The purpose of this research paper is to prove or disprove the hypothesis of the less gun control we have will result in a decrease in murder rates. After analyzing the findings, the majority of the articles advocated that the correlation between gun control and murder rates is that the less gun control equals less murder rates. This is due to the fact that countries in the past have tried banning handguns but ended up with higher murder rates. An even more gun control ended up increasing the murder rates as well. In contrast, there are also countries that have low gun control rates and low murder rates, the United States being one of them and that is because the majority of people in the United States own a gun for self-protection and not because they are planning on killing someone. Owning a gun does not make you murderer. Over all, the hypothesis of this paper is supported by the findings of this research.
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The Real Relationship Between Gun Control and Murder Rates
After our country experienced the shooting at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, most of our society, including the President Barack Obama wanted to enforce more gun control in this country to prevent events like these from ever happening again by making it harder for citizens to obtain a firearm and therefore minimize the deaths caused by a gun. In order to reduce murder rates, the concept of having less people have the right to own a gun makes us think that the murder rates in our country will decrease; it makes sense right? Well, this concept might not be necessarily right.
By implementing more gun control, a person who wished to own a gun for self-protection would not be able to do so. In the other hand, a criminal will find his way to get one illegally. Therefore, this paper will be about the relationship there is between gun control and murder rates. Furthermore, the hypothesis of this paper is; the less gun control,the lower murder rates. Literature Review
Page 2 Gun Control Essay
In addition, the article Kates (2007) makes a comparison between the United States and other European countries. This source shows that the countries of Russia, Luxembourg and Poland were the countries with the lowest rate of gun ownership, but they were also the countrieswith the highest murder rates. In contrast, Finland, Norway, France and Germany had higher rates of gun ownership; but at the same time they had lower murder rates. This proves that just because a country has a higher rate of guns per capita, does not mean that it also has the highest rates of murder per capita. Furthermore, according to Kates (2007), the results also show that even though the rates of handgun ownership in Denmark is half of Norway’s, it still is 50% higher than the homicide rates in Norway.
The rate of gun ownership in Russia is only one-ninth of Norway’s but its homicide rate is 2500% higher than Norway’s. This is an even better example that shows that there is no relationship between gun ownership rates and homicide rates. Another important issue that this article talks about is that, an even worse scenario would be banning handguns. The United Kingdom is a great example because, armed crime had never been a problem in England until they decided to ban firearms. Now, they have a huge quantity of illegal firearms in their country and the criminals are the ones who have no trouble in getting their hands in them (Kates, 2007).
In the other hand, pro-gun activists believe that the widespread of gun ownership minimizes violence by making the criminal think twice about confronting crimes. This believe was proven by the National Institute of Justice who made a survey among their prison inmates and they found out that a large vast of the prison inmates said that they were actually afraid of the possibility of the victim owning a gun; this was often a disincentive for them to confront a victim who might of had a firearm in their home ownership (Kates, 2007). After going through this article, it is clear that Kates (2007) advocates that there is not such thing as the less gun control, the less murder. In fact, it is completely the opposite; the more guns the less murder rates. Being so, the outcome of Kates (2007) investigation agrees with the hypothesis of this paper.
Also, Cheng and Hoekstra (2013) performed a series of tests that consisted of comparing the rates of homicides committed over time on states that adopted the Castle Doctrine as well as the non-adopting states. The purpose of these tests was to find out if the Castle Doctrine reduced or increased homicide rates. For example, Florida was the first state to enact the Castle Doctrine back in October 2005. The results between Florida and the non-adopting states showed that the rates of homicide in Florida were greater than the non-adopting states. Later on, in 2006 thirteen other states adopted the law. In 2007 Missouri, Texas, North Dakota and Tennessee were the states that followed in adopting the Castle Doctrine. Ohio and West Virginia adopted the law in 2008, and finally in 2009 Montana did the same thing. The results for these tests were the same as Florida’s; the homicide rates were higher in the states that enacted the law than those who did not.
Cheng and Hoekstra (2013) concluded that after looking at the effects that the law caused in the states after being enacted, the results in murder rates went up by 8%. With these findings, it is evident that having more laws that prohibit citizens the right to bear arms results in having higher homicide rates instead of lowering them. Lastly, this article also verifies the hypothesis of having less gun control results of lower murder rates. Furthermore, Mauser (2007) did a study to compare the relationship between gun ownership rates and homicide rates in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The results were as follow; Canada had the second highest gun ownership rate and the lowest homicide rate. Mexico had the lowest gun ownership and at the same time it had the highest homicide rates. In the other hand, the United States had the highest gun ownership rate and the second lowest homicide rate. Which means that even though the United States was the county with the highest gun ownership it still had the lowest murder rates out of the three countries. Being so, the results of the research show that not because a country has less guns per capita it mean that they will also have lower murder rates and vice versa. It also acknowledges that the reason behind why nations tend to have less violence even though their gun rates are high is because according to Mauser (2007) owning a gun or having higher gun ownership rates per capita does not make a person a criminal.
