Whythe Right to Bear Arms Should be Limited
Whythe Right to Bear Arms Should be Limited
Theissue of gun ownership has been controversial for hundreds of years.There exist two camps, where one of them argues that citizens shouldbe allowed to own guns without any limitation. The other camp holdsthat guns that are in the hands of civilians are more likely to causeharm than public safety, which implies that the gun ownership rightshould be limited (Donohue, 2015). This paper will use the findingsprovided by empirical studies to support an argument that thecitizen’s right to own guns should be limited.
Reductionin the Cases of Violent Crime
Violentcrimes are common occurrences, but they can be reduced by controllinggun ownership. The gun control measures achieve the objective ofreducing violent crimes by ensuring that firearms are sold to peoplewith the proper psychological capacity to understand when and how touse them. Although the opponents of the idea of limiting gunownership argue that violent crimes are carried out by people and notthe guns, studies have confirmed that tough laws that limit thenumber of citizens who can possess firearms reduces cases ofhomicide. For example, Japan is among the countries that havedeveloped laws that make it too expensive for citizens to own guns.When discussing the effectiveness of the gun ownership controls, Blowstated, “In Japan, which has very strict laws, only 11 people werekilled with guns in 2008, compared with 12,000 deaths by firearmsthat year in the United States” (1).
Studiesindicate the introduction of laws that limited gun ownership inAustralia in the year 2006 resulted in a drastic decline in thenumber of homicide cases by over 59 % (Blow, 2016). These staticsconfirm the fact that the formulation of effective laws that willensure that guns are only owned by people who will use them properlycan address the issue of violent crimes.
Reductionin the Severity of Cases of Domestic Violence
Theformulation of laws that will limit the ownership of guns can reducethe negative impacts of domestic violence and death among relatives,including children. Cases of domestic violence are reported on adaily basis, but they are more fatal in homes with at least onerelative owning a gun. Studies have shown that about 30 % of thespouses who are killed each year are murdered using guns (Law Centerto Prevent Gun Violence, 2016). The same study indicated that casesof domestic violence that involve the use of firearms are twelvetimes more likely to lead to death compared to ordinary incidents.The data confirm that laws that reduce the number of guns in thehands of irresponsible spouses can minimize the death rate of peoplewho are killed by their lovers.
Inaddition, the reduction in the number of guns held by spouses withaggressive personalities can go a long way in helping their loversstop living in fear. According to LCPGV (2016) over 36 % of marriedwomen in California stated that they have been threatened with a gunat one point in their lives. LCPGV held, “In nearly two thirds(64.5%) of the households that contained a firearm, the intimatepartner had used the firearm against the victim, usually threateningto shoot or kill the victim” (2).
Moreover,measures that seek to limit the ownership of firearms can reducecases where innocent children kill their relatives or parents. Insome cases, innocent children pick guns that are kept carelessly andshoot themselves or the people around them. A study conducted byIngraham (2015) indicated that about 122 cases of accidentalchildhood shooting were reported in different estates and cities inthe U.S in the year 2015 alone. These cases of injuries and deathsshould be controlled by reducing the number of guns owned bycivilians, especially those who are careless and do not understandthe significance of keeping the forearms away from the reach of thekids.
Reductionin Cases of Suicide
Thedevelopment of measures that limit the citizen’s right to own gunscan reduce the number of incidents of suicide that are reported eachyear. It is evident that individuals who decide to commit suicide canuse different methods, including the consumption of lethal chemicals.However, there are many people who believe that a gun is less painfuland help people die instantly. The relationship between the ownershipof guns and the risk of individuals committing suicide has beenconfirmed by studies indicating that cases in which people take theirlives using firearms is higher than any other means. For an instant,Harvard Injury Control Center investigated the aforementionedrelationship and reported that over 19,392 cases of suicide that weredocumented in 2010 involved the use of guns (Jay, 2015). The studyindicated that incidents of suicide that were committed using acombination of all other means were less than those accomplishedusing firearms by 8,314 (Jay, 2015). Therefore, a limited ownershipof guns can prevent people from harming and killing themselves.
Theopponents of the notion of controlling the citizens’ right to ownguns hold that these weapons are critical in helping innocent peopleto defend themselves from armed criminals. The idea of self-defensehas been propagated for many years, even before the U.S. gained itsindependence. Individuals who uphold this idea support their argumentby citing the constitutional rights provide by the Second Amendment.This amendment allows members of the organized militias to own gunsand use them to defend themselves and the society. DeGrazia stated,“A moral right to private gun ownership, meanwhile, is mostplausible thought to be supported by a more general right toself-defense” (2). Although the interpretation of this amendmentis still controversial, empirical studies indicate that the number ofgun owners who are able to defend themselves is negligible. This ideahas been confirmed by a study showing that over 99.2 % of the victimsof violent crime who own guns are not able to use them to counter theperpetrators (Donohue, 2015). On the contrary, these gun owners arekilled and their arms take by the criminals. Therefore, there is ahigh probability that the guns owned by civilian will be stolen bycriminals than being used to accomplish the objective ofself-defense.
Thefact that most of the guns owned by civilians are used to commitsuicide increases the risk of kids harming themselves, and theseverity of domestic violence support the notion that the right toown firearms should be limited. It becomes easier for people tocommit suicide using guns compared to other means since alternativestrategies are quite slow and they give people time to evaluate theirdecisions. In addition, there are many civilians who do notcomprehend the significance of keeping their guns in securelocations. This allows children to access these arms, which increasesthe risk of self-harm and accidental homicides. Although citizenshave the constitutional right to own guns, empirical studies showthat these weapons increase the level of insecurity in the society,instead of helping people to defend themselves. Therefore, there ismore evidence to support the idea that the gun ownership rightsshould be limited than the data advancing a notion that people shouldbe given the freedom to posses firearms.
Blow,M. (2016). In other countries, laws are strict and work. TheNew York Times.Retrieved October 29, 2016, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/opinion/the-gun-challenge-strict-laws-work.html
DeGrazia,D. (2014). The case for moderate gun control. KemedyInstitute Ethics Journal,24 (1), 1-25.
Donohue,J. (2015, June 24). How U.S. control compares to the rest of theworld. TheConversation Africa, Inc.Retrieved October 29, 2016, fromhttp://intpolicydigest.org/2015/12/05/how-u-s-gun-control-compares-to-the-rest-of-the-world/
Ingraham,C. (2015, October 14). People are getting shot by toddler on a weeklybasis this year. WashingtonPost.Retrieved October 29, 2016, fromhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/14/people-are-getting-shot-by-toddlers-on-a-weekly-basis-this-year/
Jay,R. (2015). Gun control advantages and disadvantages. HubPages, Inc.Retrieved October 29, 2016, fromhttps://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Gun-Control-Advantages-and-Disadvantages
LawCenter to Prevent Gun Violence (2016). Statistics on domesticviolence and firearms. LawCenter to Prevent Gun Violence.Retrieved October 29, 2016, fromhttp://smartgunlaws.org/domestic-violence-and-firearms-statistics/