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How Guns Impact Crime in the United States and Compare It to Other Weapons That Are Used In Crime
The increasing crime rates in the United States has grabbed the attention of many researchers and policymakers. There is a never-ending debate on the topic of gun control laws owing to the fact that the prevalence of guns increases crimes in the community and society. Whenever a crime incident is reported by media, the debate on gun control laws is aggravated. 2018 has been marked as one of the worst years when it comes to crimes and deaths. Many states have also implemented gun control laws, but they continue to witness increasing crimes and incidents of gun violence. According to the statistics obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a crime is reported every 22 seconds in the United States. These crimes includes theft, burglary, assault, robbery, and motorcycle thefts. This paper seeks to evaluate the impact of guns in crimes in the United States as compared to any other weapons.
In the US, the violent crime rates and homicides rates have been higher which brings the attention of many researchers to study the impacts of legal access of guns on the homicide rates. According to the statistics, the year 2015, is marked with about 36000 gun-related deaths, in which 13463 were homicides, and 489 were unintentional harms. According to a most recent study by Siegel and fellows conducted in 2017, there is a significant relationship between legal access of guns or firearms with the increasing homicide rates. Carrying permitted guns was linked with 6.5% overall rise in homicide rates. This study was specifically based in the United States. The link between shall-issue laws and rates of homicides in the US, which is specific to a handgun, increases the credibility of their research (Siegel, Michael, et al. 1928). This relationship is true for both handguns and long-guns.
It is also claimed by a number of researchers and experts that increasing firearms will deter crimes by providing people the opportunity to protect themselves from criminals. In this case, with the increase in legal hand-guns and long-guns would result in lowering the homicide rates, but as examined by the researchers this rate is rising. Some of the studies argue that the relationship of gun prevalence with the increase in crimes is unclear. Though a number of studies also states the clear link of these factors. Shall issues laws, a legal system to issue a license to carry a concealed weapon has a direct link with the increasing rate of firearm homicides. Public opinion is exactly opposite to this fact. Public wants to increase the permitted guns and weapons, as a safety measure, however, it only provides easy access to weapons to be used for murders, and other criminal acts. Permitting licensed guns is also inconsistent with public safety concerns.
The statistics of murders in the United States according to the weapon used to kill victims shows the highest rate of murders committed using handguns (Statista, n.p). The second highest ratio of weapons used were firearms and knives and cutting instruments were the third highest to be used in killing others. Aggravated assaults are the most common violent crime according to reports of 2017. Handguns were by far the most common weapon used to murder and in the year 2017, almost 7032 people were killed using this weapon and in that year gun was considered as the most popular murder weapon. In comparison with the other weapons used for one of the most violent and prevalent crimes in the United States, guns are at the top of the list. This fact confirms the general assumption that the access of guns can result in higher rates of violent crimes. This is also consistent with the above-mentioned research study which confirms this hypothesis.
Residential burglary is also one of the most common criminal offense in the United States. According to Forbes, most of the US states are vulnerable to burglary, especially in the winter season. Most of such incidents happen at night and there is also the prevalence of these events in the day time. A study examined the impact of gun prevalence on burglary, as soon as the statistics became regarding the gun prevalence and residential burglary. Gun ownership which is considered as a way to deter crimes and residential burglaries, was the leading cause of more burglaries. The study reported that higher rates of gun prevalence will engender more burglaries. The study claims that keeping guns at home as a way to protect from burglary increases the risk of being burglarized. There is an irony that gun possession is used as a mean to protect from robberies and burglaries but they result in an increase of victimization rates (Cook, Philip, and Jens, 21). This shows that guns can be a weapon in another most common crime in the United States.
Guns are considered as a mean to control violent crimes. In order to find out the impact of guns on violent crimes in the United States, some other factors can be examined such as the implication of gun control laws as a mean to deter violent crimes. A study indicates that effective gun control laws can be a great way to reduce violent crimes. The study examined the impact of gun control laws on different violent crimes in the US and revealed that gun control laws such as a ban on purchase by alcoholics, mentally ill persons, minors, and possession in the home, resulted in lower rates of homicide, assaults, and robberies. This shows that guns have a direct impact on crime rates 20. Only by implementing gun control laws, various crimes in the United States can be controlled. The implication of gun ownership for crime deterrence is also a reasonable factor if it is strictly regulated by the court of law. The background and mental health checks on persons acquiring firearms, if implemented, can reduce the impact of crimes due to guns and other firearms, and bans of guns by the criminals and alcoholics can reduce the impact of crimes occurring due to use of guns (Kleck, Gary, Tomislav, and Jon Bellows, 22).
