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A Study On Gun Violence Sociology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 922 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Gun violence take a heavy toll both in the lives of its victim and in the quality of life of the victim’s relatives and friends, many of the stories of the victim do not capture the headlines of the newspaper, but each violent statistic is a headline story to the loved ones of the victims. Of the 25,000 homicides in the United States last year, an estimated 70% were committed with firearms. And thousands of other Americans are wounded form gunshots, often with long term effects on their health. To put statistics into a context, every two years more Americans die from firearms injuries in the United States that were killed in the entire Vietnam War. Since 1933 more Americans have died from gun wounds here at home that in all the wars our country has been involved in since – and including – the American Revolution.

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Criminal activity, then takes a heavy toll in human life. But guns kill and maim not only because of crime but also because suicides and accidents. In firearm fatalities, more people die from suicides than from homicides. In 1999, for example firearms were involved in 18,547 suicides. And firearms cause fatalities unintentionally through accidents, either by misfiring of weapons, inaccurate shooting, carelessness, or recklessness.

Although Americans use firearms in ways that are criminal or sinister, they employ guns in the ways that are often regarded as law-abiding and good. The second amendment ensures “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” People should have every right to think and judge, and act for themselves, but not all people do this in the most responsible way. When immoral, irrational, or unethical decisions are made the government needs to intervene. Inside the home, one should be able to do what he wishes on his property, but even there, an invisible line must be drawn. For the good of the whole, people need to abide by certain laws, and when those lines are crossed, the government has to step in to protect its people.

As a society, we put our safety into the hands of the government by employing police officers and firemen, and by trusting the men and women of the military. We should therefore, trust the lawmakers, by allowing them to make stiffer gun control laws. There are some gun control laws presently in effect, while some are waiting to be pass in Congress. The ones that are passed are mostly state and local levels. There are ‘place and manner’ laws, which prohibit the firing of a gun in certain places, such as within city limits, and some state restrict carrying a concealed weapon anywhere in public. There are also ‘restricted ownership’ laws that prohibit the sale of any typed of gun to convicted felons, aliens, minors, alcoholics, drug users, and mentally or emotionally disturbed people. In some states, buyers must fill out an application and there is ten day waiting period, while their background are checked before the purchase of an firearm. These laws are helpful, but they are not in effect everywhere, and they do not always fulfill the purpose. One of the most prudent gun control law has been idling in Congress for the past two years. This law requires a person before purchasing a gun to take classes on the proper ways to store and handle a firearm, and it also require the consumer to take this course to renew their firearm registration every year. By pressuring your local congressmen we can set in motion some of these laws.

Where children are concerned, parents need to put guns out of reach, and to teach our children of the dangers of guns. Guns should not be a taboo subject that is not to be discussed. Minors should be one group that guns are illegal to. A person cannot drink until he reaches the age on 21, so if the law states that liquor could harmful to an adolescent who may not be equipped to deal with its effect, then shouldn’t that also hold true for a deadly weapon? But guns can be purchased from pawnshops, or a dealer who ignores the laws, or stolen from a relative. The laws need dig deeper, beginning with manufacturer. Tobacco companies and liquor distributors are held accountable for the dangerous effects of their products.

Bar owners and even bartenders can be sued and jailed if a customer they serve harms someone under the influence. So maybe the firearms producers should also be held responsible.

Firearms have been an important feature in American life since the first Europeans settled in the new World. Although most people who use firearms in the United States do so in a peaceful manner, the illegal and violent use of firearms remains a great problem to civilized society, as does the role of firearms in suicides and accidents. It would be foolhardy to predict a solution in the near future; however, stricter gun control laws would be an effective start. Education is the key. Educating people about the firearm related accidents that that occur every year is the first step. People have to govern and be governed, in order for a city or nation to work side by side to end violence and fear associated with handguns. We need to find a solution to end the problem, not promote it.


1) Levine, Herbert M. American Issues Debated Gun Control. Austin: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1998.

2) Bender, David, ed. Gun Control Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhave press, 1997.

3) LaPierre, Wayne R. Guns, Crime, And Freedom. Washington DC: Regency Publishing, 2000.


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