Bosman states that at the end of the XX century, a number of brutal murders with firearms widely discussed on television has prompted politicians from different countries to tighten laws on gun trafficking. He explains that they promised that the new restrictions would reduce the level of violent crime and enable the authorities to provide a secure life for society (Bosman, p. 1, pars. 1-4). This paper will discuss different opinions concerning gun control.
According to the William J. Krouse, every year the number of weapons in private hands is increased by 4.5 million items. He explains that Americans have the world's largest private armory, according to the statistics received from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there are about 18.5 million hunters in the USA. Krouse explains that any person who is 16 years of age can become a hunter. According to the data of the US Department of the Treasury, he states, there are close to 1.7 thousand licensed manufacturers and about 740 licensed importers of firearms. Krouse illustrates that in 2002 manufacturers delivered more than 1.4 million pistols and revolvers and about 2.7 million rifles and shotguns. He explains that the decrease of the number of crimes committed with the use of these weapons is one of the most pressing problems in the US (Krouse, p. 4, par. 12).
According to Spitzer “Gun control is a fascinating public policy area that creates extremely emotional reactions among both those who advocate greater regulation of firearms and those who oppose further restrictions on ownership and call for the elimination of many existing limitations” (Spitzer 7). Carney writes that the Liberals believe that in order to solve this problem, it is necessary to tighten control of acquisition and possession of weapons until its total ban (Carney, p. 1, pars. 2-4).
Mitchell states that the Second Amendment is a declaration, which does not apply to an individual (Mitchell, p. 1, par. 21). According to the Constitution of the United States of America, “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” (Constitution of the United States of America 1193). Carter wrote, “Uviller, Merkel, and Cornell emphasize that the contemporary debate over gun control has ignored the language and the culture of the founding fathers, and when these are taken into account, both the “individual-right” and the “collective-right” interpretations are found wanting” (Carter 352).
Hunter writes that the Conservatives believe that the weapons in the hands of law-abiding citizens can hold criminals from attacks (Hunter, p. 1, par. 1). He explains that they are in favor of retaining the right to purchase, possess, and carry firearms. They cite, he writes, the Second Amendment of the US Constitution which guarantees this right. He states that the Conservatives say that the weapons cannot kill anyone. They become a murder weapon in the hands of people, explains Hunter. He writes that it is necessary to toughen penalties for the use of weapons for criminal purposes and control those who committed the crime (Hunter, p. 1, pars. 5-8).
According to Michael Summers, many years' experience in the fight against crime in the US shows that increased penalties rarely deter people from committing crimes. He considers that removing weapons from the hands of criminals is a tempting target and attractive propaganda slogan. However, no one knows how to achieve this goal, explains Summers. He states that the law enforcement agencies of some states decided to pay money for each unit of illegal weapons handed over to the police. Summers writes that this initiative failed miserably: firstly, the number of weapons was too small; secondly, these weapons were not usable (Summers, p.1, pars. 1-4).
Joe Messerli writes that severe restrictions or a ban on gun ownership does not affect the possibility of illegal access to weapons. The American experience shows that a ban on the sale of goods demanded by the citizens leads to a black market of prohibited goods, he states. Messerli explains that the black market of weapons is developing in the USA. He considers that tighter rules for the purchase of weapons will not touch those who buy weapons on the black market and it is almost impossible to take away guns from criminals (Messerli, p.1, pars. 1-2). Stephan Lewandowsky considers that the fundamental difference between Liberals and Conservatives is limited to one question – how can weapons in the hands of law-abiding citizens influence the level of crimes? He writes that the answer to this question can be obtained by analyzing the experience of the United States and other countries (Lewandowsky, p. 1, par. 8).
John Lott, the author of the book More Guns, Less Crime, gives the data concerning the number of murders before and after the adoption of strict rules limiting the possession of firearms. He states that these data clearly show that anywhere from Chicago and the District of Columbia in the United States to Jamaica, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, these restrictions led to the increase in crime (Lott, p.1, par. 4). Tommy Christopher writes that Mark Gius, a professor of economics at Quinnipiac University, conducted an extensive research on the impact of antigun laws on the level of crime. Analyzing data from 1980 to 2009 studies, one can notice that the states with more tight restrictions on the purchase of weapons and their concealed carry have the higher rate of crime, explains Christopher. He states that Mark Gius’ results of research are in line with those of John Lott and David Mustard’s study. Christopher writes that the study report was published in the January issue of the journal Applied Economic Letters in 2014 (Christopher, p. 1, pars. 7-9).
