Guns are a Danger to Society Just imagine sitting in a movie theater around midnight and suddenly some mad man comes in and begins shooting. On July 20, 2012 that’s what happened at a Century Movie Theater in Aurora Colorado, which resulted in about twelve people that lost their lives and about 58 other’s injured, including a baby. (Wikipedia, n. d. )There are several arguments that always comes up in the defense of gun use, which are guns don’t kill people, people kill people, guns reduce crime and that they are used for sporting reasons, like hunting.
Although there is truth to those statements, the fact is that guns are used to inflect pain, intimidate, and threaten people and should be made harder to obtain. Because the federal government is doing nothing about all of the crimes, murders, and suicides that take place every day all over the United States, it sends a message to our society that offensive gun use is acceptable, when in fact it is not. Human life is priceless and once it’s taken no one can bring it back. With that being said, anyone that has good common sense would be able to see that guns take lives more than they save lives.
The federal government needs to acknowledge the fact that guns are used more to harm people and should ban the ownership of handguns statewide. Over the past couple of years gun control has become a very controversial issue within society because of all the mass murders, robberies and killings that have taken place with firearms. The reason for this is because most people are in favor of keeping the current gun laws the same. What the people in favor of the current gun laws fail to realize is that regardless of what the gun is used for and how, its only function is to injure or kill.
According to Violent Nation by Mike Sharpe (2011) “Over 30,000 men, women, and children are shot dead every year and 66,000 wounded. Eighty lives a day are terminated by gunfire. ” (pg. 122) If you think about that, guns make up for over 50% of all suicides and murders that take place every year. Based on this information, it can be said that too many people are losing their lives daily because of the relaxed gun laws currently in place and something needs to be done about it. Banning the use of hand guns would automatically save lives and prevents countless injuries.
Many people say that it is every Americans right to own a gun because of the second amendment of the United States Constitution that states, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. ” (Findlaw, 2012). This Amendment was created during a time that our country was at war, as a way for the militia to protect our country and to keep our land free. We are no longer living in those times where guns are a necessity in order to protect our land. Now we are living in a time where guns are being used to aid people in performing criminal activity.
Despite the fact that many people feel that they need handguns to protect themselves as well as their property, we need stricter laws in order to stop all of the violent crimes being committed in the effort to save lives. Based on the research conducted by the National Crime Victimization Survey, it was found that criminal gun use is more common than self-defensive gun use. The survey also suggests that there are about one million violent crimes that involve guns every year, compared to the 60,000 to 120,000 times a victim uses a gun in a self-defense situation.
Although gun ownership is high across the country, the people usually targeted in armed robberies are those who are clearly defenseless. Just think about it; what are the chances that a robber approaches a person with a gun attempting to rob them, but the person has a gun on them and shoots the robber, very slim. The only times people use guns in self-defense situations is if someone is trying to rob their house, personal business, or when the cops has to shoot someone in self-defense. People who are career criminals are the people who are more likely to use guns in a violent manner, not victimless people.
A private survey was conducted by David Hemenway and Deborah Azrael from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center that asked questions about the use of guns in defensive and offensive situations; like if they had been robbed lately and if so what they did in response to the crime. (The Relative Frequency of Offensive and Defensive Gun Uses: Results From a National Survey, 2000). They conducted the survey through a random-digit-dial telephone system that randomly called people’s houses to ask them “In the past five years, have you used a gun in self-defense to protect yourself from a person or people? and “In the past five years, has anyone displayed or brought out a gun in a hostile manner, even if this event did not take place during the commission of a crime? ” If a person gave a positive response it then leads to more questions about the incident. According to the results from the survey most of the people that participated in it reported a gun being used on them more than people reported using a gun in a self-defense situation.
The table provided in the article shows that fourteen people reported a total of 54 incidents where they had to use a gun in a self-defense situation, 58 people reported a total of 112 incidents where they were showed a gun in a hostile situation, 21 people reported 37 incidents where a gun was used on them in a planned crime, 24 people reported 55 incidents where a gun was used in a conflict that resulted from an argument, and thirteen people reported 21 incidents where a gun was used against them in a unprovoked situation. (pg. 60) What the survey clearly provided was that guns are used more in hostile and offensive ways than they are used in self-defensive ways. The federal government should implement stricter guns laws because not everyone is mentally capable enough to own a firearm like it seems. Like the story from the beginning about the shooting that took place at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. According to the news report from KTVU channel two news, the shooter James Holmes school psychologist at the University of Colorado admitted that he showed signs of depression and anger.
A couple of weeks before the incident at the movie theater, James Holmes withdrew from the University after making threats towards his professor and psychiatrist. Based on reports from the prosecutors handling the case, Holmes had told one of his classmates that he wanted to kill someone months before the shooting occurred. It was also said that James Homes had sent a notebook to his school’s psychologist describing the violent attack that took place that night in the movie theater, but the psychologist didn’t get it in time. (Ktvu. om, 2012) This shows as well as other shooting massacre’s that have happened, that mental assessments is a necessary precautionary measure that needs to be conducted on those trying to purchase a handgun, shotgun, or a rifle. The mental assessment should consist of a series of questions that helps find out if a person is intended on causing harm with the gun or has a mental health issue. The movie theater shooting that took place in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012 could have been prevented if mental assessments were a part of the background check verification process.
Mental health screenings help to figure out what state a mind a person is in and helps determine if a person’s mental health is normal enough to function in society without causing harm to themselves or others. Despite the fact that we American’s have the legal right to keep and bear arms, people should undergo a mental screening before they are allowed to exercise that right. I would now like to address the detrimental effect that guns have on the society and the minds of children and young adults.
In certain neighborhood and households, children and young adults are exposed to some kind of gun violence by watching TV, seeing it within their community, at their school, in their neighborhood, and even at home. What that does is teaches our children that guns are cool, so to say. Guns are incorporated in almost every show that comes on T. V. as well as in every video game that they know young adults like to play. Exposure to gun violence can leave mental and emotional scars on children and young adults.
When they are exposed to shows and play video games with gun violence in them, it leaves negative effects on their minds and increases the chances of young adults joining gangs or incidents like the Columbine High School massacre. When children watch violent TV shows, movies, and video games, it affects their mind by causing them to have aggressive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that they may act out. (www. ehow. com)Young adults these days are easily able to get their hands on a gun and that is a major problem that needs to be fixed.
One of the ways this could be done is by the government enforcing stricter gun laws for every state, which it would make guns harder for young adults to get their hands on. In conclusion, the issue over whether or not the federal legislation should implement stricter gun laws will always be present within the United States. The reason for this is because half of the people are in favor of the current gun laws while the other half are against them. This problem will continue until everyone gets on one accord and realizes that guns are harmful to society because of how they are being used.
The 2nd Amendment makes people believe that guns are the way to protect themselves against others that attempt to harm them, but something people don’t realize is that the more guns there are within the society, the higher the death rate will continue to rise every year. Guns are the leading cause for majority of the injuries and deaths that take place every year through suicides and homicides and something needs to be done to prevent it. If the federal legislator does not make it harder to obtain handguns, things will do nothing but get worse.