The gun debate is a divisive and contentious one. Gun advocates believe that guns make us safer by empowering individuals to protect themselves and their property. Based on this assumption, each person should own a firearm to ensure safety is guaranteed. On the other hand, gun critics argue that firearms promote violence, and governments should curtail gun ownership and recover those owned by citizens. Guns can give a person a sense of security, but overall it makes the society less safe.
People buy guys primarily for two reasons. First, to protect life and property. Second, for entertainment whereby a person owns a gun to experience the shooting thrill. Such individuals visit shooting areas to fire at random objects, practice gun skills, or try different firearms and ammunition. Although the two reasons are positive, legitimate guns are prone to end in the wrong people’s hands. Gun purchases increase the number of weapons available for criminals. For example, a potential criminal can steal a legal firearm and use it to cause harm. In such an event, a gun that a person bought for security or entertainment reasons ends up causing death or injuries.
Poor mental health is a widespread problem. People might seem fine on the outside but are struggling emotionally, rendering them susceptible to self-harm or hurting others. Gun availability makes mentally unstable persons dangerous because they can kill or commit murder-suicide. Cases of people with mental health issues killing others and committing suicide are rampant. Examples include current or former employees going to their places of work and killing colleagues. The United States has a mental health problem, and making guns easily accessible to such a population makes society less safe.
Although guns are meant to protect, they make people less safe through accidents. Accidental gun discharges have killed and injured hundreds of people. Innocent children have caused death and injury after accessing a gun and pulling the trigger without knowledge. Dozens of households have suffered accidental discharge deaths from guns that were never used against criminals, meaning the weapons caused more harm than good. This is the case across the U.S. Millions of people buy guns for protection but live a lifetime without ever needing to use them. Of course, it is better to be safe than sorry but more guns means more insecurity. How unsafe can a country be that you need an assault rifle to protect yourself? You probably need such guns when you live in anarchy.
Certain individuals are naturally aggressive, violent, and inconsiderate. They initiate fights or escalate the slightest disagreements. The social and economic environment one is brought up in can also make someone aggressive, violent, and unable to tolerate disrespect, jokes, or wrongdoings, resulting in fights. In a society without guns, when violent people are involved in a dispute, they exchange blows that mostly end in bruises or broken jaws. In worst cases, knives are involved causing deep cuts or death in rare cases.
On the other hand, in a society with guns, when violent people disagree, they use guns to settle differences. In most cases, one or multiple individuals end up dead or in critical condition. For example, in the U.S, a man shot and killed his two neighbors before shooting himself following a snow removal dispute. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/3-dead-murder-suicide-over-snow-removal-dispute-prosecutors-say-n1256599. There would not have been three dead bodies if guns were not involved in that incident. And if the victims were armed, at least one or two people would have died in a close-range shooting—still a loss.
Good Guy Theory
Gun advocates emphasize that arming good guys is the solution to stopping a criminal or a bad guy (mass shooter). In this reference, they encourage people to acquire guns and conceal-carry to contribute toward a safe society. However, as illustrated in Jordan Klepper: Good Guy with a Gun: The Daily Show, encouraging more law-abiding citizens to buy guns is not a straightforward way to stop mass shootings or bad guys. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCI4bUk4vuM. Moreover, every legal gun owner is a good guy until they turn the firearm against innocent people. For example, the Las Vegas Strip shooter was a good guy with guns until he decided to shoot at a concert and kill more than 50 people. Thus, more guns, whether legal or illegal, create an unstable, volatile, and unsafe environment.
In a perfect society, guns make people safe, but the world is not perfect. Certain countries have built a social, moral, and cultural structure with people who can own guns without gun violence or mass shootings. However, most countries, including the U.S, do not fall in that category. In 2019 in New York City’s Times Square, a large crowd fled in panic after mistaking misfiring motorcycles with gunshots. https://time.com/5646051/broadway-times-square-shooting-panic-stampede/. Such cases are common in the U.S; they demonstrate how guns have made the public less safe instead of safer. As a result, people are living in terror that a potential shooting might happen.
To support our work