Gun Control Week 7
Week 7 Assignment
Dilemma is referred to as a problem that offers two possibilities, neither of which is completely satisfactory or preferable. During our daily lives, we encounter various ethical dilemmas that demand exceptional decision making skills because none of the option is completely true or false. Every person might come up with two different perspectives regarding same dilemma depending upon the perception, orientations and outlooks he has. In this paper, a dilemma regarding gun control would be presented and elaborated in the light of Kant’s Categorical Imperative.
Purchasing a gun involves great responsibility on the part to owner when it comes to owing a gun. Particularly the purpose of owing a gun makes a great difference and prior to purchasing gun, one might ask him for what purpose he seeks a gun? What kind of danger he puts over himself and others by possessing a gun? Interestingly, guns now are the major part of personal firearms and the purchase of guns has increased drastically in the last few years. One reason behind increase possession of guns is that it is not very difficult to buy a gun for a lot of people. Although owing a gun might ensure personal protection a security against antigens but it can create an ethical issue on how that individual will be handling the responsibility of owning a firearm.
There are many reasons behind owing a gun, some keep it to protect their home and loved ones from outside danger; some keep it to enjoy seasonal hunting as a sport or jungle dinner; some people get an adrenaline rush by simply going to the gun range as a hobby. Needless to say, some people owe guns for some obvious anti-social reasons or to harm others. Hence, we have two types of individuals who possess guns; those who keep them for security purpose and those who intend to use them for anti-social causes. Hence, possessing guns welcomes substantial problems. Now the question arises, whether we should make the legislative measures regarding guns strict or we should eliminate the individuals who use it for negative purpose? In this case, how those individuals would be segregated from those who use it for security purposes? Do the pros of owning a gun overweight the cons and makes it alright for common people in our society to own a firearm and a professional such as police officer or military personnel?
There is indeed a super- colossal controversy regarding people having access to purchase guns. Many military and law enforcement personnel keep guns because it is the part of their jobs to protect themselves and others from antigens. They rightfully keep guns because they pass through appropriate training sessions regarding its usage and appropriate possession. On the other hand, when normal civilians who have the ability of purchase guns, keep them at home, the likelihood of accidental injury becomes twofold particularly when their children get access to guns and turn the trigger unknowingly. This is because children are explorers and they commit every action that they are told to not touch anything; they do this out of curiosity (Erdman, 2018).
Likewise, a person owing a gun can get his license cancelled when he exposes his gun in public places because it develops a spell of fear and uncertainty whether a person exposes his gun to harm others or it is just a power show. There are various incidents taking place is schools, workplaces and festivals where a gun man shoots the masses. There is currently going a big debate on how to control the outbreak of the recent shootings. Hence, the dilemma regarding gun shooting is either one should possess guns of not? Should we take its cons into account ignoring the prospective pros? Or we should not allow gun purchase because of its serious consequences?
Following key terms are associated with this dilemma that is presented below with the prospective explanation:
Physical harm taking place in public places and institutions that results in temporary or terminal injuries or deaths
Legislation concerning purchase and possession of guns for common people in their houses
A person having good control over his senses i.e., using guns wisely without being out-of-senses in aggressive episodes and passive aggressive retaliation
Household firearm ownership
A phenomenon in which individuals keep guns in their homes
A bulk of literature suggests that cons of owing a gun at home outnumber its pros regarding personal protection and security. Five studies would be added to settle these arguments on the logical and rational grounds of already existent research literature regarding gun control.
A research study (Faisal et. al., 2018) orchestrated by various authors belonging to the department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ was aimed at analyzing the firearms injury and mortality rates of individuals in two states; those with strict firearm laws and those with non-strict firearm laws. A retrospective analysis was used to assess the patients with trauma related hospitalization through 2011 Nationwide Inpatient Sample database.
Findings indicated that the chance of injury and mortality is positively correlated with the easy-allowance of firearms; states which had strict policy regarding firearms had less firearm related injury and mortality rates as compared to the states with non-strict firearm legislation. Results stated that “States without SFL have higher firearm related injury rates, higher firearm related mortality rate, and significant potential years of life lost compared to SFL states.” I personally agreed with the findings of study because more we possess firearms, more triggered we feel to use them even being slightly aggressive. This article helped me a lot strengthening my viewpoint regarding strict firearm legislation.
