XBCOM 275 Final Debate Paper

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"Would Tighter Gun Control Laws Save Lives?"
Cameron Peterson
February 28, 2015
Tynia Landry

"Would Tighter Gun Control Laws Save Lives?"
Every day the use of guns is acquired throughout the world. The big question on everyone's mind is "Would Tighter Gun Control Laws Save Lives?" Both sides of the debate have valid arguments. Just look at the interesting statistics. In Washington, D.C., a city-wide gun ban was implemented in 1976. Immediately following the gun ban the murder rate increased, and for the next 15 years Washington was either first or second, nationally, in murder rate (Levy, 2008). According to the BBC News, handgun crime in the United Kingdom rose by 40% in the two years after it passed its draconian gun ban in 1997. The statistics show the bigger picture from each side of the argument. The pro argument is that gun control will save lives. The con of the argument is that gun controls will not save lives. The evaluation of ethical, moral, and legal issues is identified in relation to gun controls. The team identifies the more persuasive argument along with a reflection of team consensus. The weaker and stronger arguments are established to determine the awareness of gun control and allow audience to make an educated decision on choosing which argument to side with. Tighter gun control laws are not a guarantee that lives will be saved. As mentioned earlier, Washington, D.C. and the United Kingdom adopted stringent gun control laws and it literally increased crime. If laws become too tough to handle, people will work their way around the laws. Owning or not owning a gun will not make people less susceptible to experiencing crime. In 2010, across four counties, 444 domestic homicides relating to guns were recorded. In only eight of these instances, the gun involved had been kept in the home. Furthermore, the instances when the gun in the home had been used, it is safe to say that it was used in self-defense. Most homicide victims are killed by weapons carried by the intruder (Lott, pg. 26, 2010).

“In reality, the English approach has not reduced violent crime. Instead it has left law-abiding citizens at the mercy of criminals who are confident that their victims have neither the means nor the legal right to resist them. Imitating this model would be a public safety disaster for the United States” (Malcolm, 2002). This simply states that criminals believe it to be a free-for-all because they know that they will have no obstructions. Why not break into a home or business; even if there is someone there, he or she will not have the means to even attempt to protect themselves. Even if guns are not available, people who want to commit a crime will find another tool to do so (Kates & Mauser, 2007). If a person is in that state-of-mind to perform an act of violence, they do not need a gun. They just need whatever is readily available. Just think of how many crimes where kitchen knives are used. Guns do not kill people, people kill people. Even if it is not a gun, it will be another tool. In 2003, the Center for Disease Control did a report on the efficacy of firearm and ammunition bans. The report concluded that there was insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed in regard to violent outcomes (Levy, 2008). Guns are simply too accessible that can lead to more deaths. Society has free reign on acquiring guns for personal use. Many guns start out legal and end up in criminal hands. An article posted on the National Rifle Association’s website stated, “Since 1991, the number of privately owned firearms has risen by perhaps 50 million. Americans bought 37 million new firearms in the 1993-1999 time frame alone” (NRA). With the rising number of weapons purchases, a citizen cannot help but speculate how all of these firearms were acquired. Another article posted on the NRA’s...
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