The United States is the leading country in the industrialized world in violence caused by handguns, like suicides, homicides, and unintentional deaths. There is a lot of violence in the US that entails handguns. Firearms can be easily hidden, are designed for maximum lethality, and are relatively cheap and easy to acquire. The most common weapon employed is a handgun when it comes to gun-related deaths. Criminal activity is reduced due to stricter restrictions on the availability of firearms. There can be fewer crimes if the US regulates or bans handguns. The lethality of crime is enhanced by the ease with which murder may be carried out, thanks to the availability of firearms.
The availability of firearms puts others in danger and increases the risk of self-inflicted harm via suicide or accidental events if the guns are allowed to be carried by untrained people. More than 30,000 people are killed and 70,000 are injured by gun violence in the United States each year (Siegel et al., 2020). Handguns are negatively impacting the US, taking the lives of children and costing the health care system billions of dollars every year in treatment. Supporters of the use of guns argue that guns do not kill people, offer protection and that banning guns cannot prevent violence from occurring. On the other hand, opponents of this argument posit that banning guns can save lives, offer protection to individuals, and prevent gun-related violence.
Arguments against Banning Of Guns in the US
Proponents of guns argue that guns do not kill people. Despite the common belief that guns cause the killing, individuals are the ultimate culprits in most homicides. As with any instrument, firearms may be put to good or evil use by the user. Because handguns may be used for robbery, murder, and terrorism, the weapons are the primary cause of concern. Sport, hunting, hobbyist collecting, and self-defense are excellent reasons to own a firearm. Removing an object will not deter people from engaging in acts of violence. Instead, the US government should address the leading causes that drive individuals to engage in acts of violence, such as examining whether the mental health system is working as expected (Siegel & Boine, 2019). Additionally, supporters of the accessibility of guns posit that handguns offer protection. For example, guns protect against muggings, home invasions and terrorist events, and mass massacres.
Moreover, banning guns cannot prevent violence from occurring. Tools are not only forbidden because they are dangerous. After all, although vehicle accidents claim the lives of tens of thousands of people in the US each year, the automobile is not illegal in the US. But (again), cars have no restriction because terrorists have used them to commit atrocities (Mencken & Froese, 2019). For this reason, terrorists in the USA are increasingly resorting to the use of knives and cars in their attacks. In other words, banning firearms has little effect on reducing violence.
Arguments for Banning Handguns in the US
Opponents of the availability of handguns in the US argue that banning guns helps in saving lives. For instance, in 2017, the number of mass shootings in the United States was 427, leading to the deaths of over 15,000 individuals and the injuries of over 30,000 people (Siegel & Boine, 2019). The prevalence of gun violence cannot be eradicated, but it can be reduced if civilians are barred from owning firearms (or at least severely restricted in their use). As a result, it would also save the lives of tens of thousands of people. Additionally, banning guns reduces unintentional shootings and suicide.
A lack of attention has been paid to the most common cause of death from a gun is suicide, rather than murder. For instance, 147,000 suicides with a firearm between 1990 and 1997, compared to only 100,000 firearm homicides (Mencken & Froese, 2019). Over 90,000 of these suicides were executed using a handgun, a tribute to the weapon’s ease of use and potent lethality (Jaffe, 2018). For some reason, gun control advocates have mostly ignored this devastating side effect of handgun ownership, maybe due to a lingering stigma attached to suicide. For obvious reasons, firearms on there do not make someone suicidal. Nevertheless, their widespread accessibility has led to an upsurge in the number of suicides carried out with a gun, making the likelihood of a suicide attempt ending in death specific. More than half of all suicides are committed by people who live in a household where guns are present, and a handgun is the most common firearm of choice.
Supporters of banning guns posit that such an act can offer protection to individuals because it is scarce for armed citizens to stop a mass shooter. Incidents have occurred in the past, such as in the case of an Auber driver in Chicago in 2015 that had a concealed carry permit and may have prevented a mass shooting (Jaffe, 2018). When it comes to mass shootings, the situation might worsen if first responders and anyone around them are unsure of the gunman. In addition, gun owners are much more likely to accidentally shoot a member of their own family than an armed robber or criminal. Moreover, guns do not offer a defense against tyranny since the rule of law can only stop tyranny.
The movement to restrict handguns is not motivated by a generalized hatred for guns in many parts. Because of the United States’ high rate of gun-related violence during the last several decades, banning guns is a response. Firearms have killed one million Americans since 1962, and of them, 667,000 have been killed by handgun-related murder, suicide, or accidental shooting (Burton et al., 2021). It is estimated that just one in every six Americans has the weapon that has been responsible for so much suffering and murder. Out of the 190 million firearms today, rifles and shotguns outnumber pistols two to one. Yet, handguns are used in most shootings that result in death or injury (Blocher & Seigel, 2021). For example, in 1993, 86 percent of all firearm-related crimes in the US included using a handgun.
The present-day handgun has been fine-tuned for decades by the firearms industry, much as racing vehicles are regularly modified for maximum performance. As of the last two decades, high-capacity, high-caliber, semiautomatic handguns have performed well with lethality. As a result of the gun industry’s efforts over the last decade and a half, the firearm has become more effective as a killing machine (Blocher & Seigel, 2021). Gun-related violence generates obstacles to the economy, and young people’s values are distorted due to the widespread acceptance of guns and gun culture. This leads to higher dropout rates in the city’s impoverished areas (up to 40%) and minor investment prospects in such areas. Besides, gun manufacturers sell to people, telling them that they need to arm themselves for self-defense, but the main reason why guns are manufactured is for killing purposes. They induce terror in such people’s hearts by telling guns buyers that they can arm themselves with the same weapons that threaten them.
Handguns are negatively impacting the US, taking the lives of children and costing the health care system billions of dollars every year in treatment. Supporters of the use of guns argue that guns do not kill people, offer protection and that banning guns cannot prevent violence from occurring. On the other hand, opponents of this argument posit that banning guns can save lives, offer protection to individuals, and prevent gun-related violence.
Though prohibiting guns may be beneficial in the long term, people would feel significantly more vulnerable, and police officers will be unable to do their responsibilities efficiently if they cannot defend themselves. The good news is that this can be fixed since non-lethal weapons and guns may also be used. Two examples of this are an airsoft pistol and a tranquilizer. While non-lethal weaponry might be just as effective as traditional firearms in a given situation, there is no risk of injury if the general public uses them. Police officers may use them to subdue suspects, and civilians can use them to defend themselves, saving both lives and guns, but no one can be killed. Almost no gun-related deaths occur due to this, although people may still defend themselves if they want.
Blocher, J., & Seigel, R. B. (2021). When guns threaten the public sphere: A new account of public safety regulation under Heller. Northwestern University Law Review, 116, 139.
Burton, A. L., Logan, M. W., Pickett, J. T., Cullen, F. T., Jonson, C. L., & Burton Jr, V. S. (2021). Gun owners and gun control: Shared status, divergent opinions. Sociological Inquiry, 91(2), 347-366.
Jaffe, S. (2018). Gun violence research in the USA: The CDC’s impasse. The Lancet, 391(10139), 2487-2488. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31426-0
Mencken, F. C., & Froese, P. (2019). Gun culture in action. Social problems, 66(1), 3-27.
Siegel, M., & Boine, C. (2019). What are the most effective policies in reducing gun homicides? A Policy Brief.
Siegel, M., Goder-Reiser, M., Duwe, G., Rocque, M., Fox, J. A., & Fridel, E. E. (2020). The relation between state gun laws and the incidence and severity of mass public shootings in the United States, 1976–2018. Law and Human Behavior, 44(5), 347.