Is gun control an effective way to control crime?

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Over the years, gun control has become a polarizing and controversial issue worldwide. In the United States, high-profile mass shootings have been linked to the growing civilian access to guns such as the AR-15, prompting the enactment of stronger gun control and licensing regulations to preserve lives. Gun control comprises the laws that allow the government the authority to restrict the gun ownership of its citizens. The majority of nations have enjoyed many advantages from this action. In the United States, the problem of gun ownership has become extremely important, which is why most people support gun regulation. According to previous research, the US is among the nations with the highest number of gun-related murders (Spitzer, 2020). This mostly happens because everyday shootings occur in the United States. In addition, about half of the population of the United States owns firearms (Crifasi et.al., 2018, pp. 383-390). As such, the likelihood of shooting accidents is quite high. Following this, most American citizens have felt that the government should increase its gun control capabilities. On the contrary, more than half of Americans are against gun restrictions because they feel safer with the weapons. However, following the recent mass shootings witnessed, gun control could be an effective way to control crime, as it would aid in tracking the purpose and usage of firearms and minimize the risk of firearm-related fatalities or injuries.

Pros and Cons of Gun Control

Firstly, gun control regulations could aid in tracking the purpose and usage of firearms. The research conducted by Reeping et al. (2019) aids in revealing how the federal government may assist the unshakable state efforts to strengthen the established standards and promote the uniformity of State gun regulations. In addition, the federal government should assist in enhancing the implementation process and enforcing gun restrictions (Kivisto et al., 2019, pp. 311-320). Implementing a licensing and registration system to track the acquisition and usage of firearms is a major victory for this gun control effort. This event is due to the rapid recovery of guns from crime sites. In time, the licensing and registration law will have considerable impacts, as the majority of firearms will have been registered, and their owners will be readily identifiable (Reeping et al., 2019). As such, this would go a long way in minimizing gun violence as owners would now become accountable for what activities they engage in with their guns.

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Secondly, firearms pose a threat rather than offer protection. In the USA, the firearms that are supposed to be used for self-defense can become a true danger. The lawful ownership of firearms increases the risk of a firearm-related fatality or even injury to family members (Crifasi et.al., 2018, pp. 383-390). This risk might result from an accident, a suicide attempt, or a criminal attack. Most of those who want tougher gun control regulations oppose the idea that the community would be safer if more people held firearms (McMillan & Bernstein, 2022, pp. 177-195). The lenient concealed carry rules have been heavily criticized for perhaps increasing the crime rate. It is general knowledge that as soon as more firearms are in the hands of individuals, the likelihood that most personal conflicts will result in gun-related violence will grow. Numerous loopholes in the present gun control law contribute to this. In particular, the Brandy Act, which requires licensed firearms dealers to conduct background checks on all gun purchasers, does not apply to private sellers (Spitzer, 2020). These gaps must be closed by tightening gun control regulations.

Opponents of gun control contend that implementing such legislation is not the solution to preventing mass shootings. Even with stringent gun restrictions in place, criminals will have access to a firearm. Reeping et al. (2019) research contends that gun prohibitions and gun violence restraining orders will be ineffective if firearms and other weapons are still accessible to dangerous persons. Opponents of gun regulation also argue that a step in this direction would increase crime because residents will be compelled to acquire firearms for self-defense. This action would be triggered by the fact that the United States has a high population density, averaging 36.3 individuals per square kilometer (Spitzer, 2020), meaning that the police may be unable to respond to emergencies promptly in all areas (Reeping et al., 2019). Notably, criminals are frequently scared of civilians armed with firearms. Most individuals postulate that if criminals were to rob homes on a given night, they would be more inclined to attack a family they know does not possess firearms than a family that does.

Which Case Is More Effective?

A thorough examination reveals that gun regulation will likely reduce the crime rate (Sanjurjo, 2020). Mass shootings have taken the lives of innocent citizens, including young children who completely did not understand what was happening. The elderly are also not abandoned; they bleed to death from gunshot wounds. Also, families suddenly lose loved ones due to gun violence. At the same time, the majority of Americans lack sufficient knowledge about firearms. As a result, there are numerous occurrences involving careless shootings. For instance, the Texas First Baptist Church massacre, where Patrick Kelley opened fire on parishioners attending a Sunday service and killed at least 26 people (McMillan & Bernstein, 2022, pp.177-195). This horrible occurrence prompted individuals to advocate for strong gun control measures. People believed that such tragedies could not be prevented as long as firearms remained in the hands of individuals; therefore, the only method for the government to resist such crimes would be to seize the weapons (Sanjurjo, 2020).

Conclusion

Gun restrictions would reduce gun-related violence in the United States significantly. This action would necessitate strong enforcement of current gun control laws by federal and national authorities and the enactment of more comprehensive legislation to regulate weapons in the United States and restore national safety. Recent mass shootings have prompted the need to guarantee that the use of weapons is rigorously controlled, given the majority of firearms used by offenders are lawfully obtained. Consequently, gun control regulations, such as comprehensive background checks, can reduce these sad incidents, which have even affected innocent school children. Gun control is among the many effective means of controlling crime. If restricted, it will impede the convenience of committing the crime, thus lowering the crime rate. Stringent regulations must govern the acquisition of guns. This action will entail determining if gun handlers can be trusted with guns before issuing a license.

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  1. Crifasi, Cassandra K., et al. (2018). “Association between firearm laws and homicide in urban counties.” Journal of urban health 95.3: 383-390.
  2. Kivisto, Aaron J., et al. (2019). “Firearm ownership and domestic versus non-domestic homicide in the US.” American journal of preventive medicine 57.3: 311-320.
  3. McMillan, Jordan, & Bernstein, Mary. (2022). “Beyond Gun Control: Mapping Gun Violence Prevention Logics.” Sociological Perspectives 65.1: 177-195.
  4. Reeping, Paul M., et al. (2019). “State gun laws, gun ownership, and mass shootings in the US: cross-sectional time series.” BMJ 364.
  5. Sanjurjo, Diego. (2020). Gun control policies in Latin America. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  6. Spitzer, Robert J. (2020). The politics of gun control. Routledge.
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