Generally, guns as weapons portray a very dangerous and violent image among the public because of some unexpected and unlikely events. Keeping a gun or a weapon of any sort is considered to be perilous to the general public. Due to this, gun control is set up by the government in different parts of the countries to avoid any mishaps or unfavorable events. Gun control is the government’s limitation to the purchasing, selling, and owning of weapons or guns. There have been different acts and laws enforced for the implementation of gun control in different parts of the world. The main reason for gun control is due to the number of gun-related crimes that are growing with time.
Among the most critical incidents were the assassination attempts on President Ronald Reagan and most recently, the assassination of the Ex-former president of Pakistan, Benazir Ali Bhutto. So due to this proper gun control legislation and proper measures should be taken before allotting or giving ownership to any individual. (Anonymous, 2007) Gun control is not helping in saving the lives of the individual but it is also helping to eliminate violence from society. The real terror among the individuals has increased as they do not have any life security because their life is always at stake. So implementing gun-control policies would help both the government and the general public.
Research Question/Problem Statement
The main objective of this research is to discuss the advantages and importance of gun control. The main problem is
Q: Why gun-control is important in today’s world?
Acts and Legislations on Gun Control
Over 200 years ago, the founding fathers constituted the Second Amendment in which individual citizens were given liberty to own a gun for their security. All early Americans at that time were gun owners because they protected their houses, and children from criminals and wild animals. This practice continued till the 1900s until in 1911 New York passed the “Sullivan Act”, which was one of the first gun control laws. According to this law, the individuals holding or having ownership of any firearm should be registered; future this law became the measure for future gun-control laws. Due to this, in the 1930s two laws were enacted, “National Firearms Act 1934” and “Federal Firearms Act of 1938”, these laws set the regulations of firearms at the national level.
In the 1930s, another movement started, as in 1937 high court began moving towards a liberal direction wherein 1960’s anti-second amendments were introduced where the registry of weapons and their owners were to be made in the central government. These laws were enacted due to security issues of the citizen because violence was emerging and a lot of incidents were reported. Serious measures were taken after the deaths of prominent celebrities like JFK, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. The late 1960s holds a significant gun-control period in America (Forman, 2007) because this was the time when gun ownership among American citizens was restricted and strict measures were taken against the non-followers.
Then later NRA, an organization had worked a lot for implementing the gun control laws and with their efforts in 1968; the “Gun Control Act” (GCA) was enacted into law. According to this law gun sales were restricted and strong measures were taken to stop violence among the society because some violators were violating the use of firearms. Further in1975, the “Institute of Legislative Action” was created by NRA (Forman, 2007). Also in 1972, the “Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms” was created where GCA was given to this bureau.
Later 1986, the “Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act” and “Firearms Owners’ Protection Act” was enforced where manufacturing or importing of cop-killer bullets was made illegal because they were capable of penetrating bulletproof clothing while FOPA eased the sale of some guns but also reported punishment on using illegal guns or even shipping illegal firearms. Later in 1990 “Crime Control Act” was passed and then further in 1994 “Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act” and “Violence Crime Control Law Enforcement Act” were implemented. Gun control laws have always been there, where some individuals follow them and others violate them but the true essence behind setting or passing a gun control law is for the protection of the general public because some citizens misuse it which results in the death of innocent people. In 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft supported the individual’s ownership to possess weapons but with gun control measures.
Now recently in February 2009, Supreme Court gave its judgment that no one would be given any in charge or authority to possess a firearm that has any conviction for any kind of crime on domestic violence. This law was enacted because according to the “Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence”, stated that around three people are killed every day by their domestic partners and approximately 14% of police officers are killed during domestic violence calls. (Savage, 2009)
Different Countries Contribution
Different countries both the developing and the developed nations are moving towards imposing gun control laws in their countries. But their method or ways of imposing laws are different from each other, but one of the most common among them is that the owner should have a license or proper registration of their firearm or weapon. Strict punishment on illegal import and export of guns or any type of weapon is also set as a law.
