In the recent past, the debate on gun control has intensified following President Obama’s 2013 proposal to give 23 executive orders towards tightening gun control across the United States (Lucas par. 1). Even before this occurrence, the adherents and critics of gun control had heightened differences concerning the issue.
Therefore, in a bid to explore this issue, this paper underlines the reasons why gun control should be tightened across the United States. As aforementioned in the thesis statement, rules governing gun control should be tightened because allowing increased access to guns means increased damage to society.
Gun control should be tightened
At the national level, allowing people to have guns indiscriminately means that massacre rates will increase. According to a 2014 research report by Follman, Aronson, and Pan, most massacres in the US are executed using legal weapons (par.15). From 1982 to date, over 70 mass shooting incidents have been recorded across the United States, and as aforementioned, most of the shooters had acquired their weapons legally.
Therefore, it follows that allowing more people to acquire guns legally will escalate the numbers of mass shootings across the United States. In addition, the majority of these shooters used assault weapons, which means that had there been restrictions; lives would have been saved.
The counterargument of the ideas raised in the preceding paragraph would be tight punishment would combat mass shootings as opposed to tight gun control (Elkins par. 1). This argument might be true; however, research shows that allowing people to have guns indiscriminately increases suicide rates. Therefore, even though tight rules might save the masses from indiscriminate shootings, individuals will continue to die in suicide cases.
According to a report by Neyfakh, areas with a high number of guns in the hands of civilians have escalated a number of homicides (par.8). In 2010 alone, “the number of gun deaths by suicide in the United States outnumbered homicides 19,392 to 11,078” (Neyfakh par. 3). This realization is appalling, and in a bid to counter the trend, strict gun control laws are indispensable.
Based on the arguments highlighted in the preceding paragraphs, it suffices to conclude that restricting gun usage saves lives. This strategy has worked elsewhere and it can work in the United States. For instance, in 1996, the Australian Parliament passed legislation to control gun usage in the country following the deaths of thirty innocent civilians in the hands of a sociopath (Clark par. 2).
After the incidence in 1996 and the ensuing gun clampdown, Australia has never witnessed another mass shooting incidence. In addition, gun homicide levels dropped by over 59 percent by 2007 (Clark par. 7). In comparison, other homicides unrelated to gun usage remained unchanged in the same period, which means that strict gun control policies help in saving lives.
In a recap, from the issues raised in this paper, it suffices to note that strict gun control policies are needed in American society. The American society has witnessed over seventy mass shooting incidences from 1982 to date and the majority of the shooter’s used assault guns acquired legally. In addition, suicide levels are higher in areas with more guns in the hands of civilians as compared to areas with fewer guns.
This realization means that having tight restrictions on gun usage and ownership will save lives. This assertion holds as the move has worked in Australia, which for the last eighteen years has not witnessed any incidence of mass shooting following legislation to control guns. Therefore, gun control should be heightened to save lives in American society.
Clark, Helen. Could the US learn from Australia’s gun-control laws? 2012. Web. 16 June 2014. <http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2012/1224/Could-the-US-learn-from-Australia-s-gun-control-laws>
Elkins, Emily. Stricter Gun Control Laws Won’t Prevent Criminals From Getting Guns, Say 63% of Americans 2013. Web. 16 June 2014. < http://reason.com/poll/2013/12/12/poll-stricter-gun-control-is-not-effecti>
Follman, Mark, Gavin Aronsen, and Deanna Pan. A guide to mass shootings in America 2014. Web. 16 June 2014. <http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map>
Lucas, Fred. Obama Announces 23 Actions to Tighten Gun Control, Demands Congress Act 2013. Web. 16 June 2014. <http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-announces-23-actions-tighten-gun-control-demands-congress-act>
Neyfakh, Leon. The gun toll we’re ignoring: suicide 2013. Web. 16 June 2014. <http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/01/20/the-gun-toll-ignoring-suicide/xeWBHDHEvvagfkRlU3CfZJ/story.html>