The right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution but it has been hotly debated over the years. Every time there is a heinous crime committed that can be attributed to the right to bear arms, people have contemplated gun control. The right to bear arms has been treated with endorsement and criticism. There are millions of people on both side of the divide. Here are the pros and cons of right to bear arms.
List of Pros of Right to Bear Arms
1. The Right to Self Defense
The right to bear arms is a fundamental right because it is meant for self defense. The critics put forth the right to bear arms as a license to carry a gun or firearm to cause harm to others. The endorsers highlight self defense. Time and again, the fact that ordinary people have the right and exercise that right to carry firearms has saved lives. Many ordinary citizens have succeeded at scaring trespassers and they have managed to foil robbery or burglary attempts. Even violent crimes have been prevented over the years because the intended victim or someone around had a gun.
2. It Deters Crime
There is good reason to believe that the right to bear arms deters crimes. Just as people can protect themselves, they can also prevent the crime in the first place. While families are safer if there is a gun in the house, the scope is much larger. There are tons of videos or footage from cameras installed in shops, at gas stations and public places where a gun has managed to prevent a crime.
3. Everyone is Equal
If there is no right to bear arms then that wouldn’t stop the criminals from getting firearms or other kinds of weapons. What would the law abiding citizens have to be on an equal footing as a criminal or to protect oneself? Also, if some citizens illegally obtain guns and some citizens don’t, that too leads to inequality.
4. A Check on Illegal Gun Trade
The illegal gun trade would flourish if the right to bear arms is revoked or amended to a large extent. By legalizing gun trade, the economy benefits from the taxes. The black markets and peddlers don’t have much scope to grow. The illegal gun trade exists right now and there are black markets where you can get any choice of firearm. However, they are few in number and stunted in its outreach or availability.
List of Cons of Right to Bear Arms
1. A Spike in Violence
There have been hundreds of fatal incidents in the recent past which have apparently made gun control a necessity. Excluding the standalone incidents which did not affect many people, there have been several mass shootings as well. In thirty years, there have been more than seventy horrifying mass shooting incidents in the country. The shooters of more than fifty of those incidents had obtained their guns legally. If guns were not sold legally or not so easily obtainable, then such shooting incidents could have been averted. Hence, the right to bear arms doesn’t really emerge as a crime deterrent.
2. Minors are Unsafe
Every day, about eight kids are fatally shot or wounded by guns. The lack of access to guns or the unavailability of guns can surely address this problem. The easy access to guns for kids, either their parents’ or someone’s, is not only causing deaths but the access itself is causing a menace in the upbringing of kids.
3. Lack of Training, Ineffective Regulation
There is no formal training imparted to citizens on how to use guns, the right approach to scare or deter criminals and almost no regulation on how many guns one can own, where they can keep and how. Licensed guns can easily fall into wrong hands. Many people who own guns are not really trained and aren’t necessarily great shooters. There are incidents when ordinary people have harmed others because their shooting went wrong. People with a criminal background or a history of violence, abuse and psychological conditions may end up with guns. Background checks are not institutionalized. There are systemic flaws and many loopholes. Some gun sellers don’t adhere to the procedures strictly.
4. The Right has been Misused
The right to bear arms has been misused by many. Who decides if it is absolutely safe for a person to carry a gun? How can anyone vouch for the absolute safety of a person having a gun? Is there any way to know if a person is buying a gun just for self defense or to commit a crime? Premeditated murders can be facilitated easily because there is a right to bear arms. The country has been witness to horrific crimes, from homicide to mass shootings, and some people have intently misused the right.