Gun Control vs. Gun Rights

Questions Answered:

  1.  Do you think that armed citizens stop crime?  Are there any statistics to back-up your beliefs?
  2. Do you think that armed citizens add to the crime problem by inadvertently supplying more weapons to criminals through carelessness, oversight, or plain stupidity?
  3. Does having so many guns available to the general public put us all at risk?
  1. What training and what safeguards should an individual be required to complete before he or she is allowed to own and or carry personal firearms?
  2. Who do you think should enforce the requirements and train all of these hundreds of thousands of civilians? And would this be fiscally feasible?
  3. Would all of this scrutiny violate an individualspersonal rights?
  4. Do you think that intended crime victims should try to fight back?  (PERSONAL)
  5. What are some of the measures that individuals might take or use to reduce or to keep from becoming victims of crime?  (PERSONAL)

Gun control is a highly contested issue in the United States and it has become much more so in the recent times. The issue is often presented in terms of rights of citizenship and civil liberties. Evidence suggests that armed citizenship does help in preventing crime and offering protection to individuals than the kind of protection extended to them by public law enforcement agencies. For instance, it is argued that ‘guns are used for defensive purposes only about 108,000 times each year’ (Gaines and Miller). Thus, one may argue that armed citizenship helps prevent crime. However, it also adds to the crime problem. For instance, in comparison to 108,000 times each year when weapons were used for defensive purposes, they are used for gun-related criminal purposes 1.3 million times each year on average (Gaines and Miller).

Thus, having guns increases a person’s risk of being a victim of such crimes especially because people who have access to guns are more likely to use it under rage, anger or influence of drugs (Gaines and Miller). Thus, on the whole, having guns increases the safety risks to the general public.  I believe the laws around gun ownership can be tightened to increase public safety. For instance, state authorities may make it compulsory for all prospective gun purchasers to take necessary shooting training and to pledge by an oath that they’d be very careful with the use of gun. I believe the responsibility of gun-related training lies with the state as well as with the gun manufacturing industry since they have deep pockets and it is they who gain the most out of selling guns and registering them. I believe it would be fiscally feasible only if the training is conducted by state and the money for the program is paid for by the taxes on the gun manufacturers as well as from increasing gun licensing fees (to be paid by individuals). Likewise, money for such schemes can come from NGOs or other activists and organizations campaigning for public safety and anti-gun laws.

I also believe that this scrutiny would not violate people’s rights to have guns but would make them more responsible citizens. I believe the victims of intended crimes shall definitely fight back primarily because of self-defense. Moreover, fighting back is a way of sending a signal to society that crimes of victims did not bring the harm upon themselves by their inactivity or carelessness to avoid being a victim of violent crimes. Likewise, people can take certain measures to avoid being victims of gun-related crimes. For instance, staying away from public areas at busy times or when such crimes can be reasonably foreseen (for instance, in political rallies or at times of social or political unrest). Similarly, it is sensible to avoid confrontations with a person who is armed and is in a fit of rage.

References

Gaines, Larry and Roger Le Roy Miller. “CJ in Action : Gun Control vs. Gun Rights.” Criminal Justice in Action. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. 30. Print.