Private gun ownership research paper-Philosophy

Private gun ownership research paper


Many of the people usually assume that we should either support or oppose gun control. However, this is not the case because there is a wide range of available alternatives. This is mainly because the issue of private gun ownership to some extend requires the moral determination of whether people should be allowed to continue possessing them or not (Carter, 143). However, there are several justifications of private gun ownership which mainly rotates around the protection or prevention of crimes. This is achievable because criminals will tend to move away from people they surely know they are armed (Reiss & Roth, 274). Also guns have over a very long period of time used for protection, hence reducing chances of homicides and other types of crimes associated with guns. Hence it becomes critical to analyze whether the pros of private gun ownership outdo the cons as well as how effectively guns can be handled within our communities without causing harm (Lott, 167).

Private Ownership of Guns Justification

Moral Question

This involves questioning if citizens of any country have a serious reason as to why they should be allowed to own guns. This is however not a constitutional question but a moral one. This is mainly because even if when the constitution has given the right to own guns, there is need to determine whether there are arguments which are sufficiently compelling to oppose private gun ownership which can justify the constitution change (Lott, 187). Moreover, if it wasn’t a constitutional right, we are also supposed to be in a position to determine whether there are enough reasons as to why the guns should not be banned or controlled by the state, as well as if the argued reasons are sufficiently convincing to make it a right constitutionally.

Thus, many of the private gun ownership defenders usually claim that they have both moral and Constitutional right hence not just an ordinary right, but one which is fundamental (Carter, 143). If they those advocating for private gun ownership are correct, then they should have justificatory reasons. Hence if it was a fundamental right, then there would be enough arguments to justify that society would likely be in a position to benefit from controlled access to these guns (Reiss & Roth, 254).

Guns availability stops or prevents crimes

Those who support private gun ownership usually offer empirical evidence which supports the claim guns can be used to prevent crime. This is mainly because most criminals always want to greatly minimize the risks associated with their crime acts. Thus, if they really know that the one who is in a house is armed, then they are less likely to come into that particular house, unless the owner is away (Lott, 195). Also, a potential criminal is less likely to rob or even assault somebody whom they are sure is in possession of a weapon. Moreover, when criminals attempt to assault or rob an armed person, there are high chances foiling the crime.

Two surveys have critically supported these claims. For instance, one survey indicated that 4% of all Americans have in the past 5 years used a gun to avert a crime (Reiss & Roth, 234). With these figures, researchers estimate at least annul 600,000 gun uses in defensive ways. However, another survey has claimed that this number may be approximately 2.5 million (Reiss & Roth, 244). Thus, given the high number of gun associated violent crimes, it is evident that guns are mostly used for criminal purposes as also for defensive purposes (Carter, 164). Hence this is a powerful reason for people to be allowed accessibility to guns.

The opponents of gun control are opposed to the fact that federal policies prevent firearms from high-risk persons, instead they argue, that these controls mostly create obstacles to citizens who are law-abiding and infringe their constitutional rights. Some also argue that widespread private gun ownership can act as a good deterrent of crime and potential tyranny, from gangs or government (Lott, 167).

Harm, Danger, and Risk of private gun ownership

We should be careful when saying guns causes harm. This is because guns kill or harm because agents opt to use them carelessly. The gun advocates also support my contention which is guns are always inherently dangerous (Reiss & Roth, 234). They usually advocate for private guns ownership for preventing crimes. Although guns are inherently dangerous, they are far less dangerous when compared to mass destruction weapons, and also they usually have legitimate uses. Thus, we should illustrate their risks before they can be legitimately abolished or even seriously restricted.



More guns lead to more violence

The supporters of gun control offer evidence of a positive correlation between availability of guns and violence (Carter, 138). This is mainly because guns mostly used for the reasons listed below to facilitate violence. (1) Guns are the easy way of killing others or yourself whereby one can actually stand at a safe distance and then shoot. (2) Also when you are angry, you are also likely to act in abnormal way. They are likely strike at people around them. If a gun is around, they are also likely to use it. (3) Sometimes when people are experiencing depression, then they are most likely to kill or injure themselves if a gun is around. (4) Moreover, when people are handling guns, the probability for fatal or serious injury to others or them increases whereas when children get access to the guns, the chances of an accident are even increases higher (Lott, 187).

The connection between guns availability and murder

The more available the guns are, then the more the people are killed. First, guns are more lethal compared many other weapons. This partly gives the reason for the strong relation between homicides and guns. Also when people are angry those in possession of lethal weapons are therefore likely to murder their victims (Lott, 207).

Second, the secondary gun markets nature helps in explaining how the guns availability increases general crimes, and specifically homicides (Carter, 133). Various opponents of the controlling of guns purport that if guns are outlawed; then only the outlaws will be in possession of guns. This then means that there will be others to counter or prevent the criminal activities of these outlaws. This is because there are so many guns which are illegally owned (Reiss & Roth, 244).

Third, when a gun is within the house even for the purpose of self-protection – increases the probability that somebody in the family will end up killing themselves with the same gun meant for self protection, or are likely to be victims of an accident or homicide. This implies that when a gun is used to kill an intruder to stop an attempted crime there are also many other innocent people who get killed.


In the past many people mostly assumed that we must either oppose or support gun control, they also believed the only best way to control the guns was to legally prohibit their access (Reiss & Roth, 234). Although the idea of a world with no guns is very appealing, the are need to seek for alternatives is highly appropriate, and more preferably in the U. S. which has a gun culture which is deeply entrenched. Thus, in current political environment, the serious control or abolition of guns in the U. S. is unlikely to be successful as well as unlikely to happen. This is because there are a great number of people who are desperately in need of guns whereas many of them own guns, thus any attempts of disarming the society are likely to bring so many problems.

However, I propose that all gun owners to be strictly bearing the liability for the harm which may be caused by their guns (Carter, 123). This will definitely control the harm caused by the guns possession either accidental or deliberate as well as those occurring as a result of negligence in the storage of the gun. This is a very justifiable procedure since guns pose an inherently danger, hence it is reasonable for people to be taking the responsibility for the actions done using their guns. The advantages of this measure are notable whereby many people will likely declined to own guns, whereas those who will own guns will tend to take greater care in the process of handling, storing and using the guns. This would arguably attain the critical aims of controlling guns without government’s direct intervention (Lott, 167).

Moreover in order to make this measure more palatable, the gun owners should be allowed buy liability insurance which will be covering potential losses caused by their guns. After all, most of the states demands that drivers have insurance to automobiles they own (Carter, 123). This insurance supported system of strictly bearing liability would most likely make a great number of people to be taking extra care with any of the guns which they own, as well as enabling financial benefits to people harmed by their guns (Reiss & Roth, 234).



Carter, G.L. The Gun Control Movement. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1997.

Lott, J.R. More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Reiss, A.J., Jr.  & Roth, J.A. (Eds). Understanding and Preventing Violence. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1993.


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