Essay: Gun ownership in the United States

The prevalence of the gun ownership among individuals practiced in the United States is a unique situation among the industrialized nations. The current policy of the US to allow its citizens to own guns has stirred up local and global controversies making the issue as one of the most hotly debated concerns worldwide. There are people who go against this ruling by virtue of the traditional view of the immediate association of gun ownership to increase crimes due to its easy access and availability. There are also factions that agree to the policy refuting the traditional philosophy of the gun-crime relationship. They strongly believe that guns can protect them against criminals and even prevent the completion of the criminal’s bad intentions.
The issue of gun banning policy causes a significant division among the US citizens. The regulation of guns is hotly debated between the gun control advocates and gun rights activists. There is a legislative tug-of-war for politicians whether to favor those who claim gun ownership as their rights or whether to stay on the lobbyist’s pronouncements on the consequences of potential status quo shift. Currently, there are two out of five Americans who secure guns in their homes. At one point, these gun owners are qualified as law-abiding citizens who stand for their rights of owning guns for their safety. On the other hand, most people argue that the solution to combating crime rates is to have appropriate and effective gun control policies for the land. Some of the people strongly believe that the guns may go to the wrong hands. Thus, the issue of gun control remains a controversial issue (Jacobs, 2000).
Recent studies reveal that the mantra of guns equated to crimes and deaths is a big misconception. Emily Miller talks about this issue during her interview with Piers Morgan stating that studies published in Harvard reveal the unfounded correlation of gun ownership with crime rates. There are international comparison correlations between nations having a gun ban policies proving the factual errors and unrepresentative results. In fact, there are countries with stringent policies towards gun control that have higher murder and crime rates compared to the US. Miller points out that there is no direct relationship with crime rates in the legislative policies of allowing or disallowing qualified citizens in gun ownership. She further contends that owning guns is a right. Miller’s book, ‘Emily Gets Her Gun’But Obama Wants to Take Yours’, drives readers to own guns. Her traumatic experience with robbers motivated her to write the book and induce to the American minds to get a gun for self-defense. She believes that it is her right to own one and so do the rest of the Americans. She hopes that she would never have to use it, but insists on owning one in cases of assaults and crimes that she may encounter. She declares the need for all Americans to have guns for self-defense since none of the gun-control policies implemented in the past all over the world has ever succeeded in reducing crimes (InternetFreedomNews, 2013).
John Lotte (2013) agrees with this notion. He states that those places that have banned guns are observed to have increased the murder rates. He sets the example of Wales, England during its gun ban policy in 1997. Accordingly, the rate of homicides in the country bounced significantly after the implementation of the policy as compared with the previous year. The rate of homicide only subsided in the years 2003 and 2004 when the country increased their number of police. However, despite the increase in the police, the rate of the crimes remained to have a higher value compared to the pre-ban period.
In a cross-sectional analysis of gun ownership and homicide rates, comparisons between countries are unfounded due to the various factors and variables that need to be considered. The variables for comparison must be narrowed and more defined. Only the firearms allowed by the authorities must be counted. In addition, the aspect of homicide varies in great length. In the case of England, there were adjustments in their consideration of homicide cases, which excluded cases that do not result in conviction, or when the case did not have self-defense prosecutions. Thereby, the total number of homicides was reduced to around 13 to 15 percent. This reduction consideration is not true in the USA. In America, the statistics are not adjusted. Figures of homicide include all cases of homicides, self-defense, police killings, and many more. Hence, the comparison of statistics of homicide cases in the USA is relatively lower than the actual killings happening in the other countries with gun ban policies such as England (Lotte, 1998).
In an actual interview with a police officer, Shane Sexton of Dallas, the context of gun ownership proves to be effective in reducing crimes. When asked if the gun control policies are required, he answers, ‘No. In all reality, criminals will always find a way to obtain weapons. I believe that current methods such as the Brady Bill provide sufficient screening processes for the remaining citizenry.’ He also contends that cities such as New York and Chicago having gun restrictions caused serious issues relating to violent acts mitigations. For him, ‘The law itself does not harm criminals as it is in my experience. Most, if not all, do not have a concealed permit. The current concealed permit laws only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to carry a weapon. This in turn makes them more vulnerable to violent crimes’ (Sexton, 2015). This notion of Sexton is related to John Lotte’s ‘More Guns, Less Crimes’. Lotte states that crimes in Chicago increased after the gun ban policy implementation. Despite the prevailing legislations of prohibiting people from gun ownership, criminals still found ways of acquiring them. In effect, the legislative policy made the people hard to acquire guns, disabling them to defend themselves. The confidence level of the criminals increased since they have the best advantage over their victims since no one is allowed to own guns. Hence, the nation is bound to be unsafe for citizens due to gun laws.
The debate over the gun control policies and gun ownership of citizens has culminated since the Brady Bill in 1993. This policy paved way for the private ownership of guns with provision to restrain their illegal use. The circumvention of the policy’s background still gets back to the core concern that until now has not been settled between two contradicting parties. Does gun ownership really reduce crimes? If so, how long will such condition last? Has the government prepared some counter measures if the gun ownership increases the crime rates instead of reducing it? These and other issues continue to linger in this debated concern. For victims of crimes and attempted crimes such as Emily Miller, she fights having guns of her own as her basic right. Being an upright citizen, she deserves to defend herself and her family from the assault of people. She also contends that she may not use it anyway, as she hopes, but the very presence of guns in her possession can create a fear to those criminals. Criminals would think twice about assaulting other people who can defend themselves against crimes. In effect, the confidence level of criminals would be lessened and may even be the cause of them not doing the crimes anymore. This is what the gun ownership policy is standing for. With the right implementation of the gun ownership, passing through stringent qualification processes, it is possible that the guns would only be issued to those who are qualified upright and mature. Gun control policy need not be debated anymore, when the people are already able to defend themselves and fend off criminals anytime.

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