Gun Control: Hand Guns
Gun Control: Hand Guns
“Strict gun control” is a set of legal restrictions meant to enforce scarcity of firearms among the citizenry (Stell, 2004). The imposition of gun restrictions are intended to control gun related incidents by making guns harder to possess. Primarily, the main objective of gun laws is to control the kinds of firearms that an individual can purchase. The laws authorizes’ the majority of people to buy and own firearms but at the same time put restrictions on the use and storage of guns. Based on this perspective, only a smaller number of guns will be accessible to the public and this would in turn mean less criminal activities. As a result, Gun control fails to keep handguns out of the hands of criminals. The United States ranks top among the developed nations in terms of violence among the civilian population. This kind of reputation has been earned partly because incidences of violence associated with handguns (Morrison, 2006). Statistical evidence illustrates that more than 900,000 violent crimes were committed by criminals with handguns in 1992. This accounted for most of the killings committed that year as well as 13% of all violent crimes. Estimates show that about two million firearms are in the hands of civilians and out of the two million, a third is handguns. A number of these handguns do not cause harm as they are used for purposes as self-defense, hunting, and shooting. Conversely, in cities with the highest crime rates, handguns pose a threat to the lives of many citizens especially in cases in which handguns are in the hands of criminals (Morrison, 2006). However, in most cases, the reason stringent gun laws are favored and justified is because of the prevailing high rates of crime in the society. For instance, in the year 2002, the number of homicides recorded was more than 16,000 out of which 67% are homicides committed using handguns (Stell, 2004). Apart from street homicides, house- hold assaults associated with hand guns are widely in the media. Evidence shows that in house -holds in which handguns are present, intimate partner violence is more common than in a house-hold in which no handguns are available. Moreover, when household violence occurs, there is a 12 times greater possibility that death will be the outcome compared to situations in which the given household violence involved other weapons. Even though the laws describe the purchase and ownership of handguns by individuals possessing a restraining order on account of domestic violence, handguns are the most commonly used weapons in intimate partner killings (Vittes & Sorenson, 2008). Primarily, gun control legislation prohibits civilians from owning destructive machines such as machine guns. For a long time, it has prohibited ex-felons from possessing any form of firearms. Besides, Congress recently decided to put a ban on several other assault rifles. In addition, the law provides regulations on licensed dealers in that they are required by federal law to give notice to the chief enforcement officer within their jurisdiction on any looming sale upon which the official undertakes background checks so as to determine whether or not the sale of the handgun should be made (Morrison, 2006).
Regardless of gun control rules and regulations, the legislation does not prevent criminals from accessing handguns as evidenced by the prevalence of high rates of homicides associated with handguns. For instance, in cities with noted high crime rates such as New York, Washington and Chicago, gun control legislation has not prevented criminals from accessing handguns. These cities have some of the most restrictive gun control regulations compared to the rest of the country, yet they still record the highest rates of violent crimes. Criminals and other restricted individuals in these cities have found other illegal means of accessing a handgun and there have been...
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