Americans who own guns say that they use guns for recreation and protection but are they really protecting themselves as much as they are endangering others? If Americans are endangering others, what restrictions can be put in place to make guns less dangerous or less available? Most Americans use guns for protection and recreation, but criminals use guns for crime. Gun laws can be put into place with the intentions of stopping criminals from legally obtaining guns but do criminals buy guns legally? If so, what can be done to stop criminals from obtaining guns? Or if criminals don't obtain guns legally what can be done to stop them from illegally obtaining guns?
Additional Restrictions For Law Abiding Citizens
Americans buy guns because they think they are protecting themselves and their family. Statistics tell us that Americans are not protecting themselves as much as they are endangering themselves and others. In a study conducted in Tennessee, Washington, and Ohio it was found that “if a gun was in a house, homicides were nearly 3 times as high” it was also found that there was “a five-fold increase in suicides” (Kassierer 335-339). These statistics applied to family or friends. The question then is why would people still buy guns if they have such a large chance of killing someone else or killing themselves. People buy guns because they want to distill their fears. They want to think that they will be protected against robbery or that they will be able to stop the robber from taking valuable possessions. Statistics also deny this. If someone were to be burglarized there would be only a “0.2% chance that they would be able to stop the burglary” (Zimring, and Hawikins 34–35). This is partly because there is only a “10% chance that they will be home when the burglary is committed” (Zimring, and Hawikins 34–35).
More importantly Americans should consider the negative effect of guns on people's children. “A child under fourteen is accidentally shot every day in the US” (Kopel 391). One reason for children's fatal gun accidents is that children have been exposed to guns through TV and video games but they have not been exposed to how a gun shot really affects others. Some children know only what electronics taught them about guns, they only know about guns and not about safety. Programs such as the Eddie Eagle program help to teach children about gun safety but new restrictions will help improve these statistics. Parents would do well to learn about gun safety too. If the child had not found the gun or did not know where it was there would not have been a injury. Children often know more about weapons whereabouts in their house than their parents think. In a survey “314 child-parent pairs” it was found “39% of parents who reported that their children were unaware of the storage location of the guns were contradicted by their children's reports.” When the “children said that they had handled firearms in the home, only 60% were described as doing so”(Baxley, and Miller 542-547). This survey suggests that parents do not do enough to keep guns away from children.
If guns endanger people's children and family, what should be done to decrease the deadly rates? The laws that are in place are not working, so new or improved laws should be put in place to limit the number of accidents that happen each year. One new law that could be put in place is a law that raises the price of handguns. If the price of handguns were higher people would be more careful with handguns and would lock their handguns up with the rest of their valuables. Locking them up would make them less likely to be found by children. Another new law that would be effective is to ensure combination locks were on all handguns. This would be effective against children, because children are less likely to know the combination number than other people in the house.