This study starts by introducing the gun ownership in the United States of America and its impact on the national security. In this regard, this study provides statistical data on various incidences of crime as contributed by gun ownership in the US. Also, this study provides adequate information on diverse opinions provided from different quarters on gun control debate.
Furthermore, this study provides the research methods and materials that have been used in gathering relevant information on gun control. Under this section, the paper highlights the sources of information and data collection methods applied to obtain credible information on the gun control issue.
Moreover, the current paper analyzes the results in a more comprehensive manner. It has been achieved by providing statistical data on gun ownership over years and how ownership of guns has resulted to increased levels of criminal activities in US. In addition, this section provides diverse opinions regarding the gun control debate. The opinions provided are both in support of gun control and against it.
The rate of criminal activities in the United States of America always poses a statistical concern. This is related to the large numbers of individuals involved in criminal activities including robbery cases, rape cases and other violent crimes. The debate on civilian possession of firearms has been a rampant issue that affects both national and individual security (Cozic 15). A nation’s crime rates amount to over 16000 murder cases according to the survey carried out during the year of 2008. The general security in the country is considered to be unreliable. It is this scenario in the public perspective that has led to the idea that supported legal ownership of firearms by the common civilian. This significant subject touches on the political aspect of the nation. It in turn resulted in mixed reactions from civilians and political leaders in various states. The idea was to allow for self-protection for those willing to acquire legal licensing in ownership of firearms (Cozic 23). The proposal served to ensure that civilians could protect themselves from crime by having firearms at hand. These firearms were to be obtained in categories including those individuals interested in getting guns for household protection and those interested in carrying their guns publicly. Several parties opposed this idea in fear of creating further crisis in the nation. The current paper discusses the historical progress of gun control in the American scene. This initiative attracts support from proposing and opposing parties. The paper uses critical arguments and facts in practice to develop a credible discussion on the subject matter.
Methods and Materials
This study explores past and current issues on gun control; information is obtained from secondary source of data including books, journals and internet sources. Secondary data forms a reliable source of data that does not experience changes hence distorting the originality of data. Statistical information in the discussion is obtained from survey studies that were conducted by various organizations in America. Arguments that are found in the discussion are derived from criticism aimed at this initiative on gun control. Statistical data poses a limitation of bearing the subjectivity of its sources; this demanded that proper comparison of data was to be done for the contributing organizations
Firearm is the term defining various designs of guns; firearms are grouped into three categories; shotguns, rifles and handguns. Shotguns and rifles are further grouped as being within the category of long guns. Another classification is done basing on the idea of the gun’s performance; semi-automatic guns are known to shoot one bullet on pulling its trigger. It is quickly followed by the removal of the bullets shell, while the automatic gun fires multiple bullets when the trigger is only pulled once. In America, various states have allowed their citizens to have a right for ownership of firearms. It is as a result of the high crime rates in the country that civilians doubted their security (Cozic 43). These guns are acquired after keen evaluation of the applicants from the government’s side.
However, Micheal Bloomberg is on opposition to the idea of gun possession in America. He advocated against owning guns through every town for Gun Safety Movement. The members of the movement did not consider possessing a gun as being positive to the civilians. They claimed that giving guns and firearms to civilians could only spur up more violence. Bloomberg gives an example of a daughter who stumbled on her parent’s gun, which ended in a serious accident. This is contrary to the historical records on criminal activities in the nation in the past five years. Various national organizations that monitor these rates agree that there has been a significant reduction in the number of criminal activities. The Bureau of Justice Statistics gives data that shows a reduction by a third in homicides and non-fatal crime by 69% (Cothran 56). This information is a counter to the opposition in political views that champions for increasing restriction in gun ownership. The argument is that this idea does not conserve public health but breaks the union that preserves society.
In Georgia, the governor Nathan Deal signed an agreement concerning the provision of firearms to the public. This move was met by a stream of petitions that demanded abolishment of the initiative. Many gun activists were faced with many legislative issues that insisted on the idea to be more evil than good. Public health was argued to concern the nation’s numbers in terms of civilian count. This relationship has insisted that when the action is inclined to reducing crime rates, then public health is secured. The procedure behind possessing a firearm is rigorously done to reduce chances of fostering crime. Ownership is only given to those individuals who are evaluated as being responsible. This is to counter cases of possession by criminal, who might opt to use it against others. Ideally, when the situation is looked at from this angle, there would be more harm than good. Evaluations are done at various levels to ensure that only those persons who meet all the requirements stand a chance of firearms possession.
In December 2012, Sandy Hook murders prompted twenty states to loosen laws on public possession of guns. It was intended to ensure that civilians also play a role in their security; this is because owning a gun has proved to bring more benefits to the owner and society. Using the statistics provided by Bureau of Justice Statistics that says that among the population in America, 162000 gun incidences happen every year. On the other hand, this huge number of incidences is non-inclusive of police, military and guards involvement. The annual records need to be reduced in order to build on security in the country.
