Term Paper: Gun Control Gun Availability

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Gun Control

Gun availability has become a very much discussed and very intensely debated item of discussion in the United States. According to statistics there are over 230 million guns privately owned, about half of households in the United States are the owner of at least one gun and according to a Kleck and Gertz, 1995 there are 2.5 million self-defense uses of guns each year. The New England Journal of Medicine published a report that states that gun possession increases the likelihood of becoming a homicide victim by a factor of 2.9.

There exists a long-running debate concerning the question of whether owning a gun increases the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime, committing a crime that one would not otherwise have committed, or that household ownership of a gun increases the likelihood of death due to accident or suicide. Different studies have returned different findings and conclusions and it leaves one wondering exactly what the truth is and exactly what one should believe when contemplating possible gun purchase and household ownership of a gun.

There are alternatives to gun control such as enforcing the laws that are already in existence. In fact the largest problem with violence involving guns are crimes that are committed by repeat offenders. Those in state correction facilities surveys showed the 90% of the crimes committed with weapons were by those who were repeat offenders. In the federal correctional facilities 75% of those convicted for weapons had prior convictions.

Statement of Thesis:

Gun control is a law that should exist to some extent but that should not violate the rights as set out by the U.S. Constitution for the right to bear arms. There is no evidence that proves that gun ownership increases the likelihood of any crime or accident when the gun is stored and used properly.

IV. Evidence Supporting Statement of Thesis:

Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) seems to imply that there are 68,000 defensive uses of guns each year. Other surveys, in fact 13 in all show that there are at the very least, nine times that many. Doing the math on this 68,000 X 9, equal the sum of 612,000 defensive uses of guns each year. In other words, 612,000 individuals per year protect themselves, their homes and their families because they had in their possession a device, a weapon, a gun with which to do so, to protect themselves and their loved ones. Inaccurate measurements should be noticed when they are inconsistent with so many other measurements of the same data.

Incidents where victims use a gun defensively are almost never gunfights by criminals NCVS and police-based data indicate that about 80% of guns used in crime are handguns and the present study shows that 80% of guns used by victims are handguns." Of these incidents only "24% involved the defender firing their gun and only 16% involved the defender shooting at their adversary." In only 4.5% of the cases did the defender get shot at and only 3% of the time did the parties both shoot at each other.

NCVS and police-based data indicate that about 80% of guns used in crime are handguns and the present study shows that 80% of guns used by victims are handguns."

While victims face multiple defenders in only about 24% of all violent crimes the victims in the sample who used guns faced multiple offenders in 53% of the incidents."

The study asked the question: "If you had not used a gun for protection in this incident, how likely do you think it is that you or someone else would have been killed?" The answer was given that 15.8% of the responders stated that either they themselves or that someone else would have 'almost certainly' been killed. 14.2% of the respondents said they 'probably would have' been killed and 16.2% stated that they 'might have' been killed. Therefore there are only about 50% that said that they were out of harms way and felt no fear of death from being shot with a weapon during the offense of a crime being perpetrated against them. Those are not very snug and cozy statistics in view of safety and perception of safety based on being in possession of weapon for defense purposes or not.

More Evidence Supporting Study:

Gun accidents that involve young children are naturally a concern for parents and grandparents as well for caretakers of children. As horrendous as it is when a child does inadvertently gain possession of a gun killing either themselves or someone else, it is very rare occurrence. Another factor to consider is that when this rare tragedy occurs it generally involves an adult who has been careless in the handling or storage of the gun.

The following chart based on figures from the 1995; Bureau of Justice Statistics Report on accidents and their causes shows that individuals are much more likely to die from other causes than accidents involving a guy.

Deaths Due to Unintentional Injuries, 2000 Source of Data: National Safety Council "Injury Facts" 2001 Edition pp. 8-9, 84

Table 1.0

As a matter of fact accidental death due to firearms comes in next to last and follows death by falls, death by poisoning from solid or liquid poisons, pedestrian related deaths, death by drowning, death by fires and burns and death by suffocation. Also in relation to the claim that firearms are a leading cause of death for small children, those in the 0-4 age group are almost twenty less likely to die due to accidental firearms death than the leading accidental cause of death. The age 45-64 age group is more likely to die from accidental firearm death than any age group in the reported statistics.

More Supporting Evidence for Statement of Thesis:

study reported in the New England Journal of Science entitled "Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home" revealed factors involved in gun ownership homicide rates that are quiet worthy of note in the purpose of becoming full informed in the area of gun control.

The study was performed by obtaining information from the police and medical examiner in three metropolitan counties as to victims whose deaths were gun related. The results revealed that although out of 1860 homicides 444 or 23.9% of them occurred in the home with the victim that there was another factor as most of these homes contained either a user of illicit drugs or a person with previous arrests. Another factor was that there was a history of fights and/or being hurt at home in these cases in the study.

VI: Supporting Evidence Three:

International statistics have been cited for deaths that are "gun-deaths. The following information is based on a "International Violent Death Rate Table" posted at the online web for GunCite located at http://www.guncite.com/gun_control? Gcgvintl.html.

Firearm Related Deaths around the Globe: A Sampling

The table above demonstrates that:

The United States is not the leading country in terms of homicide death with related firearms attributed to the death. Although it does show as being leaders in suicide death with firearms involved the percentage of households with firearms and suicide related deaths is higher by percentage in other countries than in that of the United States suicide related to firearm deaths.

VII: Counter Argument One:

The case study performed by Arthur Kellermann and his associates in 1993 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that the risk of homicide victimization is increased by a factor of 2.8 in cases of gun ownership or possession.

VIII. Counter Argument Two:

There are many organizations and communities in the United States that push for more gun control laws. This is evidenced by the many political running platforms that tout gun control as their concern.

IX. Conclusion:

This work addressed the statements that:

Gun control is a law that should exist to some extent but that should not violate the rights as set out by the Constitution for the right to bear arms. There is no evidence that proves that gun ownership increases the likelihood of any crime or accident when the gun is stored and used properly. The findings of this study have shown that young children are not more likely to die from firearm related accidental deaths but indeed are at least 18 times more likely to die from the leading cause of accidental death. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that of those people who experienced perpetration of a crime almost fifty percent of them felt that without a gun at the time that they were in danger of being shot.

The findings of the study are that gun ownership does not increase the likelihood that an individual will be more likely to die a homicidal death related to firearms, nor does it increase the chances that an individual will die a suicidal death related to firearms. Furthermore, this work has demonstrated that there are not more instances of children dying from firearm related accidents that… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Gun Control Gun Availability.  (2004, November 16).  Retrieved November 14, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-availability-become/459206

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"Gun Control Gun Availability."  Essaytown.com.  November 16, 2004.  Accessed November 14, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-availability-become/459206.