Gun is a weapon which consists of a metal tube from a projectile which is fired at high velocity into a flat projectile. There are many different types of guns such as rifles, shotguns, and handguns.
1.2 The habits of gun ownership
The culture of the United States cultivates an attitude toward firearms and a right of the armed citizens. They believe that the gun is used for survival. The entertainment drama and movies in America have shown that the gun acts as an instrument to promote personal fairness among people. Many authorities claim that handguns are involved in the violence issues in the United States because handguns are easily available and they function as an instrument to commit suicide or a crime at any time without much effort.
1.3 Gun laws in the United States
There are several gun laws present in the United States
1.3. 1 State and local gun control
18.104.22.168 Concealed weapon laws
About seven states in US prohibit concealed weapons and it requires
individual to show a need prior to obtain a license to carry a
concealed firearms. The private sale to minor has been regulated.
22.214.171.124 Federal law,
Minors underage18 are prohibited from owning guns and minor
under age 21 are prohibited from purchasing any gun from dealers.
126.96.36.199 “One handgun a month” laws
It limits legal purchases of handguns once a month per buyer. The majority of states have a pre-emption law which prohibits local authorities from passing local gun control ordinances, crediting to a dramatic reduction in violent crime. (n.d 2009)
Americans underage 18 may own a firearm only if they have a valid hunter’s safety certificate and are overage 14, or are supervised under a parent or guardian or another person authorized by the parent or guardian. Americans below 18 may also posse any legal firearm while hunting with a valid license, participating in lawful target shooting or organized competition, attending a hunter safety or firearms training course, or are traveling to or from such activity with an unloaded and inaccessible firearm. Any person who is not a citizen of the United States to carry or possess any firearm, without first obtaining an alien firearm license which is valid for 5 years from the director of licensing is a serious crime.
A person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his own without a permit license but he may carry concealed without a license in his place of abode or fixed place of business. American are not allowed to carry or place a loaded handgun in any vehicle unless he has a license to permit him to do so, or the person with the concealed carrying license is in the vehicle at all times that the handgun is there, or the person with that license is away from the vehicle and the handgun is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle. American above 18 years old who possesses an unloaded handgun shall not leave it in a vehicle unless it is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.(Mantaldo n.d)It is unlawful for an Americans to possess on public, private elementary, secondary school buildings, school-provided transportation, and areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools any firearm which propel a pellet or other projectile by the discharge of compressed air, carbon dioxide or other gases. It is law disobeys to carry, transport, convey, possess or control in or on a motor vehicle a shotgun or rifle containing shells or cartridges in the magazine or chamber, or a muzzle-loading firearm loaded and capped or primed.
It is unlawful to alter, remove, or obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s number, or other mark of identification on any firearm which creates a legal presumption that the possessor committed the offense. It is illegal to carry, display or draw any firearm in such a way as to manifest intent to intimidate another as it does not apply to persons who instances of self-defense or acting in furtherance of one’s official duties. (n.d 2009)
2.0 The benefits of gun ownership
There are a lot of purposes for owning guns in the United States.
2.1 Provides effective self-defense
For those people who own guns, they can protect themselves. They can also defend their friends and families from violent crimes. The police cannot protect the public and the belongings of everyone at the same time so the United States’ citizens have their own responsibility to protect our property. (Phil 2006). Guns protect the victims during attacks. For instance, an individual can defend himself with a gun when he encounters a rapist, a robber, or a mugger. (Torr 2002). The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) generally believes that if more law-abiding citizens are armed, they would be better prepared to stop criminals from committing murders and other violent crimes.(n.d 2009)
2.1.1 For weaker sex or handicapped victims
For example, women are usually physically weaker than men .A woman carrying a gun has greater effect on the crime than a man. This phenomenon will lower the rate of murder for women by 3-4 times. (Kim 2006). A 2003 study from the USA shows that having a gun in the home increased the overall risk of someone in the household being murdered by 41% whereas for women in particular the risk was nearly tripled. Women think having a gun in the home makes them safer to live there; a large majority of men think just the opposite.A handicapped person who is not very smooth in his movement might face a big threaten when he encounters an armed criminal. Owning a gun can help to ensure his safety.