In 1933, a survey on 4977 households in America produced information that brought a vital interpretation in statistics. It suggested that in the past five years less than 5% of the respondents had guns that served to protect them against intruders (Agresti and Smith). On a general analysis this proportion is expected to have increased in relation to the general population of 307 million citizens by the year 2009. Information obtained from firearm-manufacturing companies places the number of gun in public possession at approximately 300 million guns. This is an interesting record that was taken in the United States of America in 2010. Among many designs of these civilian-owned guns, handguns constitute about 100 million on an overall scale. This information was also accompanied by another survey carried out in 2010 as an overview of those owning guns. It showed that a total of 53 million households made up 45% of ownership, while adults having guns summed up to 80 million that made up 34% possession in the country (Agresti and Smith). This showed that the national perception was inclined to owning firearms in the effort of achieving personal protection. It is quite clear that the emergence of rampant crimes like rape and robbery can only be reduced by giving the public a chance of security.
The current situation in many states in America gives citizens the right to own a gun. For instance, in Georgia, civilians are allowed by the state to carry their guns to all places including churches, hospitals, airports and schools (Cothran 74). Here, these civilians are never in confrontation with the law or even the police, as they do not require permits for this privilege. There is a law that prohibits against confronting those carrying their guns by the police or law enforcement. There was a similar experience in Washington DC in the year 1976, when the Washington DC City Council promoted a law against its residents possessing guns. It went further to say that when the firearm is kept in the household, it should be unloaded or dissembled (Cothran 85). This is because at this state, the likelihood of accidents occurring was greatly reduced. This law was in operation in the same year starting from the 24th of September. But later on, it became unconstitutional in June 26, 2008 when the Supreme Court of America ruled against it.
In Chicago, political leaders chose to introduce a new law that denied civilians the right of possessing guns. This demanded that if any civilian owned a firearm, they were required to acquire license permits that proved legal possession. This ownership demanded that the civilian renewed their permit after two years and if they failed to do so, it would attract punishment by law. This law went through court analysis that deemed it unconstitutional hence discarded it. Possession of firearms by civilians can be argued as beneficial to its users and the nation. Statistical data conducted in 1994 by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention on America showed that those possessing guns contributed towards curbing crime as they scared intruders from carrying out their sinister actions. The estimated number of prevented crime was set at approximately 498000 cases every year.
Many civilian lives were also recorded to have increased substantially up to the year of 2000. The recorded instances that saved lives came to 989883 cases every year. This survey was determined to understand the idea of public participation in security by legally possessing firearms; survey studies were done in prisons. The studies looked for evidence that many of the convicted prisoners were affected by gun ownership in America. For eleven states, 34% agreed that they were scared off by these guns, while 40% of them said that they avoided intruding civilians in fear of a counter protection. Interestingly, it is recorded that in 1997, 1800 inmates accused of violent crimes agreed that they had guns while carrying out their crime (Cozic 87).
Before American civilians are granted the privilege of possessing a firearm, they have to undergo a thorough evaluation process that establishes their conduct. These interested parties have to go through a government’s confirmation process that uses specific databases having criminal records and charges against applicants. After this confirmation, the candidates’ history qualifies them and they receive permits for firearms. In case there are hitches in one’s criminal history such that they have charges or felonies that involve guns or compromising security, they are denied permits. Not all individuals are genuinely given permission to have a firearm in their possession, which is seen when other parties involved in terrorist activities receive their own guns. From the year 2004 to 2014, 1200 background checks were done and the result was that 91% of these applicants qualified the process. Majority of the number was made up of terrorists who went on to get guns and explosives (Cozic 103). On the other hand, there are various cases of application that result in denial by government. For example, from 1998 to 2008, 96 million background checks were done to American applicants. The federal government’s data records denied 681,000 individuals ownership.
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When a civilian was found to own firearms without the government recommendation, the penalty was imprisonment. Gun control regulates the application of gun possession in America; it puts restrictions that control how this privilege is to be embraced. Considering the case of permits to carry guns to any public place, states acted in three capacities: ‘shall-issue’ worked to give carry permits for all those applicants who qualified the evaluation and forty states took up this strategy. Nine states including Alabama went for ‘may-issue’ that allowed this practice if the person had a reason for carrying their gun. ‘No-issue’ did not allow this practice and it included only one state, Illinois.
The statement that guns would increase crime is not practical. It is vivid from the discussion that when proper incentives are incorporated in this privilege, a positive outcome is realized. This idea has served to meet its objectives and also boost the levels of national hence individual security. The past lessons for America led them to developing new ideas that addressed the once criminal-infested nation. The past perception that crime rates would increase when guns were allowed in public, did not receive any statistical evidence to uphold this argument. The attention the civilians have given acquiring personal firearms can only match it suitability in the eyes of users in America. It is, therefore, appropriate that national corporation is built in order to devise other important ways of ensuring that the public has better access to these firearms.