Victoria studied English Language and Literature in college.
Guns are too easy to acquire in today's society. However, that doesn't necessarily mean we ban them all together. There are two opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to guns. Some of you believe it is our God-given right to own them, and some of you believe they are terrible weapons of mass destruction.
What if there was a way to meet in the middle with the entire gun control issue? What if everyone could be happy with one overall decision? Unfortunately, not everyone can be happy with one decision if it doesn't benefit them all the way around. But this article is going to talk about how we could resolve the gun control issue facing our society.
The Main Argument
The main argument when it comes to the gun control debate is "People with mental illnesses can get guns too easily." Increasing how difficult it is to buy a gun is the first step to a more controlled society without infringing on the Second Amendment right to own a firearm. Here are some ideas to help make the process a bit more strenuous, but within reasonable groundings.
- Stronger background checks. If we were to increase the sensitivity on background checks, it is more likely that it will be harder for people with "expired" records that show violent crimes to buy a gun.
- Counseling sessions. Each person who is wanting to buy a gun should have to attend 3 counseling sessions, all with a different specialist, at their own expense. This will help to determine if the person is mentally sound and stable enough to own a gun.
- Written test. Every individual should have to take a written test to own a gun. The questions should ask when it is appropriate to use a gun, when is something considered gun violence, etc. This will help the state determine if the person is knowledgeable enough of the laws to own a gun.
- Shooting course. Everyone who is applying to own a gun should have to take a "Shooter's Ed Course". Something similar to Driver's Ed. This will teach people the importance of gun safety.
During the American Colonial Era, concern with excessive alcohol consumption began. Fines were issued to citizens for drunken behaviors and distributing alcohol without a license. Eventually prohibition, the banning of alcohol, was set in lawful place. Between the 13 years of 1920 and 1933, the knowledge of how to make your own alcohol became more widespread. And since it was illegal, the government was unable to tax the sales.
Now, we have a different situation with the same problem. If we were to ban guns, the people breaking the law would find ways to get ahold of them. Not only that, but people will find ways to make guns and sell them to the ones who are already breaking the law. Just like prohibition, people today will find ways to get what they want. Correctional facilities can't afford to house more than the intended number of criminals, and not all criminals are caught.
Think of it this way: Criminals will have guns no matter what. Would you rather have some means of protection when someone breaks into your house, or would you rather lay there, defenseless, begging for your life until the police arrive? That's if you can even call them.
It's Not a Weapon of Mass Destruction
People die every day due to gun violence, but that does not mean everyone who owns a gun is bad. Not everyone uses their gun as a weapon of mass destruction. Some just keep them in their safes for a means of protection against a home invasion. Some people who own guns don't even hunt. Between the years of 1993 and 2013, statistics show that gun violence dropped from 7 homicides for every 100,000 people to 3.6 homicides for every 100,000 people. That is nearly a 50 percent decrease.
Guns are not weapons of mass destruction. It's our minds and our actions that destruct things. Guns are inanimate objects—accessories to our misdeeds. I don't think banning guns will solve anything, but it will create turmoil. However, I don't think it is difficult enough to possess firearms. My proposal is not to ban guns, but to make it harder to acquire them.
I, personally, don't want to have to give up my right to own a gun just so people can break the law and get something illegally that was originally a right.
What's Your Stance?
Arthur Russ from England on April 25, 2017:
Thanks Opinionated. If you do look into how other areas of crime compare between the USA and UK I would be interested in reading your conclusions in any article you may write. I’ve often seen mentioned by Americans in discussions on HubPages that there are other areas of crime which are more prevalent in the UK than the USA; with the Counterargument being that crimes are classified differently in the UK so you can’t make a direct comparison.
In this respect I would be interested in any conclusion you may arrive at, as you are in a privileged position of being able to see both cultures first hand and thus make an ‘informed’ decision from your experience on how they compare.
As a Brit, I fully agree with you that the American police should be taught to shoot to incapacitate rather than kill when possible. Sky News did a documentary on this last year. As a Brit I found it enlightening; but I would be interested to know from your viewpoint as an American whether you find the documentary biased or balanced (if you have the time of course).
To reduce viewing time I’ve set the link to start at the point just before where American police chiefs come to Britain to learn from the Police in Scotland how to avoid shooting violent suspects; although you could restart the video from the beginning if you wanted to watch it all: -
Hard-Wire: Law of The Gun (Documentary) https://youtu.be/66pr23xUKZc?t=15m15s
I’d be interested in your views, if you have any thoughts on the video.
Victoria Hanna (author) from Suffolk, United Kingdom on April 25, 2017:
I personally have never owned a gun myself. I have shot a gun, and I am surprisingly good at it! I don't feel that a gun in something I need, although the world we live in and town I grew up in were rather sketchy. I thankfully haven't had to encounter any life-threatening experience with a gun, but I know people who have and a gun saved their life without having to kill the attacker. I feel a lot of gun hate stems from criminals and some areas of police brutality in America. I feel criminals will find a way regardless and that police should be taught to shoot to incapacitate rather than kill when possible. I do understand every view point on the situation, though! I have noticed less violent crime here than in America but other areas of crime seem to be higher. I will have to look more in to it as that has just been based off hearsay and not real, factual information.
Arthur Russ from England on April 24, 2017:
Hi Opinionated, Welcome to England, and glad to hear you’re enjoying it here. a well-balanced article on a sensitive subject. As a Brit the American gun culture is something I struggle to understand.
I guess now that you’ve lived in England for a few months it must be fascinating learning the differences (and similarities) in cultural values and social attitudes between our two nations e.g. guns, health, education, welfare, drinking laws etc.
Do you plan to write an article of your time spent in Britain? If so then I look forward to reading it. I’d love to hear of your experience here and how from an American perspective it compares with America on social and cultural issues, which of course would also include your experiences of living in a society free of guns.
Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on September 06, 2016:
I think a total ban on guns is unreasonable and untenable. And I completely agree that gun safety is an important issue. Attending a gun safety course where one learns not only how to shoot a gun but also to respect its maiming/killing potential should be mandatory before one is allowed to purchase a gun.
You're welcome. I've enjoyed reading your take on social issues.
Victoria Hanna (author) from Suffolk, United Kingdom on September 04, 2016:
You are right, but at least guns would still be able to be purchased by these law abiding citizens. We will always have the pertinent issue of unregistered guns. However, if we were to ban them all together, then the ones who use guns in self defense would have no means of protection. Today, alarm systems are too expensive and sometimes fail. The average ETA for a patrol car is seven minutes or more (depending on if there's one already in the area.) The average speed of a bullet is 2,500 feet per second, or 1,700 miles per hour. I understand that guns are dangerous. But maybe if we were to encourage gun safety, rather than teaching people to fear guns, it would resolve some issues. They are scary if in the wrong hands. But the fact of the matter is the wrong hands will always find a way to get it. Banning guns will never solve the problem. Thank you so much for your insight. I really do enjoy reading your comments and thoughts on my hubs.
Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on September 04, 2016:
Your suggestions are sound but without proper enforcement, it would be difficult to make them viable. Sadly, the only ones who would agree to these are people who obey the law anyway. There is also, as you mentioned, the problem of people going underground in order to circumvent all these safety checks. This is a complicated issue with no concrete answers that will satisfy with extreme views.