Reasons For Citizens To Carry Arms Criminology
The USA actually is the most armed country in the world: the U.S. population is 300 million people, and according to the "Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Bureau" nowadays about 60 - 65 million Americans (representing 45% of U.S. households) have more than 250 million firearms, and the number of weapons in private hands increases by 4.5 million annually. Thus, Americans have the world's largest private arsenal.
In the United States there is a tradition of possession and use of firearms, which is rising to the very beginning of the existence of the country. However, the true nature of this tradition is often romanticized, is exaggerated or distorted. (Wilcox 1998)
Nowadays Americans privately own about 270 million firearms - nearly one per capita (some citizens have more than one unit of firearms and millions of people do not have at all). Firearm owners can be found in any part of the country, but they are mainly concentrated in rural areas and in the South. Number of long-barreled weapons (rifles and shotguns) is twice lager than the number of pistols and revolvers. Most Americans who own long-barreled weapons use it for hunting and sporting purposes; short arms in most cases is purchased for personal defense. The prevalence of firearms in the whole country is gradually decreasing: in 1960 half of U.S. households had guns, and now - no more than a third part.
The tradition of possession of firearms in the U.S. rises to the 17th century, when settlers in many cases had to protect themselves, they created militia to repel attacks of Indians and European invaders. However, until the mid 19th century, only few Americans possessed guns, and many militiamen had only a rough idea about firearms and how to use it. Firearm was widespread in the country after the Civil War (1861-1865 years), during which millions of people first took up arms; rifles and revolvers went into mass production and were intensively publicized to civilian population. Nevertheless, contrary to established notions, in the 19th century in the Wild West blood flowed not so often and firing was heard far less often then it appear in American movies. Laws to regulate firearms, in particular, restrictions on wearing it, have played a significant role in taming the wild western territories. (Hofstadter 1970)
Possession and use of firearms remains a critical issue of national sound.
Gun control legislation
So weapons is an integral part of American life since the birth of the nation. Thus, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (adopted in 1791) guarantees the right of Americans to own firearms. Later in the country's history there was adopted several laws that govern the rules of the sale, possession and use of weapons. There are a number of federal laws that regulate the possession and use of firearms, but most of the rules of this kind establish separate U.S. states. There are about 2,500 separate legislative and regulatory acts in this area - federal, state, municipal and other levels.
In general, in the U.S. the right to buy weapons is limited by age or in connection with a criminal past. People who buy guns need to be registered. In addition, at the end of 1870, some states (for example California) have restricted the carrying of weapons concealed. The most stringent restrictions operated in the U.S. capital - Washington, DC. However, in June 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned in the District of Columbia restrictions on the carrying of small arms (the ban was in act within the last 32 years).
In June 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court stated that the Second Amendment of the Constitution gives all Americans the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, and the laws of individual states and municipalities can not change this right. This decision of the SC rejected the argument that the abolition of nearly 30-year-old ban on carrying weapons in Chicago take on a momentum serious implications for cities and states trying to control crime (The Washington Times 2010).
The current Supreme Court's decision suggests that the Second Amendment gives citizens across the country the fundamental right to own guns. It does not negate the Chicago law automatically and transfers the case to the federal appeals court, where the ban will probably be removed, the article says. Executive vice president of the National Rifle Association of the United States Wayne Lapierre called the decision of the supreme Court a "great moment in American history, as the Supreme Court enacted rule that coincides with the aspirations of the American people - he said. - People, wrote the second amendment stated that it is a personal right, and the court has now confirmed what I wrote and what were assumed to our founding fathers." (The Washington Times 2010)
The right to private gun: Pros and Cons
In America today there are groups of supporters of the preservation of traditions of possession and use of firearms, but not all Americans share their beliefs. Most Americans stand for the tightening of laws on guns control, but at the same time opposed to infringing the rights of its owners.
It is important to point out, that every year about 30,000 Americans die from gunshot wounds as a result of suicide, homicide and accidents; about 80 per cent of all crimes is committed with pistols and revolvers. Occasionally using firearms to civilians can not prevent crime, and experts continue to argue over what methods of self-defense with gun can be considered legitimate.
The question of the effect of free access to firearms on crime and public safety in general remains open.
Both opponents and supporters of the "armed America" actively operate the statistics, proving the correctness of their points of view. Both sides argue that ideological opponents manipulate and improperly cite the results of studies , but the to a large extent is relied not on the scientific, but ideological arguments.
Briefly the positions of the conflicting parties are as follows:
1. Proponents of deregulation declare that the authorities' attempts to limit the constitutional rights that allows U.S. residents to possess guns have a negative impact on all U.S. law. According to them, people will continue to kill as criminals will always find a way to get in their hands a pistol or gun, while a disarmed citizens would be defenseless. According to them, where more citizens are armed, there is less crime and higher level of security, because criminals are afraid to attack people who are able to resist them.
2. Their opponents, in turn, argue that the Second Amendment to the Constitution does not guarantee the rights of all Americans have guns, it refers only to members of militias and security. In their view, the weapon itself is a risk factor: in places of large concentration of arms in private hands is recorded more injuries and deaths, and guns at home are especially dangerous for children and adolescents.
All Americans want to live quietly, to walk in the city streets without fear and to feel safe at home, and too often the fear of crime prevents this. Some people mistakenly believe that the problem is weapons themselves. Adhering to this delusion, they call to deprive private citizens of their right to have it that supposedly stop the crime, murders and mutilations caused by criminals or negligent gun owners.
Fortunately, the U.S. Constitution has something on this topic. The Second Amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." (Second Amendment foundation online)
Peaceful, law-abiding citizens have reason to believe that their right to have guns is not subject to cancellation. The right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment - is a private, individual right. One of the Founding Fathers, James Madison, wrote that the ten amendments to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights was designed to "protect the personal rights of the people." (Wilcox 1998)
The Americans have the right to decide how to best protect themselves, their families and property. Millions of Americans have guns at home and because of this sleep calmly. Studies show that where the possession of weapons prohibited by law, criminals commit more robberies residential break-ins. Anyone no reason to fear a man who keeps guns at home, except for the robbers. Police did not have the resources to ensure the continued safety of your home, at work or on the street. It appears after a crime to draw up a report and conduct an investigation, usually unsuccessfully. The poorer the quarter, the greater the risk for people who want only to live peacefully and go about their business. Possession of personal weapons - not just one, but their only line of defense.