As one of the most contentious issues that is consistently debated in the US, gun ownership in the US attracts many arguments for an against. From constitutional rights, to the gun related deaths that adorn news channels worldwide, both sides have substantial arguments that support their belief.
Arguments for guns
With all but seven states in the US taking a stance that allows at least some citizens to own guns, the second amendment of the US constitution makes it clear that gun ownership is central to personal freedom. To those who support gun ownership, taking away the second amendment would be akin to taking away their constitutional right. Its existence has been designed to protect ‘the right to life’; by allowing citizens to carry their own guns, they are being given the freedom to defend their own lives, and therefore do not have to rely on law enforcement agencies.
In addition to this, owning gun is also seen as a way to protect one’s home and family. Robbers, murderers, and rapists are all very real in today’s society; taking ownership of a gun enhances an individual’s ability to defend, should they come into contact with somebody who poses a risk to their property or family.
Finally, one of the biggest worries of those who would like to continue owning guns is that without them, they will not be able to sufficiently defend themselves from invaders, such as terrorists. While it has been many decades since The US has faced an imminent threat of military invasion, ongoing terrorist attacks do make a lot of citizens feel unsafe. Having a gun means that each individual does not have to rely on the police or the military in order to defend themselves. Should an invader’s attack be imminently posing harm to an individual, they have the means required to provide their own defense.
Argument against gun ownership
To those who would like to see stricter gun control, many of the arguments presented by those in favor of ownership are null and void due to historical changes. They believe that the second amendment served its purpose when the constitution was written, but that a man no longer needs to provide his own defense due to the military, police, and other law enforcement agencies. This belief is something that also applies to the idea that a man needs to provide his own personal defense, as such agencies are considered by those who are against guns to be advanced enough to provide protection.
Those who would like to see stricter gun control laws also feel strongly that gun-related death statistics speak for themselves. With around 9000 people dying as a result of gun inflicted wounds in the US every year, and only 14 in much stricter countries like the UK, anti-gun campaigners believe that stricter control would reduce the number of people dying from attacks each year.
In addition to gun related homicides, many anti-gun campaigners firmly believe that allowing easy access to guns makes it easier for individuals to kill themselves. While other methods of suicide are available, none are as reactive or easy to access as a gun. To them, removing easy access to guns will make suicide more difficult, and may therefore reduce the number of cases. To them, this also protects ‘the right to life’, as it encourages individuals to preserve it.
With strong arguments for, and against, guns, many individuals find their stance changing, or they find themselves sitting on the fence. For those who strongly sit either side, protection and the right to life sit central to their arguments, each taking a different approach to what they feel is right.