THIS IS THE PAPERWORK FROM WEEK 4, IT WILL COINCIDE WITH THIS WEEK 5 reflection
Persuasive Paper – Gun Control
Since 1982, there have been more than 99 public mass shootings in the United States, sixty of which have happened since 2006 (Follman, Aronsen, & Pan, 2012). While the locations of these shootings have varied, the common link is the occurrence in public places such as villages, malls, and schools. In some of these cases, the people responsible for these incidents were killed or detained by law enforcement. Others committed suicide before they could be apprehended by police officers. For every incident, at least five innocent lives were lost, robbing people of their children, their parents and their siblings. Despite investigation into the causes of each of these incidents, there appears to be no reduction in the amount of gun violence happening in the United States.
While these statistics apply to American instances of violence, the ramification for other nations is that global news outlets share the information and the need for civilized society as a whole to address the theme of gun violence. Therefore, it appears as though addressing the need for gun control is essential to reducing access to weapons for those who would use them to harm others in large-scale public assaults.
The number of gun-related incidents in addition to the mass public shootings in America is staggering (Fox & DeLateur, 2014). Little has been done to stem access to guns for American citizens, a fact some say has contributed to the rise in gun violence. Alternatively, the Australian government has implemented strict laws concerning gun use which have led to reduced mass killings. However, all have not been completely eliminated (Masters, 2016). This indicates that, while gun control itself is a significant contributing factor to the reduction of gun violence in a population, it cannot be counted upon to completely eliminate such issues.
Several studies have been done concerning gun control. In the United States, 31% of mass shootings have occurred in Mid-western and Western states (Follman, Aronsen, & Pan, 2012). In total, thirty-four states have experienced some form of public mass shooting in the last two decades (Katsiyannis, Whitford, & Ennis, 2018).
With regard to the means by which the perpetrators obtain the guns used in such incidents, recent investigation shows that nearly 80% obtained their guns through legal means (Follman, Aronsen, & Pan, 2012). Additionally, approximately half of the weapons used in the attacks were semiautomatic weapons, many of which have been outlawed under stricter gun control measures implemented in 2013 (Katsiyannis, Whitford, & Ennis, 2018).
Many American politicians support increased measures of gun control as a means of reducing such violence. One prominent proponent of increased gun control is Barack Obama, the former President of the United States. Another political figure weighing in heavily on the side of gun control is Hillary Clinton (Spitzer, 2015). Both public figures voice support for the steps taken by the Australian Government to control gun use, even though the government of the United States of America is taking more time to implement gun control laws than is Australia.
On the other side of the issue are private citizens who have justified the use or ownership of guns of all types. These individuals believe that gun ownership is required for self-defense in cases of attacks on their persons or property. The necessity might arise due to instances such as hostage attacks, burglary or other forms of violence (Katsiyannis, Whitford, & Ennis, 2018). As such, they value the right to obtain guns legally and participate in the background investigations and licensing requirements to do so.
Their justification for wanting the right to own guns is that life is very precious and once lost, it cannot be recovered. However, even considering this stance by citizens willing to obtain and keep firearms legally, the fact remains that there are American residents who have gone beyond the boundaries of legality and have used guns to cause harm to the people in society.
Even when individuals obtain guns legally, personal circumstances may happen that make the actual use of guns different from their intended uses. For example, history is full of instances where individuals, facing challenges they cannot cope with in life, have used alcohol or drugs and made poor decision to use firearms to vent out their frustrations on their neighbors and people that they blame for their problems. These people did not intend to use guns in illegal circumstances but, due to impairment of drugs or alcohol, their though processes were altered with the result of unintended violence.
It is true that gun use can be beneficial to people that have their lives or property threatened. However, it is also important to note that the ownership of a gun is a tremendous responsibility. If one owns a gun, then they must be disciplined as to its use, employing it only for self-defense or in other legal and safe ways. Commitment to gun safety is an important part of the right and responsibility to own guns.
Those who have used guns in schools were often not pointed out as violent prior to the incidents; in most cases, they were responsible members of society (Fox & DeLateur, 2014). While their life circumstances would indicate no need for guns nor any predisposition to violence, something in their situations led to the use of firearms in illegal and violent altercations. America should take a vital step to review the laws that concern guns and their use, creating standardized laws in all states.
The laws should be applicable to all citizens and everyone should exercise discipline while handling guns. The persons allowed to handle guns should be educated on the terms that govern their use as well as the consequences that could follow if the conditions are not adhere to.
Follman, M., Aronsen, G., & Pan, D. (2012). A guide to mass shootings in America. Mother Jones, 15, 119.
Fox, J. A., & DeLateur, M. J. (2014). Mass shootings in America: moving beyond Newtown. Homicide studies, 18(1), 125-145.
Katsiyannis, A., Whitford, D. K., & Ennis, R. P. (2018). Historical Examination of United States Intentional Mass School Shootings in the 20th and 21st Centuries: Implications for Students, Schools, and Society. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1-12.
Masters, J. (2016). US gun policy: global comparisons. New York: Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved from http://www. cfr. org/society-and-culture/us-gun-policy-global-comparisons/p29735
Spitzer, R. J. (2015). Politics of gun control. Routledge.