REBUTTAL ESSAY ON GUN CONTROL 7
Americans have been divided on whether private citizens should bearmed with guns or not. There are as many Americans who support guncontrol as there are those who are against gun control. Research hasindicated that any argument brought forward by the pro gun controlguys is countered with an equally strong argument from the anti guncontrol guys. Politicians have also been involved in the debate butmany of them fear to take sides in order to safeguard their politicalfuture. In this essay, arguments for gun control are presented and arebuttal on the same by the anti gun control arguments presented.
One major argument for gun control proponents is that the guns arefalling in the hands of criminals who end up perpetrating crimes(Cook & Ludwig, 2009). The pro gun control people suggest thatstrict gun control measures will ensure that there are few guns thatwill fall in the hands of the criminals. The criminals perpetratecriminal activities such as the mass shootings that have occurredsince the 1980s. However, the anti gun control proponents state thatthe implementation of strict gun control measures such as backgroundchecks would not mean that criminals will not access guns (Karimu,2015). Criminals will always break the law and find out ways ofaccessing the guns. Gun control measures would deny private innocentcitizens the ability and the capacity to protect themselves from thecriminals who might attack them. The anti gun control proponents havealso argued that gun control would enrich career criminals who wouldengage in the smuggling guns and selling to people secretly. In otherwords, gun control measures would open a whole new problem to thesecurity agents in America. Anti gun control people state that thegun control laws being proposed are aimed at punishing innocentcitizens since the criminals will still access guns whether there arelaws or not.
Secondly, the pro gun control proponents argue that there arenumerous mass shootings that result to the deaths of innocent peoplein America especially the young people. Since 1984 to 2015, therehave been over 65 mass shootings resulting in numerous deaths. The2012 mass shooing at Sandy Hook Elementary School was majorly thedeadliest in recent times. There is the argument that if there wasstrict gun control, such shootings would have been prevented or atleast would have been less severe (Karimu, 2015). This argument iscountered by the opponents of gun control with various facts. Massdeaths can be caused using knives, chemical weapons or even bombs.This is an indication that gun control would not indeed reducedeaths, but it reduce the deaths caused by guns. Having strict guncontrol measures would simply mean that the deaths would be caused bythe use of alternative weapons which might be deadlier. For instance,the use of chemical weapons or poisoning, as well as bombs, wouldcause immense damage and numerous deaths. The opponents of guncontrol have equally stated that some of the shootings in schools aredone by students who do not own guns but access the guns from theirparents (Botsford, 2010). Therefore, arguing that there should be guncontrol seems to be void. The solution lies in parents controllingtheir firearms and denying children access to the guns.
According to the proponents of gun control measures in America, gunshave contributed to increased homicides and suicides. Theseproponents argue that the guns are used in most cases to kill otherinnocent people and to commit suicide. In America there are around4600 suicides every year. Homicides are also numerous and over halfof them are committed using guns (Vizzard, 2015). Therefore, it isargued that strict gun control measures will reduce suicides andhomicides. Contrary to this argument is that homicides and suicidescould hardly be reduced by adopting gun control. In the UK, there arenumerous deaths despite the ban on hand guns in 1997. There have beenlittle changes in terms of homicides and suicides. The fact is thatthere are other numerous tools and ways that people can use to causedeath or harm to either themselves or others. For instance, poisoningis a strategy that can be used for committing homicide. Additionally,people can use other objects such as sharp knives to commit crimesand kill people they disagree with. The anti gun control proponentshave suggested that the people who are killed during homicides couldactually have prevented their deaths if they had guns through selfdefense. There is also the argument that the attackers in homicidestarget soft spots. This is to say that the attackers will targetpeople with no guns and kill them (Botsford, 2010). Therefore,allowing people to access guns would indeed reduce homicide deaths.
Mental illness is associated with gun violence in America andtherefore the proponents of gun control argue that there needs to bestrict measures and laws to prevent guns falling in the hands of thementally ill. Some of the gun control measures being proposed includebut are not limited to carrying thorough background checks of anapplicant to find out whether he or she has any mental condition(Cook & Ludwig, 2009). Additionally, gun control measures such asrecalling all guns and vetting the holders again are beingconsidered. This argument is countered by the fact that there arenumerous crimes and mass shootings that are conducted by peoplewithout mental illnesses. Additionally, the opponents of gun controlassert that the government should focus on mental illness and how totreat it rather than focusing on guns. It is stated that the numerouspeople suffering from mental illnesses are suffering due to lackproper and effective proper medical care in America (Wolf &Rosen, 2015). Numerous people lack health insurance and cannot affordthe high cost medication. Therefore, the government has a role toplay in improving the health of the people and treating the mentallyill rather than shifting the blame to guns and looking for shortcutsto treat a long term problem.
There is an argument put forward that the current gun control lawsare insufficient and inadequate to restrict the issuance of guns tocriminals and other people such as the mentally ill who should bedenied guns. This argument asserts that the criminals and thementally ill easily access guns and commit heinous acts with them.Therefore, the pro gun control people want additional gun controllaws that would ensure that the criminals are totally denied anyaccess to the guns (Vizzard, 2015). However, according to theopponents of gun control, the issue of insufficient laws is null andvoid. There are sufficient laws and regulations regarding theissuance of guns. However, according the anti gun control proponents,the government and the law enforcement officers have failed miserablyin enforcing the laws and regulations and this is what has led tonumerous criminals accessing the guns. Therefore, it would makelittle sense to have additional laws, while the law enforcementofficers cannot enforce the existing laws. Gun control would notsolve the issue of mass shootings, homicides or even suicides.
It is clear from the above discussion that the anti gun controlarguments are extremely strong and numerous. The government mustfirst implement and enforce the existing laws in the countryregarding gun possession. Besides guns being used to cause harm tothe people and deaths to innocent children and adults, it is clearthat other tools and methods such as bombing and chemical weaponscould be used to kill people (Botsford, 2010). The second amendmentgave all American citizens the right to own guns for self protection.Americans have a right to protect their lives and those of theirloved ones and therefore establishing laws that would deny them thisright would be inhibiting on their fundamental rights.
The violence that is said to be associated with guns is triggered byother underlying issues that the government must address. The lack ofemployment for the youth has forced most of them to engage incriminal activities and therefore having gun control does not seem tosolve the problem. Most of the young people in the US cannot indeedafford college or university education and therefore cannot get wellpaying jobs. This has forced most of them to resort to crime in orderto get a living. This implies that not unless the government resolvesthe underlying issues, gun control will do little if nothing inresolving the violence and deaths.
Botsford, D. (2010). The case against gun control. PoliticalNotes. No 47.
Cook, P & Ludwig, J. (2009). Gun Violence: The Real Costs.New York: Oxford University Press.
Karimu, O. (2015). The two side of gun legislation and control debatein United States of America. European Scientific Journal. Vol11, No 7.
Vizzard, W. J. (2015). The current and future state of gun policy inthe United States. The Journal of Criminal law andCriminology. Vol 104. No 4.
Wolf, C. & Rosen, A. J. (2015). Missing the mark: Gun control isnot the cure for what ails the U.S. mental health system. TheJournal of Criminal law and Criminology. Vol 104. No 4.