August 06, 2019 in Sociology

Should Americans Be Allowed To Carry Guns?

Like many subjects revolving around human security, discussions on gun control continue to dominate public and political platforms.  They have gradually become controversial, especially in this era when mass shootings in the United States have unfortunately become a disturbing trend seemingly on the rise. Mass shooting incidents and gun violence have in the recent days become rampant in public places such as schools, streets, shopping malls, train and bus stations, airports, and even movie theatres.  Right to say, mass shootings are nothing new in the United States except that they seem to be happening more frequently in the modern society. In this paper, we will create a deeper consideration on subject with the aim of arguing whether the Americans should be allowed to carry guns for self-defense and as a way of controlling the mass shooting incidents. 

According to an article published by the BBC News, gun crimes in the United States have increased significantly, especially starting the end of the twentieth century. Up to 3rd December 2015, a total of 353 mass shootings had been recorded in 2015 alone. Of these, 62 were in schools and colleges (BBC News). The report also shows that 12,223 people had been killed while 24,722 had been injured in these gun incidents. More notably, 60 percent of all killings in the United States in 2012 were by firearm (BBC News). More disconcerting is that the United States has more gun-related violence and murders than any other country in the world. With these statistics, it is acceptable to say that mass shootings have become a near-daily occurrence in the United States. The persistent mass shootings have led to diverse views among different groups of people that make it difficult to find viable solutions to the deadly menace. Various groups of people think that gun violence and murders can be controlled if people are allowed to own guns. However, others argue that this would not be a lasting solution. 

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Deciding whether the Americans should be permitted to own and carry guns openly is a complex decision to make. Over the years, various state legislatures have attempted to pass bills intended to permit people to own and use handguns openly. However, many have faced strong oppositions and have been unsuccessful. In this paper, I suggest that no bills on guns should be passed to allow civilians to own and carry guns openly. Among the reasons to justify the paper’s stand include that handguns are the leading causes of deaths and violence in the United States and the world and letting people own guns places everyone else at increased security risks. Besides, allowing people to own guns would be contravening the US laws on safety. Moreover, allowing people to own guns would undermine liberty. These and other reasons will form the basis of the paper’s argument that the citizens should not be permitted to possess and use guns. 

The first reason the Americans should not be allowed to own and carry guns openly is that handguns are associated with an increasing number of murders and gun violence. Handgun-related murders continue to be a pressing and worrying issue both in the United States and beyond. For example, as recently as 3rd December 2015, 14 people were killed and 21 injured in a San Bernardino shooting incident (BBC News). In 2007, a mass shooting happened in Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia leading to 32 deaths. 17 people were injured. These among others are just examples of mass shooting incidents executed by guns around the United States. Such events claim lives of all people from babies to adults and even the elderly. As such, if the tolling number of gun-related deaths are to be controlled, then owning handguns should be prohibited. 

Secondly, allowing the people to own guns would mean placing everyone else at a greater risk of attack and murder. The rationale for this is a gun is one of the most dangerous weapons and can easily cause death at the pull of a trigger. If people were permitted to own guns, then others with no access guns would be more prone to crime incidents such robbery, murder, and suicide among others. As such, allowing guns would be the worst idea in the view that many people would carelessly use guns to commit crimes against others. Moreover, people would easily commit murder by shooting themselves when faced with trouble since a gun is easy to use as a suicide tool. Therefore, gun access and ownership should be restricted to all people except security personnel so as to protect as many people as possible. 

Thirdly, it is acceptable to say that a huge proportion of the Americans would be irresponsible gun handlers because they lack the necessary skills. Therefore, it is likely that there would be increased cases of careless and preventable murders if people were allowed to own and use guns. Unexpectedly, incidents of mass shooting would increase rather than decrease. Fourthly, allowing people to own guns would be contravening the US laws in security. For a long time now, the public except state officers and security officials have been prohibited from carrying guns. Such laws have helped the country to remain peaceful and orderly. If all people including students were allowed to own and use guns, cases of irresponsible shootings, disorder, and increased crimes would likely be reported. It is this advisable that the state should hold on to what has prevailed for decades. 

Finally, allowing people to own and use guns would undermine liberty. Undoubtedly, guns pose a monumental challenge to freedom, especially liberty, which is fundamental to any democracy. With a gun, it would be easy for others to breach the duty of care towards others by compelling them to stop their strange behaviors and refrain from actions they are supposed to participate in freely. With an armed society, it would be hard to walk where one wishes, wear what one wants, and assemble peaceably in protests. Allowing people to own guns would thus mean more harm than good. 

In conclusion, this argumentative essay has revolved around the subject of whether the Americans should be allowed to own and use guns as a weapon of self-defense, and in response to the rampant mass shooting incidents in the United States. The paper has argued that the Americans should not be allowed to own and use guns for various clear and compelling reasons. These include that permitting gun ownership and use by the Americans would put everyone at risk of crime. Besides, guns are associated with an increasing number of preventable deaths, and most of the Americans lack the necessary skills to own and use a gun. Moreover, an armed society would mean undermined liberty and a change of norm from what has prevailed in the US since time immemorial. Therefore, this paper takes a stand that the Americans should not be allowed to own, carry, and use guns openly. Doing so would instigate more harms than goods, and the society would become more rotten.  Today, most of the mass shootings occur even though people have a limited access to guns. What would then happen if everyone including teenagers owned guns? More crime and more violence. 

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