Forearms and guns are not only associated with murders but also suicides and unintentional deaths. A study indicates that the US has a very high rate of homicides than any other country. It also reveals that not only homicides, the US has also a very high rate of firearm deaths and self-killings. Most of these deaths, killings, and suicides are attributed to the prevalence of guns and firearms in society (Richardson, Erin, and David, 242). Since the United States is an outline in the homicides rate, guns are the most crucial weapon that must be considered in this regard, owing to the fact that most of the deaths, suicide, murders, and assaults involves guns and firearms. The reduction in prevalence rates of firearms can be a simple solution to most of these crimes, deaths, and killings.
Prevalence of guns results in easy access of weapons to the criminals and thus increases the rates of crimes. Indulging in crimes using any weapon other than the gun has no particular incident. Most of the crimes, especially violent crimes in the US involve firearm or gun. Another study supports the idea that the prevalence of guns by the house owners is linked with the non-stranger total and firearm homicides (Siegel, Michael, et al, 1915). This research study also questions the fact that the guns ownership deters or reduces crime.
The research reveals that data available on crimes in the United States are mostly related to guns, gun ownership, and firearms. Most of the criminal incidents involve any type of guns and firearms. No detailed data is available on the other weapons such as knives, cutting instruments, and personal weapons such as hands, fists, feet, etc. Guns are very easy to use and the licensed and legal permission to carry guns also make it very easy for the criminals to use it for the crimes. In addition, possession of guns by the household also provides easy access to minors, mentally ill people and alcoholics who may sue it for unintentional killings, suicide attempts, and other criminal acts. Robberies, snatching, kidnapping, motorcycle theft, and other crimes, more or less include use of guns and firearms (Carter, Jeremy and Michael, 20). Studies find a direct and positive relationship between crimes especially those committed with a gun and firearm with the concealed carry weapons and permits. Concealed guns which are considered as a source of self-protection and are used as a remedy of individual fear results in more prevalent violent crimes, supported by a number of studies.
This research paper explored a number of studies, of which most of them indicate a direct and positive relationship between the prevalence of guns and firearms with the crime rates in the United States. Various states have started to implement gun control laws but the crime rates associated with guns such as homicides, assaults, and burglaries are not reducing, however, some studies also indicate that gun control laws are a solution to various crimes in different states. One of the most prevalent violent crime in the US is also committed using a gun or firearm as a weapon. There is not a lot of evidence, which supports the use of other weapons such as cutting materials in committing crimes, as observed from the research.
Carter, Jeremy G., and Michael Binder. "Firearm violence and effects on concealed gun carrying: large debate and small effects." Journal of interpersonal violence 33.19 (2018): 3025-3052.
Cook, Philip J., and Jens Ludwig. The effects of gun prevalence on burglary: Deterrence vs inducement. No. w8926. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2002.
Kleck, Gary, Tomislav Kovandzic, and Jon Bellows. "Does gun control reduce violent crime?." Criminal justice review 41.4 (2016): 488-513.
Richardson, Erin G., and David Hemenway. "Homicide, suicide, and unintentional firearm fatality: comparing the United States with other high-income countries, 2003." Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 70.1 (2011): 238-243.
Siegel, Michael, et al. "Easiness of legal access to concealed firearm permits and homicide rates in the United States." American journal of public health 107.12 (2017): 1923-1929.
Siegel, Michael, et al. "The relationship between gun ownership and stranger and nonstranger firearm homicide rates in the United States, 1981–2010." American journal of public health 104.10 (2014): 1912-1919.
Statista. The Statistics Portal. 2017. 20 4 2018. <https://www.statista.com/statistics/195325/murder-victims-in-the-us-by-weapon-used/>.
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