Advantages and Disadvantages of Gun Control

Subject: ⚖️ Law
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 822
Topics: 🔫 Gun Control, 🔫 Gun Violence
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In the United States, guns are almost a basic necessity. According to ProCon.org (2020), there are 120.5 guns in the U.S. per 100 people. Besides, the country has the highest per capita and total of guns globally, as 22% of Americans own one or more firearms. Despite such an alarming number of guns in the United States, the country has held on to this tradition for years. The tradition is older than the country itself (ProCon org, 2020). Such facts depict why gun control laws continue to stir debates in the country. Some claim these statutes are advantageous, while others oppose such a stance. As such, these statutes have their cons and pros. For instance, one of their advantages is reducing the number of gun-related deaths. Gun control laws have pros, such as reducing firearm deaths, and cons, like influencing the emergence of black markets and violating the Second Amendment.

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Advantages

Gun control laws are beneficial because they can reduce gun deaths in the United States. According to CDC (2021), between 1999 and 2016, gun deaths in the U.S. were 572,537, and gun suicides were 336,579. These statistics indicate that firearms were the leading cause of death by suicide and homicide. One New England Journal of Medicine study still reflects guns as the second cause of death among children. The study shows firepower is responsible for fifteen percent of child deaths (Rebecca, Walton & Carter (2018). As long as the government supports gun possession, firearm-related deaths will always trend upward. Reports also indicate that possessing legally purchased guns is among the primary contributors to mass shootings. With all signs pointing to legally possessed firearms in mass shootings, gun control laws are of utmost significance in the U.S.

Additionally, gun control laws can also prevent mass shootings, reducing gun deaths in the U.S. The primary role of implementing statutes is to improve the quality of life. The government should not create laws that endanger citizens. In this case, mass shooting has been on the rise, and scholars depict the legal possession of guns as the primary contributor to the trend. According to Melgar and Dunn (2018), seventy-four percent of mass shooters since 1982 obtained their guns legally. In the aftermath of such bloodbaths, investigators and the public tend to question where the shooter got the firearm. The answer to these queries is that the perpetrator bought them legally. Such responses highlight some of the weaknesses in statutes allowing Americans to possess firearms, depicting the significance of implementing gun control laws to curb such shootings.

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Disadvantages

On the other hand, gun control laws are also detrimental as they can increase the black market demand. Notably, implementing such statutes might not prevent determined people from buying these weapons (Cook & Goss, 2014). Interested individuals can buy them from the black market. Illegalizing things has been seen to influence the emergence of the black market. For instance, marijuana illegalization has influenced the black market to surface in various states. In other words, making drugs illegal has not stopped people from buying them. The same could also happen with guns. These markets would emerge, worsening the already worse problem if the government implements stricter statutes (Cook & Goss, 2014). Critics of these laws argue that such an approach might not provide safety as people could turn to stealing guns and circumventing the statutes. This problem is evident in countries that have banned firearm possession. The United States could also land in such a predicament, depicting the demerits of gun control laws. Besides, restricting firearm ownership violates the United States Constitution’s second Amendment.

Apart from the emergence of the black market, gun control laws violate the U.S. second amendment, which protects individual gun ownership. According to the Amendment, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Markedly, firearm ownership has been a tradition in American society, according to ProCon.org. (2020), the tradition is older than the country itself. Nonetheless, the second Amendment emphasizes the individual right to own firearms for self-defense within their homesteads. The McDonald v. City of Chicago lawsuit ruling stressed the significance of respecting the second Amendment because it falls under individual rights statutes (Heritage Foundation, 2014). Due to such facts, the government should focus on teaching citizens to use firearms responsibly and more often focus on serious issues such as mental health. They should implement policies that prevent mentally unfit people from possessing guns. In summary, gun control laws are disadvantageous because they violate the second Amendment.

In summary, gun control laws have pros, such as reducing firearm deaths, and cons, like influencing the emergence of black markets and violating the Second Amendment. Everything has advantages and disadvantageous, explaining why the issue of firearm statutes continues to be controversial. The proponents of these laws argue that they play a central role in reducing gun deaths. On the other hand, they are also detrimental as they violate the Amendment. Conclusively, gun control laws have merits and demerits.

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Data and Statistics (WISQARS). https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html
  2. Cook, J.P. & Goss, A.K. (2014). The Gun Debate. Oxford University Press, Oxford
  3. Heritage Foundation. (2014). Protecting Second Amendment Rights. solutions.heritage.org/guns
  4. Melgar, L & Dunn, L. (2018). Since 1982, 74 Percent of Mass Shooters Obtained their Guns Legally. KUNC. https://www.kunc.org/2018-11-02/since-1982-74-percent-of-mass-shooters-obtained-their-guns-legally
  5. ProCon.org. (2020). Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? https://gun-control.procon.org/
  6. Rebecca M. C., Walton, A.M., & Carter, M.P. (2018). The Major Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 379, 2468-2475. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsr1804754
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