Should Handguns be banned?
According to a definition by the Justice Bureau of Firearms’ department in California, handguns are equipment that people use to defend themselves as well as their important resources or properties. The department does not consider handguns as weapons that people use in facilitating the killing of innocent individuals. People have engaged in heated debates regarding the control of handguns in the United States. These debates have raised diverse responses from different lobby groups, individuals, administrative offices and organizations. Citizens who abide by the law versus the criminals engage in contests over who should have the upper hand when it comes to the issue of handguns and their ban.
More than 30,000 deaths were as a result of the use of handguns in the 90s. These were reported in the United States where they were recorded. Currently, the police, certified as well as uncertified people who own handguns are using them in committing murder, facilitating the hunt for their owners, executing different gang activities and pleasurable shootings during celebrations. Going by the safety measures that the Justice Bureau of Firearms’ department has outlined, these uses are against the firearms’ ownership rights as well as practices. Therefore, the focus of this essay is on the analysis as well as the evaluation of the issue of banning handguns and whether it is necessary in the US (CDJ 5).
There are ten reasons that necessitate banning handguns according to Bruce Gold. Although handguns are important when it comes to providing self-defense, Bruce notes that people are continuously committing crime and reporting it under ‘self-defense’. This makes investigations by the police complicated. Police officers are employed by the government to maintain law and to keep order. Therefore, people should be banned from owning handguns for purposes of self-defense. Civilians should be encouraged to depend on the police officers to ensure their safety. Bruce argues that police officers are better trained and equipped to handle handgun machinery and this makes them better than civilians who own handguns (Bruce 1).
Out of 1000 handguns that are owned by civilians, 4 of them are used in acts of committing crimes. Only 2 percent of those under civilian ownership are used for purposes of self-defense. Therefore, it is apparent that these handguns are unnecessary since they are increasing the rates of crime within the country because of their illegal ownership by criminals. The foundation of gun owners argues that there are more lives that are saved using handguns than the lives that are taken away by criminals using handguns because they fear attacking armed citizens.
Nevertheless, there are higher chances of reporting homicides and suicides in homes that have guns than those without handguns. As such, it is logical to ban handguns because they pose danger to the citizens, neighbors and the owner regardless of the way they use them especially if the owner has not undergone proper training on how to handle them. In addition, homes that have handguns without a safety lock with children residing in them have reported cases of teen murders, gun wounds, suicides and accidental shootings. Going by the fact that handguns are neither safe to their owners nor to the individuals who surround them; it is logical to ban them (Bruce 1).
Maitreesh Ghatak argues that in a setting that has a law abiding citizen as well as a criminal and both own handguns, a contest emerges where each wants to be successful. This implies that the criminal will be determined to hurt the civilian using an illegally acquired handgun. The civilian believes that the criminal owns a handgun for purposes of hurting them. Therefore, both parties will use handguns on the basis of assumptions that the other part has already decided to hurt them, steal valuables, damage tangible resources or properties. Consequently, there will be an increase in criminal activities as well as accidental shootings, murders and homicides (Maitreesh 2).
The constitution of the United States postulates that citizens should not revenge. Only criminals are allowed to do this because they do not respect this vital document. The citizens are required to depend on the police for protection against different criminal activities that include murder, assault, rape and burglary. Most owners of handguns do not respect the authorities since they have an over-reliance attitude on their firearms. As such, it is logical to ban handguns so that reliance and trust on the police when it comes to provision of security can be enhanced. This will also enable the government to execute its constitutional duties effectively while showing respect for the constitution of the US (Bruce 1).
As Brian Micklethwait observed, the laws that oppose firearms’ ownership do not provide a guarantee that illegally owned handguns will be surrendered by criminals. Contrary to this, these laws enable criminals to execute unlawful acts against the unarmed civilians with ease. However, he further acknowledges the truth that if all people world-over upheld the laws while performing civilian duties of ensuring the safety of their neighbors, then banning handguns would be logical because they will not be necessary. The United States is one of the countries in the rank of countries that have the most civilians who own handguns. This is because handguns are easy to acquire legally as long as a citizen can afford. Nevertheless, there are no strict measures in place to ensure that there are no illegal handguns in the hands of criminals. For this weakness to be dealt with the government should ban all handguns. Police officers should be the only handgun holders. This will enable the police to execute their duties of ensuring people follow the law while maintaining order (Brian 1).
Nevertheless, Nan Desuka argues that handguns alone cannot kill innocent individuals. Instead, they are used by criminals in committing illegal acts which lead to deaths. Therefore, it is apparent that problems that include increasing suicides, murders as well as homicides are not caused by handgun ownership. Increase in criminal activities causes these problems. The slogan, “guns do not kill…criminals do” was used by this writer to support his argument. It is illogical to ban handguns because this is not a guarantee for the end of criminal activities. Criminals will kill using other means as long as they are willing and determined to commit murder (Nan 1).
There was an article on murder cases in America written on Wall Street Journal by several writers. This article indicated that there were diverse circumstances under which people committed murder in the US from 200 to 2010. During these years, more than 165,000 homicides and murder cases were recorded in the US with the exclusion of Florida. These cases resulted from arguments, police killings, narcotic drugs, robbery, gangs, gambling, abortion and vehicle theft among others.
Some of the weapons that were used included blunt objects, poison, knives, fire, strangulation, explosives, asphyxiation, firearms and pushing from the window. As such, it is apparent that banning handguns will not serve as the ultimate solution that will end suicides, murders and homicides. It is illogical to single out handguns as the sole causes of criminal activities although they play a contributory role (Rob, Madeline, Jon and Palani 1).
Bruce Gold observed that it was witnessed more than 2 million years ago that people owning guns for purposes of self-defense used them to commit ‘non-event’ crimes. Therefore, banning handguns in the modern social setting is ethical. Handguns ought to be outlawed in every state in order to end criminal migration. A notification by Bruce indicates that criminals tend to migrate to a country that has less strict firearm laws. Low criminal acts will be recorded in states like Virginian when handguns are banned.
It is crucial to consider the fact that the cost of acquiring firearms cannot be afforded by all citizens. If individuals are allowed to own firearms to ensure self-defense, it implies that the unarmed civilians will be the accidental shootings and crimes’ victims of those who have them. The objective of the constitution in the US is to ensure equality among the citizens. This can only be achieved if all civilians own handguns. Handguns widen the gap between the rich as well as the poor since only the rich can afford the cost of acquiring them while the poor remain the victims of those who afford them who are the rich. On the basis of this fact, handguns complicate investigations by the police when a civilian and a criminal involve them. Therefore, it is legally right as well as ethical to propose a ban for handguns.
Civilians whose belief is that handguns provide self-defense to properties and lives own them. Nevertheless, the government employs police officers to provide security to the civilians. Citizens should depend on the government’s hired security authorities without having to own handguns. For equality to be achieved, the security forces’ work should be emphasized. Banning handguns is necessary because it will eliminate possible compromises of the police investigations while reducing vehicle theft and robbery among other criminal activities.
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.