The Importance of Stricter Gun Control Laws in America

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Gun control has always been a hotly debated topic in the United States. The country has experienced numerous cases of gun violence over the years, leading to a rise in calls for stricter gun laws. Some individuals believe that the right to bear arms is a fundamental one, whilst others believe that the presence of guns in society only leads to increased violence. Despite the different views, it is clear that gun control is an issue that needs to be addressed if America is to tackle its high crime rates. This essay argues that stricter gun control laws are fundamental in curbing gun-related violence in America.

Firstly, stricter gun control measures can prevent the wrong people from accessing firearms. For instance, the San Bernardino Massacre in 2015 was carried out by two individuals who purchased their guns legally. Had there been more stringent background checks, it is possible that the killers would have been prevented from obtaining these weapons legally. Research has shown that 80% of mass shooters have a history of domestic violence, mental illness, or both (Jacobs et al., 2019). This highlights the importance of background checks and red flags that can flag potentially dangerous individuals. The implementation of laws such as the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 has seen a significant reduction in domestic violence homicides over the years (Cohen & Azrael, 2018). Thus, stricter gun control measures can keep firearms out of the hands of people who are not fit to possess them.

Secondly, gun control laws can reduce the number of deaths caused by gun violence. A study by the RAND Corporation shows that states with stricter gun laws have lower firearm death rates than those with lax laws (Karlsson, 2014). Statistics show that there are more than 33,000 gun deaths in America every year, a figure that far surpasses other developed countries(Rudolph et al., 2019). This high number of gun-related deaths can be significantly reduced by stricter gun laws. For instance, in Australia in 1996, a mass shooting that killed 35 people led to tighter gun laws. Following this reform, there have been no mass shootings in Australia in over two decades (Gibbons & Aspinwall, 2019). This example highlights the potential success of gun control measures.

Lastly, it is important to note that the Second Amendment was written in a different time and context. In the 18th Century, citizens needed guns for hunting, self-defense, and protection against tyranny. However, today, society has evolved, and these needs are significantly different. Advancements in technology have shown that guns can be dangerous weapons in the wrong hands, and hence, the need for stricter laws to regulate their ownership and usage. The Second Amendment should not be used as an excuse to prevent gun control measures, especially when the cost of gun-related violence is so high.

In conclusion, the issue of gun control in the United States is a complex and controversial one. However, the evidence suggests that stricter gun control measures are necessary to address the high rates of gun-related violence in the country. These measures can prevent dangerous individuals from obtaining firearms, reduce the number of deaths caused by gun violence, and help regulate the ownership and usage of guns. The Second Amendment was written in a different context and should not be used as a barrier to implementing these necessary measures. It is time for the United States to take action on gun control and work towards creating a safer society for all.

References  

Cohen, J., & Azrael, D. (2018). Policy innovations to reduce US firearm mortality. Journal of the American Medical Association, 320(8), 764-765.

Gibbons, A., & Aspinwall, N. (2019). Twenty years after Australia’s gun control reforms, gun deaths are down, but so are police and civilian shootings. ABC News. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-10/australias-gun-control-reforms-20-years-on/11092616

Jacobs, A. K., Thompson, R. N., & Rostron, A. (2019). Mass shootings in America: Moving beyond thoughts and prayers. American Journal of Public Health, 109(9), 1192-1195.

Karlsson, J. (2014). The effects of gun control and gun ownership rates on violent crime rates. Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research, 15(1), 91-98.

Rudolph, K. E., Stuart, E. A., Vernick, J. S., & Webster, D. W. (2019). Association between Connecticut’s permit-to-purchase handgun law and homicides. American Journal of Public Health, 109(7), 1086-1091.

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