Needless to say, America is one of the most armed nations throughout the world, with impressive 88.8 guns per 100 people. Totally Americans possess up to 270,000,000 guns. This sounds mind-blowing and simultaneously typical for such a country.
The US authentic gun culture has been traced to its colonial history, frontier expansion, revolutionary roots. What’s more – it’s also rooted in the Second Amendment. As it ascertains, the right of the folks to keep arms shouldn’t be violated. The problem is that some folks appreciate owning guns, others see a huge threat in this. In this gun control essay, we’ll try to explore this controversial question.
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Guns: colonial and revolutionary America
In the American Colonies guns were quite common. It’s clear that hunting without guns was absolutely impossible just like as in any other country. The same is true for self-protection. According to several colonies’ gun laws, heads of households, including females were obliged to have guns. Moreover, all able-bodies males were bound to join the militia with personal firearms.
Laws in Connecticut and also in five other colonies stressed the necessity for at least one adult male in every home to carry a gun, when going to church or attending other public meetings. They required doing so to repel probable attacks by Native Americans, avert theft of firearms from unattended houses. The law of 1743, South Carolina stated that guns need to be at hand to safeguard probable insurrections as well as other wicked attempts of black slaves. Additionally, other laws urged immigrants to have guns within a reach to own land or immigrate.
The notes of the Second Amendment of the American Constitution, ratified in 1791 tell nothing about an individual right to own a gun for self-defense. As some researchers suggest, the idea of an individual vs. a collective right would have never come ot the Founding Fathers’ minds due to the fact the two turned to be inseparable and intertwined.
In spite of the fact guns were a common thing in colonial as well as revolutionary America, gun restrictions existed too. Guns couldn’t be sold to Native Americans. However, colonists often broke that law, selling guns to Native Americans. Slaves and indentured servants weren’t allowed to own guns. Besides this, a certain range of professionals weren’t allowed to own guns. These were school masters, millers, doctors and lawyers.
A 1792 federal law stated that every male should be ready for militia service, suggesting that one should prepare a gun and ammunition for this purpose. Additionally, every man was bound to have his firearms registered on public records.
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Wild West and gun control
After in 1865 slavery was officially abolished in America, so-called “Jim Crow” laws forbid black folks to have guns. Only white people were allowed to own this stuff.
Notwithstanding stereotypes created by numerous Wild West movies, in reality cities of that epoch required people to check their firearms before entering the city or town. In 1876, according to the law of Dakota Territory, nobody was allowed to fire his gun without the mayor’s direct permission.
Gun laws of the 1900s
In 1929 seven gangsters were murdered in Chicago. The deaths spurred debates, resulting in laws banning machine guns. In 1934 the National Firearms Act imposed a $200 tax as well as a registration requirement on the manufacturing and transfer of some guns:
- machine guns
- rifles with barrels under 18 inches-length
- specific firearms
In 1938, the Federal Firearms Act forbid to sell guns to some folks, including convicted felons. The law also required
According to the National Firearms Act of 1968, unregistered guns already in possession didn’t require registration.
To hand over a firearm to an unlicensed person in US states without an alternate background check system five days were required for licensed seller according to the Brady Act of 1993. Later the five-day waiting period was substituted. Instead, an instant background check systems was introduced. The new check could last up to three days if more information is required for this particular sale. Those, having a state-issued permission or a federal firearms license were exempt from that waiting period.
In 1994, Bill Clinton signed another gun control law, dubbed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. It banned up to 19 semi-automatic assault weapons by name as well as others by certain military features, such as large-capacity magazines.
The 2000s and gun control
Child Safety Lock Act and Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act signed in 2005 by George Bush provided broad civil liability immunity to firearms producers, so they couldn’t be sued by the family of a gun death victim. All handguns were obliged to be sold with a corresponding safety device or secure gun storage.
In 2016, Barack Obama rolled out a series of fresh executive actions of gun control, including an expansion of background checks, raised mental health care funding, the extra 200 ATF agents, establishing the Internet Investigations Center to control illegal online gun traffic and increased research funding for firearms safety technologies.
Gun control: pros and cons
Certainly, you gun control essay can’t do without providing arguments for and against gun control. Let’s start with pros.
Gun control: pros
- More gun control laws can diminish gun deaths: During the period 1999- 2013 up to 464,033 total gun deaths occurred. Aside from that there were also 174,773 homicides, 270,237 suicides as well as 9,983 unintentional deaths. Compared to kids from other highly developed countries, American kids under 15 were 9 times more likely to perish with a gun incident.
- More gun control regulations are required to protect females from stalkers and domestic abusers: In America every day five females are killed with firearms. Up to 76% of females killed and 85% of females, who managed to survive a murder try by their intimate partners, got stalked before the killing or murder attempt.
- Firearms are seldom utilized for self-defense: Unfortunately, of the 29,618,300 violent crimes that were committed during the period 2007-2011 only 0.79% of victims managed to protect themselves by means of their guns. It doesn’t sound encouraging, does it?
- Legally owned guns are often stolen and employed by criminals: According to recent studies, nearly all firearms utilized in crimes enter circulation exactly via legal transactions. For instance, between 2005-2010 up to 1.4 million firearms were scrounged from American homes. An owner of the stolen gun certainly can’t prevent new crimes conducted by his or her firearms any longer. So, in this case his or her gun license can’t guarantee that other people won’t be hurt or killed.
- The very presence of a gun might make any conflict violent: According to the research, conducted by the FBI in 2013, 59% of conflict situations, including quarrels driven by drugs and alcohol, romantic triangles, arguments over money, ended up in 1,962 gun deaths.
- Armed civilians don’t usually prevent crimes, they just make things worse: That’s so sad, but between 1982-2012 none of the 62 mass murders was averted by an armed citizen.
Gun control: cons
- Gun control laws can’t prevent criminals from stealing guns and breaking laws: Legally obtained firearms keep being utilized to kill people. So, any gun control laws can’t stop this tendency.
- Individual gun ownership is protected by the Second Amendment of the American Constitution: Owning guns isn’t just an old American tradition. It’s backed by the act, mentioned above, which states that the right of anyone to keep firearms shouldn’t be violated.
- Gun control laws violate the natural right to self-defense and deprive people of a sense of safety: Unfortunately, the police won’t protect everybody, it’s unreal. So, why on Earth should people be deprived of the right to self-defense?