Ten-thousand, five-hundred, twenty-seven people die a year in a handgun
related incidents in the United States. This number, by far, out weighs those
gun related deaths in countries such as Sweden, Great Britain, and Japan, which
number 13, 22, and 87 respectively.
What is the reason for such drastic differences in numbers? The latter
mentioned countries have stricter gun control laws
and they require bare arm
safety courses. These laws have a direct relationship to the number of gun
deaths which occur each year from country to country. Perhaps if the U.S. would
adopt some of those laws the number of deaths would drop accordingly.
Winthrop addressed such a dilemma almost 350 years ago in his "Speech to
the General Court" in 1645. Winthrop's two main problems
were where do the
rights of people stop and the magistrates' authority begin. According to
Winthrop, people are naturally evil, and if left to their own devices, they
will become even worse. Therefore, authority is a necessity. This same
principle holds true for gun control. People here in the U.S. have the "right
to bare arms," but with that right comes responsibility. As an American with
that right you're not free to shoot anyone or anything at will. Government
should create laws to protect the rights of others.
I believe stricter gun control laws and better education on the use of
guns is necessary. People of the U.S. aren't as rigidly regulated by gun laws
compared to our European neighbors. In the United States it takes anywhere from
a few days to a couple of weeks to get a permit to carry a handgun. However, in
most crimes committed with a handgun, the gun isn't even licensed. More
authority is necessary to control the illegal handling of handguns. In England,
guns which are permitted for hunting are required to be signed out, purpose of
use stated, and the type of gun.
I also feel the person requesting a permit should first be educated on
the proper use, cleaning, and handling of a firearm. This would help to avoid
any accidental shootings from occurring. They should be made aware of all the
laws regarding the handling of firearms.
To some this may seem severe. But as I stated earlier, these stricter
laws do affect the difference between the U.S. and Europe in the amount of
handgun related deaths.
In these controversial issues about gun control, it is my opinion that
the United States should have stricter gun obtaining laws. If a criminal was
convicted for a gun related crime, he should be unable to purchase a gun. For
the average human being, if one wants to purchase a gun, he should have a
complete background check, take a course, and pass it to show that you are
capable of using such dangerous equipment, like a gun.
Just as Winthrop struggled with the conflict between people's rights and
the authorities impending on their rights, we today, have those same struggles.
The right to bare arms and the responsibilities that go with those rights is
just one of the many of those struggles we as American citizens have to face
today. Had there been a better screening process to own a gun, the Lock Haven
Massacre in 1969 may have been prevented.