The European Union parliament restricted gun ownership across 27 nation bloc, they also made the database of gun purchase and its owner entry computerized. France has a strong hunters lobby that restricted hunting rifles and Japan has set the toughest gun ownership laws in the world where Switzerland is following the trail. Due to this Switzerland and Japan have the world’s lowest gun-related deaths.
Australia adopted tougher gun laws and bought back the private guns since the 1996 incident which killed 35 people in Western Australia but it is also reported that in1999, private guns increased even after gun laws were imposed. In Yemen, it is recently reported that 12 weapon markets and approximately 300 gun shops were closed to curb violence among its nation (Sands, 2008). Apart from that India imposed different firearms laws like the Indian Arms Act 1959 and Arms Rules act 1962 and South Africa also set its Gun Control Alliance. Several other countries are also adopting gun control laws in their national laws to curb violence and eliminate gun-related deaths.
Gun Control Importance
Different researches highlight the importance of gun possession limitation, as some of the researcher’s findings are given below. According to Kellermann, Arthur and Reay, they had investigated in their research and reported that a gun under the possession of a common man is not a healthy sign because a gun under the possession of a family member is 43 times more likely to kill another family member than an intruder. So, strict measures should be taken before permitting individuals to possess a gun. According to another research, it is stated that those individuals that have guns at their homes have a greater propensity (three times) that the members of the family become the victim of homicide than as compared to other homes who do not possess guns.
In the U.S., it was surveyed that every year between 2.2 to 2.5 million people lose their lives and their death is caused by the same gun-holder civilians. (Kleck & Hogan, 1999) True incidents mentioned below are further going to highlight the importance of gun control.
Some true incidents
The crime rates are increasing at a larger rate as the number of gun-related deaths is increasing, the crime scenes are increasing. Individuals of all ages, genders, classes, and even of different societies are being killed daily. With deep grief, it is reported that in 2008, 24 students have been shot murdered in Chicago, and it is also been reported that in 2007 in the same school 34 students were killed which makes an average of one child getting shot every eight days. Arthur Jones a 10-year-old was killed while he went to buy candy for himself when he got shot between the gang cross-fire. Several other children have the same stories where they lose their life when they are not even responsible for being part of it (Anonymous, 2008).
A 75-year-old man was also found dead by gunshots and his body was found in the basement of his burned home in Ross. It has been stated that it was a case of homicide as the old man had locked himself in the basement and shot himself up and later burned his home. (Anonymous, 2009)
Incidents like these are endless, and they will keep on increasing unless proper strict measures are taken against the possession of firearms and other deadly weapons.
Gun control is causing an individual’s life at stake and violence is also prevailing in society to a large extent. To curb violence and to eliminate gun-related deaths, not only making of laws would help but implementing these laws and further keeping a check on them is more important. Those individuals who think that keeping guns would protect them from invaders’ attacks, fail to understand that the same weapon can cause harm to them and their families as well. So different other researchers have also favored our statement thus proving that gun control is important in today’s world.
Anonymous, 2007, Gun Control, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Columbia University Press, New York. Web.
Anonymous, 2008, Shock over Chicago Student Gun Deaths, CBC News. Web.
Anonymous, 2009, Gunshots Killed man Found at Ross Fire Scene. Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Web.
David R. Sands, 2008, Gun Control in Most Countries More Stringent Than in U.S. Washington Times. Web.
David Savage, 2009, Supreme Court Upholds Gun-Control Law, Los Angeles Times. Web.
Gary Kleck, Micheal Hogan, 1999, National Case-Control Study of Homicide Offending and Gun Ownership. Web.
Sandy Forman, 2007, The History of Gun Control, Part 1, World Net Daily Exclusive Commentary. Web.
Sandy Forman, 2007, The History of Gun Control, Part 2, World Net Daily Exclusive Commentary. Web.