which is located on the secure military base and consumers must present an ID, go through the metal detector, show proof of income, provide references, pass a criminal background check, be fingerprinted and photographed.
If allowed to purchase a gun, the customer may buy only one gun. Despite this fact, in 2012, Mexico had 11,309 gun murders. Also, there are some countries with little restrictions but have low crime rates. For instance, Switzerland has little regulations and high rate of gun ownership, country has 2 million private guns in 8.5 million population. However, the overall murder rate in Switzerland is near zero and country has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Moreover, the regulation of purchasing weapons would stimulate the black market for gun. Criminals may steal the gun or obtain it through illegal way, as it happened in case of drug prohibition. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs published the report which demonstrated that nearly 12 million guns are not registered and are held illegally.
Despite the fact that Russia has relatively restrictive gun control and regulation to purchase the firearms, there is a huge black market for weapons, and most weapons used by criminals are stolen military or police guns, or firearms made from modified nonlethal guns. The analogous situation is in the Brazil, where there are number of laws that restrict gun ownership, but there are approximately 18 million guns and almost 60% are illegal and unregistered, and most of those weapons are home made weapons by felonies to commit crime.
In contrast to the above mentioned arguments, gun control proposers may say that more gun control laws would reduce gun deaths or homicides. For example, Great Britain and Australia have one of the strictest laws and as the survey (2010) demonstrates these regulations led to decrease in gun-related death. But restrictions do not stop the murder, rape mugging, robbery… Consequently taking guns away resulted in more deaths, not fewer, even though the number of deaths by gun had dropped.
Gun control is truly controversial and complicated issue. It is full of moral and legal arguments, which affect a large amount of people in society. Gun restrictions have worked for several countries but failed for others. Furthermore, gun play critical role in the protection of people’s lives. Some countries had massive regulatory system for decades, but it has failed to deter felonies and keep guns away from the criminals. This indicates that assault weapon is not the problem, but crime itself is the problem, and gun restriction is not the solution for this dilemma.
- NRA, “Chris Cox’s NRA Armed Citizen,” www.nra.org/armedcitizen, June 2, 2018
- Pew Research Center, “Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason,” www.pewresearch.org, June 2, 2018
- Washington Post Editorial Board, “The NRA’s Simplistic Response to Newtown: ‘Good Guy with a Gun,'” www.washingtonpost.com, June 2, 2018
- James Wright and Peter Rossi, “Armed Criminals in America: A Survey of Incarcerated Felons, 1983,” www.ncjrs.gov/, June 2, 2018
- Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2013-2014 – Statistical Tables, at www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/bcft1314st.pdf, June 2, 2018
- Andone, Dakin; Hartung, Kaylee; Simon, Darran (November 6, 2017). “At least 26 people killed in shooting at Texas church”. CNN, June 2, 2018
- Simon Rogers, “Gun Homicides and Gun Ownership Listed by Country,” www.theguardian.com, June 2, 2018
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “Global Study on Homicide,” www.unodc.org , June 2, 2018
- Damien Cave, “At a Nation’s Only Gun Shop, Looking North in Disbelief,” www.nytimes.com, June 2, 2018
- ATF, “Report of Active Firearms Licenses – License Type by State Statistics,” www.atf.gov, June 2, 2018
- William Booth, “In Mexico, Only One Gun Store but No Dearth of Violence,” www.washingtonpost.com June 2, 2018
- Crime Index for Country 2018 www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jsp, June 2,2018
- Switzerland -Gun Facts, Figures and the Law www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/switzerland, June 2, 2018
- John Burnet “Law-Abiding Mexicans Taking up Illegal Guns,” www.npr.org, June 2, 2018
- Peter Roudik , Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Russian Federation www.loc.gov June 2, 2018
- Eduardo Soares, Senior Foreign Law Specialist, February 2013 www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/brazil.php June 2, 2018
- Gun related death in high income countries, 2010 https://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/04/world/gun-control-uk-australia/index.html June 2, 2018