Stronger Gun Laws Should Be Introduced

Stronger Gun Laws Ought to be Implemented

Within the United States of America, among every a hundred people, 89 people own guns, and this is the highest per capita and total number across the globe. Close to 22 % of the American citizens own one or more firearms (12 % of women and 35 % of men). The pervasive firearm culture in the United States stems from some factors. These factors include; the revolutionary roots, colonial history, and the 2nd Amendment, which affirms that the right of individuals to keep and bear firearms ought not to be infringed so as to maintain a militia that is well regulated so as to uphold a robust security for a free state. Supporters of the gun ownership rights argue that owning guns is fundamental so that individuals can possess guns for purposes of self-defense against threats that from could come from local criminals as well as foreign invaders. In addition to that, owning firearms can help in deterring crime rates rather than increasing the rates of crime. As such, it would be fundamental for state and federal legislatures to implement stronger gun laws for the country.

To begin with, stronger gun laws will help in limiting unlawful ownership of guns. During the archaic times in the American colonies, firearms were very common and were used in general protection and also hunting. Later, they were heavily deployed during the infamous American revolutionary war of the 19th Century. The gun laws in several colonies obliged that the heads of households, even women, had to own guns as the able-bodied men were enrolled in the militia and were allowed to carry guns around. Some gun laws, such as those that were implemented in the Connecticut in as early as the 17th Century and in not less than five other colonies, needed that at least an adult in each and every household had to carry a firearm in public meetings and also church so as to have protection from an unanticipated attacks from the Native Americans, and also so as to preclude thefts of guns from homes that were unattended. As such, most of the firearms were lawfully acquired. Illegal gun sales were not very common since the federal government gave license to qualified dealers who could also train individuals on the use of firearms. Unfortunately, the situation is now totally different since there is uncontrolled possession and use of guns, particularly hand guns. People lose their lives on a daily basis at the barrel of a gun. Some are usually intentional whereas some are unintentional. Thus, there is an urgent need to come up with stringent enforcement of current state and federal gun safety legislation. It can include imposing compulsory penalties for crimes carried out with the use of guns, including unlawful possession of a gun.

Stringent gun laws will help in decreasing crime rates. According to Webster (1), despite the fact that guns were very common in the colonial as well as revolutionary United States, gun restrictions were also blatant. For instance, selling firearms to the Native Americans was banned (even though the colonists often traded firearms with the Native Americans so as to obtain agricultural goods like fur and corn). Also, indentured slaves (primarily the Irish) and black slaves were banned from ownership of firearms. Furthermore, some professions were exempted from owning firearms such as school masters, millers, lawyers and doctors. The reason for such restrictions was so as to reduce the probability of people committing crimes using firearms. However, in the contemporary world, it is common to hear about incidences such as mass killings of African American church goers, of co-workers, of school-going children, and individual shootings of politicians (such as Gabrielle Giffords) and celebrities ( like Christina Grimmie). These crimes might have escalated due to the fact that a large number of people nowadays have access to guns, legally or illegally. Therefore, the country ought to adopt robust gun regulations so as to reduce such incidences. For example, civilians should be restricted from acquiring high powered weapons such as assault rifle which are usually designed for mass killings.

Guns do make the society safer and therefore instead of withdrawing them from civilians, it would be necessary to come up with robust gun legislations. In 1792, a federal law was implemented stating that every man qualified to serve in the military could own a gun as well as ammunition appropriate for military service. The federal law required gun owners to report with their firearms for frequent inspections, and they had to register their gun ownership with the public records. However, the federal law was not as robust as it was supposed to be since most of the Americans possessed pistols or hunting rifles rather than the appropriate military guns. In the literary text, More guns, less crime: Understanding crime and gun control laws, by Lott (2), those who deferred from the statutory law could at times incur very heavy fines (as much as $8,500 in 2013 dollars) but due to the fact that members of the public substantially ignored the federal law and the fines were levied in an inconsistent manner, the law was not as effective as it was initially anticipated to be. Unfortunately, the negative trend has carried on since then. The availability of different types of guns has left minute space between the murderous impulses and deeds that lead to death. Implementing legal framework would be the only feasible solution and this has been evidenced in some developed countries such as the United Kingdom where acquisition as well as use of gun has been controlled leading to a radical reduction in violence.

Furthermore, stronger gun control laws will help in cutting down the number of gun deaths in America. According to Webster, Daniel, and Wintemute (3), the gross number of gun deaths was 464,033, between 2000 and 2013. Suicides were 270,237 (58.2% of the gross deaths), homicides were 174,773 (37.7% of the total gun deaths), and 9,983 (2.2% of the gross gun deaths) were unintentional deaths. In this period, it was noted that firearm was the twelfth leading cause of death in America representing approximately 1.3 % of the gross deaths topping hypertension, Parkison’s disease, and liver disease and also deaths from machinery accidents, drowning, and fire outbreaks. Rudolph et al. (4), stated in their book that due to the less restricting gun laws in America, it is nine times more likely for a child below nine years of age to die from an accidental bullet in America than in other developed countries. On a daily basis, close to 200 Americans are usually rushed to medical emergency rooms due to gunshot wounds. To reverse such statistics, it would be necessary to implement robust state laws. For example, implementing state conventional background checks before the purchase of ammunition by a citizen would help in reducing the chances of guns falling into wrong hands hence reducing the total gun deaths in the country.

In conclusion, the liberty to possess and bear a firearm in the United States is secured by the 2nd Amendment in the country’s constitution. There have been cases of violent crimes facilitated by the ownership of guns by individuals. Although there have been those who have opposed this right of ownership, it is quite apparent that the majority opinion of the court is that responsible and law-abiding citizens should be allowed to own guns to use in defense of home and hearth. To minimize negative incidences associated with the ownership of firearms, it would be necessary for the government to implement laws that will ensure that guns are in the right hands. For instance, frequent checks or inspection and maintaining up to date public records would prove to be very beneficial as it would ensure only sound individuals own guns hence reducing incidences of gun deaths.

Work Cited

Webster, Daniel W. “Commentary: evidence to guide gun violence prevention in America.” Annual review of public health 36 (2015): 1-4.

Lott, John R. More guns, less crime: Understanding crime and gun control laws. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Webster, Daniel W., and Garen J. Wintemute. “Effects of policies designed to keep firearms from high-risk individuals.” Annual review of public health 36 (2015): 21-37.

Rudolph, Kara E., et al. “Association between Connecticut’s permit-to-purchase handgun law and homicides.” American journal of public health 105.8 (2015): e49-e54.