Sabrina Siddiqui states that Washington is famous for very rigid rules concerning the purchase of weapons. She considers that the city leads in the number of refusals of the applications for the purchase of handguns and rifles. She writes that proponents of rigorous measures on arms represented Washington as an example of the correctness of their policy. However, they are silent about how these brutal rules influenced the change in the crime rate, explains Siddiqui. She writes that after tightening the rules concerning the purchase of firearms, the level of crime in the city began to grow. Siddiqui states that the crime rate in Washington is 8 times higher than the national one (Siddiqui, p.1, pars. 2-5). Steve Netherby writes that Maurice Turner, a former police chief of the District of Columbia, considers that the citizens should be able to buy guns because the law on gun control did nothing to restrict criminals’ access to guns. He thinks that Washington criminals do not face any difficulties with the illegal possession of firearms. Netherby states that the growth rate of the number of crimes involving weapons in Washington is the highest in the country (Netherby, p. 30, par. 2).
According to K. Goss, the state of New Jersey is another place with very severe restrictions on the sale and possession of firearms. He writes that these restrictions do not lead to the reduction in the crime rate in the state. Goss states that in the annual report for 2014, the organization of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave examples how anyone in New Jersey can purchase weapons on the black market in a few minutes. He adds that a person does not have to fill documents and wait for a testing for several months. He writes that the results of tightened rules concerning the possession of weapons can be clearly seen in famous criminal centers like New York and Chicago. Goss explains that about 70 thousand of firearms were registered in New York and there are at least 750 thousand of pistols and rifles in the hands of citizens according to the police. He states that more than 90 % of the weapons were acquired illegally (Goss, p. 2 pars. 2-6).
Judson Phillips writes that one of the popular ways of crime prevention methods among Liberals are schools and public facilities as zones free of weapons where no one has the right to have a gun. He states that school authorities consider that Liberals’ idea is too naive and it is not supported among them. Declaring certain areas as zones free of weapons, Liberals clearly inform criminals where they can feel safe, Phillips explains. According to his data, unarmed people cannot offer serious resistance to armed criminals in free zones. He writes that school districts in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and South Dakota have decided that teachers can carry weapons on the territory of a school. He states that these teachers are thoroughly tested and then seriously trained. According to his study, they get the right to open fire on an armed criminal who penetrated in the territory of a school threatening children and school staff (Phillips, p.1, pars. 5-7).
Larry Copeland writes that today, the government allowed to carry weapons in 35 states. He states that according to a survey conducted by the Center for Control and Prevention, by the way, on the personal request of President Obama, the highest crime rates are observed in the states with the most severe restrictions on carrying weapons. He explains that in states where it is permitted to carry weapons outside home, the number of murders and predatory attacks is lesser for 31% and 36% respectively than in the states where it is prohibited (Copeland, p.1, pars. 1-3).
Dylan Matthews states that despite the suggestions of Liberals, the crime rate has not increased in the states where carrying concealed weapons was authorized. He writes that in Vermont and Alaska, the permission to carry weapons is valid for several decades. The crime rate in these states is the lowest in the United States, Matthews states. He explains that in Florida, where carrying concealed weapons was allowed in 1987, the number of murders decreased by 22% in 2012 and at the same time, it increased by 15% in the country (Matthews, p. 1, par. 2).
Kim Bellware writes that the law on carrying concealed weapons was enacted in Illinois in July 2013. He states that the results were stunning. According to Bellware’s data, during the first six months, the number of robberies decreased by 20%, burglary and car theft – by 20% and 26% respectively. He states that the number of murders dropped in the 1960s (Bellware, p.1, par. 2-3). Kelli Riddell writes that Chicago is still one of the cities where the number of murders is high. He considers that there is a real chance to improve the criminal situation. Riddell explains that reduced level of crime in Chicago was achieved while maintaining the same number of police officers and rules of their behavior on the streets (Riddell, p. 1, par. 2).
Gus Burns states that about a year ago, Detroit became a bankrupt. He writes that the city officials had to dismiss many policemen. Because of the lack of staff, the remaining police officers cannot be at the scene of the crimes on call; they only address them if the victim reports it to the police, Burns explains. He states that many areas of the city are at the mercy of criminal gangs. He writes that the police chief urged citizens of Detroit to carry weapons and use them for self-defense. According to his data, the number of crimes immediately began to fall (Burns, p. 1, par. 4).
James D. Agresti states that the permission to carry concealed weapons has a strong psychological effect. He writes that it holds criminals from committing attacks. According to his investigations, studies commissioned by the US Department of Justice showed that 40% of offenders at least once refused to attack, because a potential victim was armed. He considers that like all ordinary people, they are not going to expose themselves to the bullets voluntarily. He states that antigun laws create a safe and working atmosphere for criminals and allow them to attack law-abiding citizens, because criminals are sure that victims are defenseless (Agresti, p. 1, pars. 8).