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Use and ownership of guns requires strict regulation by the government to prevent any form of misuse. Policies on possession of firearms especially guns in USA differs from those of Canada. These policies dictate ownership and use of guns in the community. Statistics indicate that almost seventy five percent of US families are in possession of licensed guns. This is contrary to families in Canada who have minimal and regulated possession of guns. In Canada, strict measures are in place to control possession and use of guns in the society. Increased rate in possession of guns have got massive effects in moral, social and economical aspect of life in USA and Canada. The main reason for licensed possession of guns is for security matters. In some cases, the guns can be used for hunting expedition in the line of spirit of adventure. Therefore, policies on gun possession should be highly restrictive and directive to curb any form of misuse. This has not been the case in various states such as Chicago. Recently there has been an increase in crimes among the youth aged below twenty six years of age. Research has indicated that policies on gun possession have been violated in US many times, which has made teenagers, engage in violent acts such as murder. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of gun ownership and gun culture in USA as compared to Canada.
Effects of gun ownership and gun culture
Statistics indicate that American people have the highest ownership rate of guns worldwide. This is because of high population and liberal laws on gun ownership and culture. The increasing insecurity levels and gun privatization have seen the rate of gun possession escalate every year. There has been a debate to amend gun laws, which will result to maximum control of gun use and ownership. Majority of private gun owners are against the motion as this will interfere with their daily activities such as game hunting. Gun culture in United States has changed over time. This is because the formation of illegal gangs in various states such as Chicago has led to misuse of guns. Recent cases of shooting of school students by members of various gangs reflect the impact of guns misuse in the society. Freedom to own guns among the youth have significantly increased the occurrences of violent acts, murder and social immoralities. This is because as shown in Chicago state, member of the gangs use firearms for protection and to enhance successful drug market dominance. Violent acts arise as a result of confrontation among different gang members based on racial aspects. Blacks and Latino minority groups in US are highly affected groups. Case study conducted in various states of America indicates that poverty and illiteracy are the major contributing factors to misuse of guns. On the other hand, media outlets have been blamed for instigating violent acts through violent online video gaming and movies. The target groups are mainly the young people who lack moral guidance, thus end up experimenting and aping violent acts through shooting of innocent people.
In Canada, gun ownership and culture has been under control through the registration process. The law stipulates that possession of firearms by individuals such as hand guns must be registered to facilitate effective control. It is through adoption of such gun culture that has significantly reduced negative effects of gun ownership in Canada. The government is fully committed to regulating the rate of ownership of guns to prevent the occurrence of violent acts such as murder. Canadian firearm program main objective is to facilitate effective licensing of guns to private owners through assessment process. Each private owner of gun must undertake safety education to curb misuse. In Canada, prohibitions of guns, which can be used for mass destruction, are prohibited. It is through implementation of gun control policies in Canada that have led to reduction of crime rates in various regions of the country. In addition, through possession of licensed guns and effective use of the same guns, security level has improved in Canada. Gun culture in Canada is different from that of US based on reason for the acquisition. In US, gun ownership is viewed as a symbol of prestige and power while in Canada is strictly for security and spirit of adventure.
In the movie Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore, effects of gun ownership and culture is clearly reflected in a negative way. This is because guns have been used to carry out massive murder among students. Group and isolated murder cases are on the rise in US majority of which are executed through the use of guns. The campaign for gun ownership in US has increased interests among the young people. Furthermore, drug cartels and gang formation are strengthened by acquisition of guns among the young people aged below twenty five years. The federal government has been faced with challenges of eliminating violent acts in the major streets as a result of gun ownership. Increased school dropouts and lack of parental guidance in matters of discipline have also resulted to increase in crime rate in the society. In addition, low standards of living among the minority groups have led to the creation of illegal groupings with an objective of trafficking drugs and firearms. In many parts of US, guns are associated with power and dominance. This has led to the emergence of social immoralities such as prostitution and drug abuse. There have been culture shift in Canada in terms of gun ownership, which advocate on controlled use and registration. Crime rates have reduced over years as a result of government intervention and awareness creation on the issue. This is contrary to the culture in US as the majority of people views that it is right for each citizen to own a gun without state interference. Misuse of guns is associated with various factors such as alcoholism, drug addiction, indiscipline and violent attitude among the young people.
Statistics postulates that both Canada and USA have the highest ownership of guns. The only difference is the mode of control whereby Canada has structured program on the issue that regulate misuse and ownership of guns. Cultural differences play a significant role in control of gun ownership and use as depicted in Canada. Inadequate cooperation from the populace and the law enforcers in regulating misuse of guns has resulted to prevalence in crime and violent acts in US. To prevent such crimes, amendment of firearms policies should be conducted to incorporate massive federal control in gun ownership. Adoption of Canadian model in gun ownership and culture in US will significantly reduce violent acts among the youth.