Should Handguns be banned
According to a definition by the Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms in California, handguns refer to equipment that is used for self-defense, defending resources and valuable properties. Thus, handguns are not defined by this department as weapons that are used in facilitating killing of the innocent people. There are diverse and different responses that have been elicited by the heated debates that have been held about handguns control in the US. These responses have emerged from different organizations, administrative offices, lobby groups and individuals. Citizens who always follow the law versus criminals engage in interactive competitions on who should be allowed more authority when it comes to banning handguns.
Over 30,000 people were killed during the 1990s and handguns were associated with these killings that were recorded in the US where they were reported. These deaths were due to murder, suicide, accident and self-defense among other unidentified reasons. Today, police officers, uncertified as well as certified handgun holders are using them to enhance owners’ hunting, committing murder, executing gang activities and when holding celebrations during which people participate in pleasurable but unnecessary shooting. The Department of Justice of Firearms in California has outlined safety measures for handguns. Going by these safety measures, these uses are against the ownership rights as well as practices of firearm owners. Therefore, the focus of this essay is on analyzing and evaluating whether it is really necessary to ban handguns in the US (CDJ 5).
There are ten main reasons on the basis of which handguns should be banned according to Bruce Gold. Although handguns are necessary for self-defense, Bruce notes that the current crime rate continues to increase because they are used to commit murders which are reported as ‘self-defense’. This complicates investigation by the police. Police officers are employed by the government to maintain order and to keep law. Therefore, it is logical to ban civilian ownership of handguns for self-defense purposes. The best thing to do is to encourage civilians to depend on the employed police officers to accord them security. This is due to the fact that the employed police officers have undergone proper training and they know how to handle handguns than the civilians (Bruce 1).
Out of 1,000 handguns owned by civilians, crimes are committed using four of them. Out of the handguns that the citizens own, only 2% of them are used in defending oneself. Thus, it is apparent that handguns are unnecessary since they increase the rate at which crimes are committed in the country because even criminals own them illegally. The argument of the Gun Owners Foundation is that more lives are saved using handguns than the lives that criminals take away using them since they fear attacking citizens when they know that they are armed. Nevertheless, there are higher chances of recording homicides as well as suicides in homes where the residents have handguns than in homes where residents are not handgun owners.
As such, it is logical to ban handguns because they pose danger to their owners, citizens as well as neighbors regardless of the way they are used especially when the holders have not undergone specialized training to handle them. Moreover, households which have handguns without safety locks to keep them away from children report cases of accidental shootings, teen murders, suicides and gun wounds. On the basis of these facts, handguns ought to be banned since they are unsafe to their holders and the people who live around them (Bruce 1).
Maitreesh Ghatak notes that in a model that has a civilian who follows the law and a criminal with both holding handguns a contest emerges where each of them wants to be successful. This means that the criminal will be determined to kill the victim because they believe that they own a handgun for purposes of causing harm to them. Thus, both parties use handguns on the basis of the assumption that the other party has already decided to harm them, steal their valuables, resources or property using the handgun. Consequently, there is an increase in criminal activities, murders, accidental shootings and homicides (Maitreesh 2).
In the United States, the constitution prohibits individuals from revenging. Only criminals do this because they do not respect the constitution. Law abiding individuals are required to depend on the law enforcers to protect them from rape, murder, assault, burglary as well as other criminal activities. Most handgun holders do not respect authorities because they have an attitude of over-depending on their firearms. As such, banning handguns is logical because it will improve trust and enhance reliance on the authorities. It will also ensure that the constitution is respected and that the government executes its duties properly (Bruce 1).
