Gun control in the USA and Canada, and the Social Effects

In the United States as well as in Canada, one particular issue that would certainly not go away is that of gun control. If history is to guide us, then regardless of what resolutions are to be made today on gun control, it is likely that the debate on advantages and disadvantages of owning a gun would be the same as it has always been in the past. In the United States, legislation of firearms ownership is at states level. This has made any attempts to introduce stricter laws against ownership of firearms more difficult. Unlike the United States, in Canada, legislation of firearms ownership is at the federal level. This basically the reason as to why the 1977 Canadian law regulating firearm ownership has worked.

One clear fact is that firearm control is undoubtedly a social problem in the United States. In one of Washington’s post, it states that firearms kill close to 4000 teenagers and young children in America every year. Thousands of merchants have been drawn to Washington by this tragedy. There has been an emergence of many different organizers in the United States that are calling for stricter firearms laws. These organizers believe that by having new laws, very few people -both children and adults- may end up getting killed or getting hurt. On such context, it, therefore, means that people’s call to have stricter firearms control laws cannot be considered to be a personal issue, but instead it is a social issue in America that is undoubtedly threatening the well-being as well as the safety of American community. This social issue needs an immediate action from governance and leadership of the society.

What is strange however is that despite the many dangers guns have bought to the American society, gun control issues have however raised many heated debates. We still have so many Americans who are against change in gun control laws. Most of those who are against gun control laws consider gun ownership to be an individual, cultural, as well as a social right which is certainly inherent in the American constitution. Since America is a free and a democratic country, those against gun control laws say that the debate on firearms ownership should not even be held. The argument that has always been put forward is that the American people are given rights by the constitution to protect and defend themselves.

Gun control debate, however, goes much deeper than that. Arguments on gun control have revealed a much deeper rift in the entire nation. Sociologically, this is an argument between individuals who favor social control and those who have put more value on their own individual freedom above collectivism and social norms.
It is, however, important to remember that the primary reason why some people are calling for gun control in the United States is that they want to put to a stop today’s high rate of gun-related crimes in the nation. In the United States, as well as in other nations where there are high rates of gun ownership, firearms-related offenses, or gun crimes, are never far from the headlines. Examples of firearms epidemic that the American people have experienced include the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, and the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.
According to many studies and research previously done in the United States, gun control would ultimately reduce crime rates in America. Most researchers have directly linked gun availability to gun-related injuries and deaths not only in the United States but throughout the world. These researchers have been supported by the statistics already in our possession that is: the second leading cause of death of Americans who are aged been 15 years and 24 years is firearms. Similarly, firearms are also the second leading cause of traumatic deaths that are related to consumer products. Another fact that is quite shocking is that since1960, more than one million American citizens have died in unintentional firearms injuries, homicides, as well as firearms suicides.

Despite having these facts, we still have an opposing standpoint that states gun ownership helps to minimize crimes through deterrence. This report, however, is basically about the high growth rates of gun-related violent crimes in today’s world particularly in countries such as the United States. Debate on gun control, therefore, is one that revolves around social violence issues and the people’s need to reduce or put to an end the violence within the society. Similarly, the debate also reflects people’s need to find means and ways that would help them reduce the increasing number of crimes that are related to gun availability.

Gun control is certainly a serious problem not only in the United States but also in any other nation that allows its people to own guns freely. There is a need for the American people to find a working solution to this social issue before more innocent lives are lost.


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