The US is among the most liberal countries in the world. In most of the states anyone who is above 21 years old is allowed to carry a licensed gun. The right to own a firearm is found in the second Amendment of the US constitution. This clause states, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a state the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” (Magoon 2008).
The second amendment provides for certain grounds that allow people to keep gun; however, this has been a subject of intense debate.
Those advocating for gun control point out that it is very easy to get a gun. They claim that only 60% of guns are bought from licensed dealers. The remaining percentage gets their guns from gun shows or internet sources. Hence this makes it very easy even for criminals who are not allowed by law to possess guns to easily access them.
Hence, advocates for gun control require that governments set tough rules, which would make it harder for people to own firearms. The government should also limit the number of firearms which one can buy monthly.
These people also feel that guns pose a big threat to public safety. Suicides or murders happen more often in homes, which have guns than in homes that do not have guns. Pro gun control lobbyists also feel that most gun sellers do not give background checks on their customers mental health and criminal background( if there is any) as required by law.
This they feel makes it easy for people who are prohibited by law to possess guns to easily access them and later use them to commit felony. Most of these arguments used by pro-gun control lobbyists are genuine. However some of the arguments have also be used by people who are against gun control.
Anti gun control lobbyists believe that if more people were allowed to own guns gun related deaths would decrease. This is because these people would use their guns for self protection hence reducing the fatalities which would have occurred if they had no guns. These people also believe that criminals will always find ways of getting guns no matter how strict the laws are to prohibit them.
Therefore making it hard for people to get guns only makes it even harder for honest law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, hence exposing them from the risk posed by gun-trotting criminals.
These people believe that stricter access to guns cannot prevent suicide. This is because people who would like to commit suicide can use many other different means if they are unable to access guns. Some anti-gun control advocates believe that regulations are meant to discriminate against people who are perceived to be of a lower social status from getting guns (eg African-Americans during the 1960s).
Hence, this makes it easy for them to be oppressed by the state. These people also believe that background checks do not work as they are poorly enforced by the government.
The arguments presented by both the people who are opposed to gun control and the people who advocate it are somehow true. But it is important to note the fact that there is a direct relationship between the number of gun related crimes and the availability of firearms.
Gun related crimes are usually higher in countries where it is easy to get a gun than in countries which have stringent rules governing the possession and use of firearms. A good example is comparing the crime rates of the US, which does not have stringent regulation governing possession and use firearms with Japan which has very stringent rules governing the use and possession of firearms.
In Japan there were 22 crime incidents for every 100 people whereas in the US there were 43 crime incidents for every hundred people in 1999. The rate of gun murders for Japan in the year 2000 was 0.2 for every 100,000 people in 2000, whereas that of US was 3.72 for every 100,000 people.
This comparison clearly shows that the lesser the regulation the higher the rate of crime. The banning of all privately owned handguns in mainland Britain after the Dunblane shootings, which occurred on 13th march 1996, led to a continued decrease of handgun related crimes in Britain. This is a clear example that availability of guns fuels gun-related crime. In America guns have been used to kill some of the most influential people.
Martin Luther king Jr was shot and killed by a gunman as he stood from the balcony a motel in Memphis. J.F Kennedy was also shot and killed while he rode on the back of his convertible car. These are examples of prominent people who have been killed by gunmen who could easily access guns and hence used them for evil motives.
The argument posed by anti-gun control advocates that criminals would always get ways of acquiring a gun with or without stringent regulation must not be used to make governments make it easy for people to obtain guns for self-protection. This is because making it easy for people to get guns would aid people with a criminal mind to easily be involved in crime. Otherwise more stringent regulation would have made it harder for them to get access to guns hence reducing the probability of them committing a crime.
The government usually has many arms involved in the protection of citizens. These arms include the police and the military. These are people who are paid by taxpayers for the sole purpose of protecting them. Therefore by allowing citizens to easy access guns in the excuse of self protection, these citizens would be performing the work of the state.
This can fuel impunity in the government arm entrusted with protection since their work would be performed by citizens who they are hired to protect. Easy access to possession of firearms for self-protection also proves a lack of confidence in the arms of the government entrusted with protection of its citizens.
Generally, criminals, children and people of unsound mind are prohibited from possessing certain kinds of high risk military firearms. These firearms include machine guns and some semi-automatic assault weapons. However barring these people from possessing this firearms does not really prevent them from committing felony since they can easily access other types of guns which are just as lethal as the other types of guns as they can also be used to kill.
Regulation requiring that people who sell guns provide records of all the people that they sell their guns to is in my view not effective in controlling the use of the guns in crime. This is simply because the authenticity of the information provided by the gun sellers is not easy to verify.
These sellers can easily collude with the criminals to enable them get whichever guns they want for them to use as they please. This is because the sellers are entrepreneurs who can easily bend existing laws to suit them as long as they are making money out of it.
However the most traumatic effect of easy access to guns is usually exhibited in some parts Africa which continue to be ravaged by war. In most of these countries guns are imported from countries where there are no stringent regulations governing the use and possession of firearms. This guns fuel the wars in those countries. Therefore people who are against gun control should know that people are the ones who kill but not the guns, however guns make killing to be far much easier such even a child can kill.
Magoon, Kekla. Gun control. Minnesota: ABDO. 2008. 25 October 2010.