2.2 Reduce gun violence
Personalized guns are created by equipping the normal gun with some specific safety features which allow the adult owners to use them only. Such guns help to lower the rate of incidents such as homicide, robbery, suicide and accidental death from occurring in the real world. Personalized guns can reduce the injuries or the accidental death of the victims of unintentional and wrong gun usage. These guns also reduce gun violence are stolen and used by criminals to commit crimes. (Egendorf 2005)The law-abiding citizens cannot protect their own property and their lives. A woman who always goes back home late and passes through any gang-infested housing project. She needs a handgun so that she will be in safer condition and will not be a victim of the robbed and violated. (Kim 2006)
2.3 Protects the country from being invaded
Countries where gun ownership is prevalent are also far less likely to be successfully invaded. No invader will want to invade a country where virtually every America citizen already has the means to fight back against them.
2.4 Protects people from the government
Gun ownership is not simply a means for protecting oneself from those who may pose a danger within our society, but also a means of protection from the government, which as noted, can sometimes be pretty malevolent. Our right to bear arms is part of what keeps us free. With a gun in hand, the government dares not to violate people’s civil rights, enter people’s homes randomly and place political dissidents in prison camps. (Mccracken n.d )
2.5 Protects one’s family and property
Having a gun in the home can greatly increase the chances of survival because if someone is trying to break in one’s house and he is the only one in the house at that particular time, he might as well use the gun he owned to protect his property. With the present of at least one gun in each family, this may help to ensure the safety of each of the family members. Half of the people who have been interviewed think that having a gun in the home makes it safer for the people who live there versus about one-third who feel the opposite way.
2.6 Unites Citizens
Police cannot be everywhere simultaneously, and have no duty to protect everyone. Armed citizens can help to decrease the number of violent crimes committed by cooperating with the police which actually decreases the police workload. This enables the police to be more productive.
3.0 Disadvantages of gun ownership
There are several disadvantages of gun ownership.
3.1 Contributes to violent crimes
In general, the higher the gun ownership in a state, the higher is the percentage of the occurrence of the homicides caused by firearms. Due to little gun control law enforcement, murder and crimes are on the rise. This is because the handguns are too easily accessible to the children, the teens and the adult and this increases the risk of gun violence towards innocent people. The gun owners can use their gun to commit suicide when they wish to. The robbers use the gun to get involved in robbery cases. (Egendorf 2005).Torr (2002) argues that a prayer service at the Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, a gunman who opened fire with his handgun for killing seven people, injuring the other seven and kill himself. Within a week from February 7, 2008, the United States had seven shooting incidents happened, leading to 23 deaths and dozens of injuries. On March 27, 2008, five people in Georgia and Kentucky were shot dead (The Associated Press 2008). On the night of April 18, nine shootings were reported in a period of less than two hours in Chicago (The Chicago Tribune 2008). In year 2005, 30,694 people died from gun violence which includes 12,352 people murdered; 17,002 people who killed themselves; 789 people killed accidentally; 330 killed by police intervention; and 221 who died, with an unknown intent. While in year 2007, 69,863 people survived after gun injuries, including 48,676 people injured in an attack; 4,291 people injured in a suicide attempt; 15,698 people shot accidentally; and 1,198 people shot in a police intervention.( n.d 2009) Some Americans are convinced that more federal regulation of firearms is necessary to reduce the number of murders and injuries that are inflicted with guns and to ensure a safer, more civilized society.
3.2 Decreases personal safety
Handgun Control Inc. (HCI) is an activist organization which claims that owning a gun in home will increase the risks of accidents to occur. There are many cases show that the victims are dying in their houses because they are shot by a robber. The Usage of guns increases the risk of death and injury among people as well as creates a false sense of security. A study by Peter Hart Research shows that many parents realize the dangerous of handgun for their children but they still keep their handgun in the unsafe place. (Torr 2002)
There is very common for a public shooting to be occurred anywhere and anytime. The students will feel very angry and unhappy if they are scolded or ridiculed by other students, and therefore they might shoot at people to vent their anger. The children who are unhappy with their teachers might shoot at the targeted teachers.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.35 million high school students in 2007 were either threatened or injured with a firearm at least once in school premises (United Press International 2008). A record about 34 Chicago Public School students were killed in 2007-08. (The Chicago Tribune 2008)
Gun ownership among Americans brings them lots of advantages when compared to the disadvantages. Owning gun makes Americans to be able to defend themselves from dangers but in the meanwhile it also increases the crime rate. The increasing crime rate can be overcome by the actions taken by the government which includes the regulation of the gun ownership. Gun ownership should not be banned in USA because it brings a lot of advantages for the people who own the guns as they can use guns to protect themselves, families and property.
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