One of the main purposes for the existence of world governments is to provide protection and security for their citizens. In ensuring the safety American citizens, the government of the United States practices various levels of control on the ownership and use of firearms. There are different organizations that exist in the United States that primarily focus on the rights of the American citizens to own and use firearms. The organizations take different stands on the debate on the rights of firearms ownership within the United States. Some of these organizations include the National Rifle Association (tNRA), the Coalition to stop gun violence and the Children’s Defense Fund. In American politics, the debate on the ownership of guns in the country for private citizens is a major debate across the political divide. Furthermore, the issue is important as it has a direct relationship to the security and crime rates in the United States.
The National Rifle Association takes a pro-gun stand in this argument. According to the organization, it is the right of all American citizens to own guns for purposes of self-defense (Duggan, 2000, P.18). While the government has a duty to provide security for the citizens, it lacks adequate resources to provide security for every citizen. The guns that the citizens own compliment the security provided by the government. Personal security is also a duty of individual citizens and the government should provide the means for such citizens to ensure their security. Providing of this capacity involves passing of legislature that would give the citizens a capacity for personal gun ownership. Furthermore, the organization also argues that the current regulations placed on gun ownership by the government that require individuals to have a certain level of wealth are discriminatory in nature. Under this argument, the tNRA argues that wealth is the not the only factor that increases the insecurity of an individual. By allowing the wealthy individuals to possess guns, the government assumes that theft of wealth is the only motive that drives crime. Therefore, the organization argues that the government should abolish all regulations that are discriminatory in nature. All citizens should have equal access to means of self-defense.
On the other hand, the coalition to stop gun violence takes an anti-gun-ownership stand in this debate. The organization also concurs that it is the role of the government to provide all American citizens with security. However, the organization argues that in exercising this duty, it is the right of the government to control ownership and distribution of guns in the country (Kates et al, 1994, p.513). Gun ownership increases the rate of gun-related crimes. By practicing regulation of ownership of guns, the government can decrease the crime rate in the country. However, the organization proposes that the government should institute policies that require ne t undergo evaluation before he is allowed to own or possess a gun. For example, an individual who possesses a gun should not have a criminal record. Furthermore, one should also pass tests on the safe handling of guns to avoid gun related accidents. Furthermore, one should undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine one’s mental stability. Indeed, the organization also supports the government control on the level of the weaponry that individual citizens should hld. For example, the organization proposes that the citizens should only possess small arms.
The Children’s Defense Fund seeks t protect children from gun related violence. The organization protects the children from being the victims of gun violence as well as having access to guns which they can use to conduct violence. The organization, therefore, supports moves by the government to control the distribution guns within the country. The organization argues that the children should not have access to guns that they can use to conduct violent activities. According to the organization, the increased cases of children carrying guns to schools as well as increased school massacres is an indication of the need to control the distribution of guns in the country (Resnick, Marjorie and Iris, 2004, p.424). Furthermore, the organization argues that by controlling the distribution of arms, the government would successfully manage t protect children from gun related crimes. The children primarily access guns from their parents. There should be regulations that bar parents from allowing children to possess firearms or to gain access to firearms that the parent own. The government should take legal action against parent that allow their children to have access to guns.
All the organization use different methods to lobby support for their course. For example, the organizations have support from different political parties. For example, while the democrats express their support for government control of guns, the republicans are conservative and retain that possession of guns is a part of the American culture and all Americans should have a right to defend themselves. