Last Updated on March 8, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
‘Gun control’ is the enforcement of measures to restrict access to the possession or use of guns, or firearms. Countries like Australia and Germany abide by strict gun control laws but there are also other countries where the concept of gun control is considered rather controversial, mainly by the majority who regard it necessary to possess any sort of firearm for one’s own safety.
The current situation of the United States is by far the most controversial when it comes to gun control. The United States has had the most cases of homicide by firearm than any country in the world.
People in favor of strict gun control laws argue that limiting or completely prohibiting the possession of firearms will considerably reduce the crimes involving firearms, whereas the opposition argues that this will prevent citizens from defending themselves against armed criminals.
Pros of gun control
The idea of gun control is highly partisan and divisive. For instance, Republicans believe that the legalization of a gun won’t bring change in the number of mass shootings whereas the Democrats believe otherwise. Here are some key points to consider when talking about the advantages and disadvantages of gun control:
1. Most mass shootings occur from legally purchased guns
Upon reviewing 114 mass shootings in the U.S, it was discovered that 74% of those incidents were caused by shooters who legally purchased the firearms (Source) . Implementing gun control laws creates a certain restriction while legally purchasing firearms.
For instance, gun control laws will require background checks on people before permitting them from purchasing firearms. This prevents any unauthorized person’s access to firearms and reduces possible danger.
2. Access to a gun increases Risk of Violence
A study by New England Journal of Medicine found that risks of homicide in a home are 40 times more when a gun is stored in the house and the risk of suicide by firearms is said to increase 90 times when there’s a gun in the household.
Even if the firearms are well protected or locked away this won’t decrease the risk of violence. But with strict gun control laws, people won’t be allowed to keep firearms at their home which deters violence.
3. Gun control prevents dangerous people from owning firearms
In the U.S, the Brady Bill allows sellers to privately sell firearms to anyone. This means unlicensed or unauthorized people easily gain access when they should be prohibited instead.
Moreover, numerous dealers that are not licensed sell the firearms in flea markets online. This increases the likelihood of an attack since dangerous and disturbed people can easily buy the firearms.
4. Accidental injuries are reduced
Accidental shooting in the U.S results in the death of around 200 people under the age of 25, every year. It’s said that 30% of these incidents can be prevented with simple gun control measures.
Research conducted by Harvard has found a mortality rate is 7 times higher in the states with most guns when compared to 4 other states with few guns. For example, given the strict gun laws that have been implemented since 1990 in Australia, it’s gun violence is comparably low but in the U.S, around 487 people are unintentionally killed every year.
Cons of Gun Control
1. Increase in black market demand
Gun control law won’t stop determined people from purchasing firearms as those people can still buy from the black market. Just like the case of drugs, making it illegal hasn’t stopped people from buying it from the black market. While the gun control legislation aims to provide safety it’ll instead involve more people into illegal stuff like stealing firearms and into circumventing the law.
2. Gun control laws don’t deter crime completely
A study conducted in 2013 by Dr. John Lott found that banning guns doesn’t significantly affect the homicide rate. In fact, states having a high number of gun owners actually had less crime. The determined people or criminals out there can use anything as a weapon to inflict damage on others. So, even by prohibiting guns, the crime rate won’t he significantly reduced.
3. Restricting gun ownership infringes the right of legal owners
Millions of hunters legally purchase guns and accessories with the sole intention of activities related to hunting. 32% of the gun owners claim to own it as a tool for hunting purposes. The authorities should be more forced on teaching people to responsibly use it and should focus more on the mental health of individuals.
4. Gun control grants more power to the government
Supporting gun control laws basically means allowing the government to have more power. Most owners keep guns for safety and implementing gun control laws may increase concerns regarding their safety. The background checks will give the government more information, affecting the privacy of citizens. This will prevent the spread of decentralization.
The idea or concept of gun control is controversial and for some quite pointless. The bottom line is that every life is important and the government should prioritize the safety of each individual over anything.
Guns are tools when used correctly, provides protection to citizens. In contrast, it’s also become a weapon that has taken the lives of many individuals. The authorities need to center their focus towards making sure firearms do not fall in hands of unauthorized people.