Authors (Sumner et. al., 2007) belonging to Injury Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA conducted a research study in which negative binomial regression model was used to explore the correlation between the Department of Justice Classification of Agencies conducting firearm background checks for each state in 2002-2004 and associated homicide and suicide rates with respect to divorce rate, urbanization, alcohol consumption, poverty, inequality, injustice, crime, unemployment, age and race.
Conclusion of this study included “Using local-level agencies to perform firearm background checks is associated with reduced rates of firearm suicide and homicide.” I agreed the findings suggesting that when local- level agencies are involved in developing and executing firearm background checks, crimes are less likely to happen. Moreover, above mentioned factors act as moderators between background checks and homicide and suicide rates.
Miller et. al., 2007 conducted a study that was aimed at analyzing the correlation between household firearm ownership and suicide rates across 50 United States. In order to assess this relationship, negative binomial regression analysis was used. Findings supported my view point suggesting that US residents of all ages and sexes demonstrated higher suicide rates when their household contained firearms. Results stated “Household firearm ownership levels are strongly associated with higher rates of suicide.” Hence, I learned that household firearm ownership is a dangerous thing which increases the risk of suicide behaviors.
Authors Grossman and his colleagues belonging to Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA conducted this study in 2005 and attempted to explore the association between firearm storage practices i.e., keeping guns unloaded, locked or unlocked and suicide risk in youngsters. For that matter, 106 respondents were interviewed and findings indicated that 95% respondents agreed on the increased likelihood of suicide attempts associated with unlocked and loaded firearm possession. Findings suggest that “the 4 practices of keeping a gun locked, unloaded, storing ammunition locked, and in a separate location are each associated with a protective effect and suggest a feasible strategy to reduce these types of injuries in homes with children and teenagers where guns are stored.” Based on these findings, I learned that the manner of keeping the guns is a strong determinant of suicide and homicide rates and unintentional injuries hence legislations must address this issue as well.
Cook and his colleagues belonging to the Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, USA, executed this research in 1999 to assess the medical costs of gunshots in such instances where individuals are allowed to keep firearms at home. Findings of the study indicated that the cost of firearms injuries during the year 1994 was $2.3 billion that was looked after by the government. Results stated that “gunshot injury costs represent a substantial burden to the medical care system. Nearly half this cost is borne by US taxpayers.” This article contributed to my knowledge as medical costs of treating gunshots of US residents is bore the governmental agencies which puts a substantial strain on government to address such patients.
Hence, presented literature suggests that there must be strict legislation regarding gun control because of its prospective cons. A renowned German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) opposed the utilitarian theory that stresses on the ethics resulting in an overall goodness for the society. He believed that certain types of behaviors that are negative for the society i.e., lying, cheating, theft and murder were completely prohibited even though they brought any goodness for the people. His theory belongs to deontological moral theories stating that the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our duty or not. In this way, possession of guns must not be allowed to common people no matter they use it for protection or other purposes. We must always do the right not good because right is not always good. Hence, I would suggest that law enforcement agencies must develop strict legislative measures regarding gun purchase and use because selected literature and Kant’s categorical imperative suggests the same.
Faisal, J., Viraj, P. Terence O. K., Asad, A. et. al. (2018). The burden of firearm violence in the United States: stricter laws result in safer states. J Inj Violence Res., 10(1), 11–16. doi: 10.5249/jivr.v10i1.951
Erdman, S. (2018). Promoting Gun Safety. YC: Young Children, 73(1), 86–89. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=128217476&site=eds-live&scope=site
Sumner S. A., Layde, P. M. & Guse, C. E. (2008). Firearm death rates and association with level of firearm purchase background check. Am J Prev Med., 35(1), 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.03.023
Miller, M., Lippmann, S. J., Azrael, D., Hemenway, D. (2007). Household firearm ownership and rates of suicide across the 50 United States. J Trauma., 62(4), 1034-5. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17426563
Grossman, D. C., Mueller, B. A., Riedy, C., Dowd, M. D., et al. (2005). Gun storage practices and risk of youth suicide and unintentional firearm injuries. JAMA., 293(6), 707–14. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15701912
Cook, P. J., Lawrence, B. A., Ludwig, J.,& Miller, T. R. (1999). The medical costs of gunshot injuries in the United States. Jama., 282(5), 447–54.
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