Stricter Gun Laws to Save Lives

by Terreros14 on May 14, 2013 - 10:12pm

Violence has always been part of societies. As far as we can remember, violent incidents sometimes occur and it is difficult to prevent them. In today’s society, crimes are more violent and difficult to control because of the number of weapons and dangerous arms available. People feel the need to protect themselves from criminals and the best way, according to many people, is to have weapons to defend themselves. In the United States, it is easy to go to a store, buy a gun or a knife without any questions asked and go back home. Many people believe that better gun control could prevent violent incidents and discourage criminals from performing violent actions. The main idea of the gun control is to stop people with criminal pasts from purchasing guns. Gun control is an ongoing debate. Even though many doubt the effectiveness of making gun control laws stricter, many activists and organizations push for better control. This essay will argue that stricter gun laws seem likely to improve the public safety against firearm possession since it is too easy to purchase small arms in the U.S. and in Canada. To prove my points, I will be discussing three scholarly articles on the issue I am working on. The three articles are; “Place of Safety” from Relational Child & Youth Care Practice, “Carrying Guns in Public: Legal and Public Health Implications” from the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics and “L'effet des lois en matière de contrôle des armes à feu sur les homicides au Canada, 1974-2004” from Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice. I will seek to understand how the gun control policies would and do affect Canada and the United States.

The first article I will be discussing is “Place of Safety” from Relational Child & Youth Care Practice. This is a recent article written after the sandy hooks shooting. This incident occurred on December 14th, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. 20 year old Adam Lanza went in the Elementary school after fatally shooting his mother with a rifle. He then went on to shoot 20 kids and 6 adults in the school before taking his own life. The article focuses on how the shooting in Connecticut affected the American population. After the shooting, their “faith in [the] shared public safety had been threatened.” Every public places they go to didn’t feel as safe as before. If a shooting could occur in a place as neutral and peaceful as an elementary school, why not at work? At home? Or at the gym? People needed to feel protected because they felt they were not safe in places they should be. The author of the article grew up around guns because his family were hunters. However, he believes that guns aren’t threats when used properly and for the right reasons. The guns in his home were always locked away and out of hand of the wrong persons. According to him, “Guns, too many guns, weapons generally, are finding their way into the wrong hands with the wrong intentions” . This point emphasizes on the importance that gun control could play on the safety of the population. In one of the articles I blogged about, the mother of a victim was pleading for better gun control. The mother lost her kid at the Sandy Hooks shooting The article also show how gun owners should act in order to ensure that the guns are used the right way and that the people who have access to them know how to use them. Even though Also, the kids that grow up with guns around need to be shown at an early age that the weapons are dangerous and kept away until they are able to use them properly. This article shows how gun control could stop people with the wrong intensions to purchase weapons and that the people who do own them need to treat the guns like weapons and know that they can be dangerous when in the wrong hands.

The second article I will discuss is “Carrying Guns in Public: Legal and Public Health Implications” from the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. The article is about how the second amendment was used to counter a law banning the ownership of guns in homes for personal reasons. According to the article, “a law banning handguns in the home violated the private right protected by the Second Amendment” . This is a way that people use to counter the attempts to control the gun possessions. It is important to note that this countered a law for handgun ownership, not any weapon. Statistics in the article are relevant as they show that “In 2010, there were 11,078 firearm-related homicides in the U.S” , and 88% were committed with handguns. Even though this article says that studies made on gun control didn’t prove it would solve the problem, they admit that background checks are necessary in order to make sure not all weapons are available to anyone. It is a beginning, but it could be better. I believe that if everyone one was thoroughly studied before allowed to own and carry a gun, many incidents could be avoided and people would stop walking around with guns.

The third article I will discuss is “L'effet des lois en matière de contrôle des armes à feu sur les homicides au Canada, 1974-2004” from Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice. This article studies the recent laws on gun control in Canada and their effectiveness. Studies showed that stricter gun laws in Canada influenced the crime rates in a downwards pattern, proving their efficacy. The most interesting finding of the study is that the “effectiveness of these laws is due to the reduced access and availability of firearms rather than to the severity of sentences provided” . Even though we would think that harsher sentences in prison for gun crimes would have a bigger effect on crime rates than controlling weapons, the study shows that it doesn’t. In fact, it is the different laws that seek to control the gun ownerships that have the bigger effect on crimes. It clearly shows that gun control would have relevant impact and may save lives. Since the introduction of the law c-51 and c-68, the crime rates significantly dropped. C-51 made certificates required in order to own a firearm in Canada and limited the ammunition selling. Law c-68 requires that guns (also long-guns) need to be registered. The fact that these two laws influenced crime rates shows that better gun controls in the United States and Canada would be a step towards a safer environment and dissuade criminals from doing homicides.
In conclusion, these three articles about gun control show how it could help reduce crime rate and may stop tragedies such as the sandy hooks incident. People who own gun need to be well informed. If people understood that locking their guns away from children and showing them the importance of being careful around them, some tragedies could be avoided. As I show in my blog post about a 12-year old that was shot by his younger brother , stricter laws could save lives. Even though not everyone agrees with that and the influence of the National Rifle Association is growing in the United States, it is important to understand that better background checks could indeed save lives. What is sure is that crimes won’t be higher with gun control, so why not try it.