Brian Micklethwait made an observation that laws that prohibit firearms’ ownership are not a guarantee that criminals will also surrender the handguns that they have gotten illegally. Instead, it makes it easier for them to commit crimes against the innocent citizens. Nevertheless, this scholar notes that if all people upheld the law world over and civilians ensured their neighbors’ safety, then banning handguns would be logical because they will no longer be useful. The United States is among the nations where there are many civilians who own handguns. This is because citizens can acquire them legally as long as they can afford them. Nevertheless, no strict measures have been implemented to prevent handguns from getting to the wrong people in terms of minimizing criminal activities. For this weakness to be dealt with banning handguns is necessary and the police officers should be the only handgun holders in order to enhance their duties of maintaining order and ensuring that people follow the set laws (Brian 1).
Nevertheless, Nan Desuka notes that it is not the handguns which kill people. Criminals are the ones who commit crimes using them. Therefore, it is clear that handguns do not commit suicides, homicides and murders. As such, these crimes are not due to their ownership. Criminal activities cause these problems. In supporting these claims, the writer used the slogan, “Guns do not kill people…criminals do”. Banning handguns is illogical because it is not a guarantee that criminal activities will end. As long as criminals are desiring, willing and determined to commit crimes, they will do so even when they do not have handguns since they can use other means to execute their plans (Nan 1).
Several writers came up with an article that was published on the Wall Street Journal regarding murder in the US. These writers observed that in the US, there were different circumstances under which killings were committed to different genders and races from 2000 to 2010. During these years, more than 160, 000 homicides and murders were recorded in all states of America except in Florida. These were due to arguments, robbery, police killings, narcotic drugs, and gangs, murders committed by babysitters, rape, arson, gangs, alcohol influence, vehicle theft, gambling, sexual offenses and abortion. Several weapons were using in committing these murders including knives, strangulation, blunt objects, explosives, asphyxiation, firearms, poisons, fire, and pushing from windows. As such, it is evident that banning handguns will not serve as a solution for ending murders, suicides and even homicides. Handguns contribute to these activities but they are not the sole causes of these crimes (Rob, Madeline, Jon and Palani 1).
Bruce Gold observed that ownership of handguns for self-defense purposes existed even 2 million years ago. More civilians were using them to commit “non-event” crimes. As such, banning handguns in the contemporary societal setting is ethical. Handguns ought to be banned in every state because it will stop criminals from migrating. Bruce noted that criminals migrate to places where there are no strict firearm laws. When handguns are banned, havens for them including Virginia will have reduced criminal activities.
It is also important to consider the fact that meeting the cost of buying firearms is not possible for every citizen. When people buy or own them to ensure their self-defense, it means that unarmed citizens become the victims of accidental shootings and crime from handgun holders. The aim of the constitution in the US is to ensure equality for all. The gap between the haves and have-nots will keep widening as long as the rich can afford handguns while the poor remain their victims. On the basis of this fact, handguns complicate investigation any time they are involved in a case between a civilian and a criminal. Therefore, it is legally and ethically right to suggest or to propose a ban on handguns.
Civilians own handguns because they believe that they provide self-defense as well as to protect their properties. Nevertheless, the government has employed police officers to provide security to every citizen in the country. Civilians should depend on the employed security personnel without owning handguns. To enhance equality, to emphasize the work of the security forces, to eliminate compromises of police investigations as well as to minimize crimes including vehicle theft and robbery, it is logical to ban handguns.
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Brian, Micklethwait. Why Guns Should Not be Illegal, Political Notes; Libertarian alliance, 1995. Print.
Bruce, Gold. Gun Control-Simple Solutions for Simple Minds: Ten Good Reasons to Ban Guns, Web, 2002. Print.
California Department of Justice (CDJ). Handgun Safety Certificate, California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms, 2012. Web
Maitreesh, Ghatak. Gun Control and the Self-Defense Argument, University of Chicago, Department of Economics, 2001. Print.
Nan, Desuka. Why Handguns must be Outlawed, Mountain View, Mayfield Publishing Company, 1993. Print.
Rob, Barry, Madeline Farbman, Jon Keegan, and Palani Kumanan. Murder in America, The Wall Street Journal, 2013, Web.