The debate relating to gun control in America has been going on for as long as America has been in existence and there seems to be no end soon. This suggests that there is no simple or straightforward answer to the issue of gun control. This paper highlights the pros and cons of gun control with a view of demonstrating why gun control is essential. It achieves this objective by presenting counter-arguments against the cons of gun control and presenting its advantages.
- Why the Issue is Controversial. As mentioned, the debate on gun control in America is as old as the country. The reason why the issue is controversial is because there is no middle ground on the issue and as such people hold strong opposing views. One is either for or against gun control. Whichever side one supports, there are numerous strong reasons for taking the opinion that they take.
- Why the Issue is Important. The issue of gun control is important because it affects two key aspects of life: rights and safety. Those who hold the opinion that gun controls are necessary argue from a safety point of view. There is abundant evidence to suggest that the presence of guns jeopardizes safety to a certain extent. Those who hold the opinion that gun controls should not be effected base their opinion on the fact that every citizen has the right to defend themselves. In this regard, the issue of gun control has special importance to those who oppose as well as those who advocate for it.
One of the key arguments presented by opponents of gun control is that gun control would create a black market for guns. They argue that criminals who use guns to commit crimes will still have to find guns to commit their crimes. They also argue that non-criminals who would want to use guns for self-defense would still find ways of owning guns through the black market.
Whereas gun control may create a black market for guns, it will have wiped out a significant number of guns from the population. The few remaining guns in the black market can then be treated with more seriousness. Once gun controls are in effect, it should be a serious crime to be found with a gun. Since there will be fewer guns, I should be relatively easier for law enforcement to nab those with guns and the law should be tougher on the consequences of being found with a gun.
The second key argument presented by opponents of gun control is that there are other weapons that can still be used by a potential violent criminal even if guns are controlled. They argue that knife attacks and attacks using other weapons are as harmful as guns and that effecting gun controls will not change the mind and heart of an individual who is intent on committing a crime.
Dispossessing a potential violent criminal of a gun can arguably change their heart and deter them from committing crime using other weapons. Knives and other weapons such as vehicles are not as effective as guns. It is not possible for instance to kill masses of people using a single knife while in the contrary, a single rifle can be used in a mass shooting.
The main reason why gun control should be enacted is that from statistics, legally purchased firearms have been used to carry out mass shootings in the US. Restricting the purchase of firearms is a simple and effective way of reducing the risk of mass shooting and misuse of firearms.
The second argument for gun control is that having access to a gun tends to increase the risk of violence. This view is supported by a 2004 study conducted by Linda Dahlberg who concluded that having a firearm at home increased the risk of a suicide or homicide occurring. Gun control would simply reduce this risk.
A further argument for gun control is that it would significantly reduce accidental injuries inflicted by accidental shootings. In 2010, accidental shooting resulted in the deaths of more than 600 people. These are deaths that could simply have been avoided if the guns were not in the hands of the people who used them in the first place.
The foregoing discussion highlighted the key arguments against gun control and provided rebuttals for those arguments. It then provided arguments for gun control which are supported by statistics.
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