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“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”, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states. This clause could mean that crime rate is bound to decline if majority of people, if not all, are allowed to own guns. This is far from the truth since the percentage of firearm related violence in America is still high even with the easy access to firearms among the greater populace.
Proponents of gun ownership argue that if citizens are allowed to own guns, they are in a better position to protect themselves when attacked, and also would-be firearm criminals would be hesitant to attack their target as they would not know who owns a gun and who doesn’t. In fact, a study conducted by John Lott, a Law professor at the University of Chicago, indicates that recently enacted laws in states allowing the legal carry of concealed weapons has reduced violent crimes in those states.
However, this study is flawed, because the rate of gun related homicide is still high in America, in fact, many homicide cases occur due to easy access to a firearms. A study by National Institute of Justice, in 2005, showed that 11,346 persons were killed by firearm violence and 477,040 were victims of a crime committed with a firearm. Moreover, legislation allowing gun ownership has led to minors having easy access to firearms, with devastating results; a case in point is the school shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007.
Therefore, laws controlling the ownership of firearms should be stiffened or proper legislation on firearm ownership should be established if a country hopes to see a decline in violent crimes caused by firearms, both legally and illegally owned.
“Gun Control.” Almanac of Policy Issues. “3 Oct 2002. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://www.policyalmanac.org/crime/archive/crs_gun_control.shtml>.
“Gun Violence.” Gun Violence Statistics. n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://www.lcav.org/statistics-polling/gun_violence_statistics.asp>.
Lott, John R. “More Guns Equal Less Violent Crime.” n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://www.largo.org/lott.html>.
“Gun Violence.” How Prevalent is Gun Violence in America. 26 Oct 2010. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. < http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/>.