Nov 19, 2020 in Politics

Gun Control Supporters
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Gun Policy Controversy

Gun policy in the United States has been one of the most disputable and argumentative issues for a long time. The right to keep and carry arms was guaranteed by the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791. Americans could feel safe being armed, and the proverb My house is my castle was actual in that dangerous time. Gun rights allowed them to defend their houses and families against all hazards of life, because the US government was not able to defend Americans. The police, FBI, the effective National Security System and National Guard ensure the security of the citizens. It provoked the disputes around the reasonability of the gun rights.

 

Thus, two opinions occurred related to the Second Amendment. One side appeals to the government to restrict the right of carrying and keeping weapons, another side opposes it, claiming that this entrenches their right. Both sides have logic in their statements, but which one is more well-grounded and legitimate is a controversial question. The supporters of gun control are convinced that the severe restrictions of weapon distribution and anti-gun laws would prevent arbitrary shootings, such as, Red Lake massacre, Sandy Hook shooting Virginia Tech massacre and many others. Actually, this may really solve the problem because the possibility of arbitrary shooting is lower, when average citizens are not able to buy weapon. People are used to feel more courageous when they are armed that may provoke them to commit a crime. However, those arbitrary shootings were committed mainly by mentally sick persons, even a person who had passed all required medical and psychological examinations can lose control one day. Therefore, gun control is strongly required to avoid the tragedies mentioned above.

One of the main arguments of gun rights supporters is the safety provided by weapon. However, according to the survey carried out by Messerli (2013), The number of guns per capita per country was a strong and independent predictor of firearm-related death in a given country. In opposition to the United States, Japan where the gun ownership is one of the lowest in the world, has also the lowest rate of deaths caused by firearms. In fact, the idea to own a tool, which can lead to injury or death, in order to keep safety, sounds absurdly.

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However, looking at Messerli data, one can notice the mental illness rate that has a crucial role in the investigation. Obviously, guns should be illegal for such people as Adam Lanza, Jeffrey Weise, Seung-hui Cho, then those massacres would have never happened. It is commonly known that they should have been the patients of a mental hospital, but they were not. Thus, maybe there is another problem, for instance, the absence or low quality of psychiatric support.

Another argument often used against gun rights is crime rates. Gun control supporters are convinced that gun-restricting laws can decrease the level of criminality. However, in such countries as Great Britain (Malcolm, 2002) and Australia (Mouzos, 2003) gun control did not solve the problem. Otherwise, the crime rate increased after severe restrictions towards gun owners. Undoubtedly, criminals will be more confident if they are aware that their victim has no weapon.

 
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Gun control supporters often claim that the initial purpose of the Second Amendment was the organization of strong militia, but now when the United States has a powerful army, effective police and the National Guard, the amendment is unreasonable. The argument of police effectiveness also appears to fail as American citizens still often use firearms for self-defense. Using Cato University study (Cramer & Burnett, 2012), Bell (2012) finds out that:

Law-abiding American citizens using guns in self-defense during 2003 shot and killed two and one-half times as many criminals as police did with fewer than one- fifth as many incidents as police where an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. (p. 2)

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Thus, the Second Amendment is still actual for Americans, and weapon remains the only means of self-defense when no policeman is around. It appears that gun right is not only useful, but also necessary for American citizens who are even more effective than police. Although the times of the Frontier had passed, Americans still need to feel themselves protected. Basically, all criminals are armed and it is obvious that even a well-trained but unarmed person could hardly resist a man with a gun. It was clearly demonstrated during those terrible shootings at educational institutions.

The anti-gun policy would probably have the same effect as Prohibition in 1920-1933. It is reasonable to argue about significance of gun rights. Gun control may seem to be a sensible way of trying to minimize the danger, but it does not assure complete elimination of criminality. Moreover, gun control causes more problems than it solves. The main trouble is that in most cases people try to reach their goals by means of guns. Thus, it is clear that something should be changed in the gun policy. If one listens to the most cardinal solutions, which anti-gun supporters suggested, then all weapons should be removed, though it would make American citizens entirely defenseless. Both the supporters of gun control and supporters of gun rights are frightened but the former are afraid of criminals, while the latter are frightened at armed private citizens. Obviously, there should be some golden mean in the United States gun policy, which would allow people to feel safe both from civil weapon owners and criminals.

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