Instead, violence is regulated by socio-cultural factors. Mauser (2007) also states that, even if a nation decided to ban firearms, it would not make a huge difference in the murder rates because criminals can replace a firearm with any other kind of weapon or find their way to somehow get a gun. Great Britain is an excellent example that shows why banning firearms is not a solution to reduce murder rates. Back in 1997, Great Britain banned handguns and even then, the murder rates went up by 25% from 1997 to 2005. The same effect happened in Russia; even though the gun ownership rates were low, murder rates were eight times higher than in the United States. This two countries support the idea that even if a country wanted to ban handguns it would ended up with an increase in the murder rates instead of having a decrease (Mauser 2007). In conclusion, this article also coincides with the hypothesis the less gun control, the lower the murder rates.
In the other hand, according to Chapman and Alpers (2013) Australia is an example of a country where firearms have been banned and the murder rates have decreased. This was due to an event that happened back in April 1996 when a man with a gun ended up killing thirty-five people and eighteen others were severely wounded. After this event occurred, Australia implemented harsh gun control laws. According to Chapman and Alpers (2013) the laws consisted of “a ban on civilian ownership of semiautomatic long guns and pump-action shotguns; proof of genuine reason for firearm possession; the formal repudiation of self-defense as a legally acknowledged reason to own a gun; prohibition of mail or Internet gun sales; and required registration of all firearms.” In addition, Chapman and Alpers (2013) made a comparison between Australia and the United States where they cited that back in 2010, the population of the United States was 13.7 times larger than the population of Australia.
Which means that the one million firearms that Australia took from their citizens would be the equivalent to ninety million guns in the United States. Being that this article demonstrates that it is possible for a country to ban firearms and as a result decrease their murder rates; it also contradicts the hypothesis of having less gun control equals less murder. Equally important, is the study realized by (Siegel, Ross, & Charles 2013) which shows that each year in the United States 31,000 people die because of firearms related deaths and another 74,000 are nonfatal injuries. It also says that if a person owns a gun, he or she is in higher risks of being a homicide victim.
They conducted a study that consisted of taking in consideration all fifty states and examine the relationship between firearm murder rates and gun ownership from 1981 through 2010. After thirty years of study, the results according to (Siegel et al., 2013) were as follow; the mean percentage of gun ownership over all states was of 57.7%, the highest was of 76.8% in Mississippi and the lowest was of 25.8% in the state of Hawaii. From 1981 to 2010, the mean percentage of firearms ownership decreased from 60.6% to 51.7%. Finally the average handguns murder rate went down from 5.2 per 100, 000 in 1981 to 3.5 per 100,000 in 2010. Once they were done with the research, they found out a solid relationship between handgun murder rates and gun ownership rates in which states with higher levels of gun ownership also had extremely large numbers of deaths caused by firearms. All in all, the results of this study argue in favor with the idea of the more gun control there is, the less murder rates there is. Which means that this article also opposes the hypothesis of this paper.
Lastly, the article of Kates and Moody (2012) indicates; if common citizens do not commit murder, even if they have a gun in their possession, then it is obvious that the common people who own a gun does not have anything to do with the increase of murder rates. It also establishes that if firearms are the main reason why we have murders; then the most logical result would be that from 1946 to 2005 the years when the ownership of firearms were extremely high; the murder rates would also be high, but this was not the case. In sum, the murder rates in 2010 were 32% lower than in 1946, and in the 2000s the murder rates remained the same or went down yearly (Kates and Moody 2012). Furthermore, Kates and Moody (2012) also mentioned that in Europe, nations with high gun ownership had lower murder rates than nations with low handgun ownership rates.
Norway being an example of a nation in Eastern Europe with the lowest homicides rates but with the highest gun ownership rates. In conclusion, Kates and Moody (2012) findings affirm that even if the gun ownership rates of a nation are high, their murder rates will not be high, in fact they will be lower than a nation with low gun ownership rates. This means that this article also supports the hypothesis the less gun control, the lower murder rates. Findings
After going through the six articles from the literature review, four of them supported the hypothesis of this paper and the other two opposed it. Over all, it is evident that if we have more gun control in this country, the murder rates instead of decreasing will increase. This is due to the fact that guns are not the only weapons available to commit a murder; and even with stricter gun control or with the banning of firearms, criminals will still find their way to get a gun in their hands and kill. Conclusion
All in all, it is evident that the hypothesis of this paper which is the less gun control, the lower murder rates is correct because the majority of the articles researched in Literature Review concede with it. The reason why the articles support the hypothesis is because, most people own a gun for self-protection; just because they own one does not mean that they are going to kill someone. Besides, by proving that the hypothesis of this research is right, it also disproves the idea of less guns, less crime because more than one article proved that there are countries where they have low gun ownership rates per capita but they also have a lot of homicides per capita. In conclusion, gun control laws will not save lives.See More on Crime