In fact, the deprivation of the right carry guns legally is the deprivation of the person of the right to self-defense. An ordinary person is unlikely to be able to confront a group of criminals or at least one, but well-armed criminal. For physically weak people, the elderly, and women with slender constitution have no chances to defend themselves. In 99 cases out of 100, the striker significantly surpasses them in physical strength. Only firearms will transform the constitutional right to self-defense from an empty declaration to the reality. The right to self-defense is one of the most significant human rights (Carlson, 2015). All other international human rights lose their real content without the respect for this one. Can you talk about your right to life, if you have no opportunity to defend it in practice?
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Do you have a right to the property, if you cannot even try to stop the robber? Do you have a reliable supply of the right to freedom, if you have no chances to fight back in the case of someone’s attempt to force it away? However, there is a need to improve the work of law enforcement agencies. Undoubtedly, no, even the most effective, completely cleansed of corruption, law enforcement agencies are almost unable to control excessive self-defense and the presence of civilian weapons. Police officers cannot always protect you from danger; they cannot be by your side twenty-four hours a day. Even the best policemen will not give you that chance for salvation that will give a personal weapon. The situation may be demonstrated using an analogy. Thanks to the natural immunity, our body copes with the majority of infections. But sometimes our own immune system is not enough, and we resort to antibiotics fighting the infection. Now, let us suppose that we have suppressed our natural resistance with the immunosuppressant.
Now, even common infection, runny nose, every sneezing be deadly. We take antibiotics. We experience their side effects; infections develop resistance to all new drugs because of their too frequent use. The same thing happens in our public life. Prohibiting the carrying of weapons, we suppress the natural mechanism of resistance to crime, trying in vain to shift the responsibility for our lives and safety to law enforcement agencies. The presence of weapons helps to prevent and stop the attack. As for the warning, the bandit will never afraid of tear gas. That is, the preventive effect of non-lethal weapons is zero. The ability to stop the attack with its help is also less than with firearms. And here we do not even need to know the technical details or the sad practice of attempting to use gas pistols for self-defense (Carlson, 2015). The right to arms has nothing to do with the penalty, deprivation of life of neutralized and captured criminal. However, we can also blame police for violence, when they involuntarily kill the resisting attacker.
The weapon provides its owner with absolutely no additional legal rights against the perpetrator. Mass civilian possession of weapons, by contrast, serves as a powerful preventive factor for crimes of violence. It is known that the legalization of private weapons leads to a decrease in violent crime (murder, robbery, rape) in which the offender is in contact with the victim. The level of less serious crimes (such as theft or car theft, for example) may not change significantly. The notion that the use of power in any form and in any situation is always the evil is not shared by the majority of people. Even the most extreme proponents of non-resistance to evil, even denying the state violence does not necessarily support anti weapon legislation. One may convince people that the voluntary willingness to accept the injury or death humbly, blessing tormentors will make them a model of high morality and fortitude. But it has nothing to do with the giving the opportunity to the criminal to punish the victims without difficulty and to tie their hands before it against people’s will.
People should have the natural right to self-defense and the preservation of the life. If someone categorically deny the possibility of the use of weapons for self-defense, at the same time wills to maintain this prohibition to use state violence against honest gun owners, this position has nothing to do with the upbringing of morality. It is only the desire to impose their will at any cost. There is no connection between the propensity of individual citizens and society as a whole to violence and the availability of weapons. For instance, Switzerland and Finland are the countries of the mass distribution of weapons. (In this respect, they markedly surpass the United States.) However, the level of violent crimes here is extremely low. Opposite examples are countless. It also relates to individual citizens. Of course, guns do not give absolute guarantees of safety. Even the heads of state that are guarded by thousands of agents are periodically affected by attacks. Whether the legalization of the weapon increases person’s ability to resist the criminal?
The answer is clear. Undoubtedly, it remarkably increases the opportunity for a person to protect oneself. Possessing core competencies of shooting, one poses a lethal threat for physically stronger or even armed criminal, even for a group of criminals. By the way, a professional “qualification” of simple street crime should not be exaggerated. If you have enough time to practice the skills of firing with a qualified instructor, and you will periodically support the obtained ability, probably you will be much better prepared for shooting accuracy. Speaking of practice of the countries where the carrying of weapons is permitted, in 9 cases out of 10, its effective application in self-defense is reduced to shot in the air or a simple demonstration of the weapon. Since the attackers usually not looking for adrenalin, it is usually enough to stop the attack. Although, it should be noted, law-abiding citizens in the USA sometimes kill more criminals in self-defense than the police per year.
Statistical analysis of how often victims of attacks suffer damage also showed that the shield with the weapon gives much more likely to stay safe and sound rather than passive acceptance of his fate. In any way, the assault may cause psychological trauma. Moreover, the victims of violence usually experienced even more serious stress than those who had to shoot the offender. It is not even mentioning the fact that only one in several hundred successful cases of self-defense resulted in the death of the attacker. For the most part, it comes to nothing more than the display of weapons, and in the case of fire, the matter concerns a warning shot or miss. And finally, hitting of handguns in most cases causes the wound. Weapons are now easily available on the black market. So its purchase is just a question of money. The gun can be more attractive and less expensive than expensive watches, cell phone or ring. It depends on their price. But there is a significant difference. The gun, unlike the jewelry and furs, are usually carried secretly.
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In the United States of America, the principle of carrying weapons is spelled out in legislation, according to which people’s rights in this matter should not be violated. And if to believe the experts, in the USA the murders of police officers each year are reduced to two percent (Critchlow & Vandermeer, 2012). In those regions, where secret bearing of guns is permitted, the crime rate is much lower than in the others. In those American states where carrying weapons is prohibited by law, crimes are committed twice as often. Some states allow people to have guns but only at home. It was the cause of the increase in the level of violence in the streets, and the majority of affected were pensioners and women (Critchlow & Vandermeer, 2012). But as soon as the right to bear arms was restored, the crime rate has gradually subsided. In addition, in some States, gun ownership is even compulsory. The right to bear arms has to be granted only for adults, capable, and law-abiding citizens (Doeden, 2012). Existing prohibitions on the possession of weapons by criminals and persons with mental illness are rather justified (Doeden, 2012). Thus, the existing system of licensing, undoubtedly, can and should be improved to become more convenient for gun owners.
Carlson, J. (2015). Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Critchlow, D., & Vandermeer, P. (2012). The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Political and Legal History. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Doeden, M. (2012). Gun Control. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books.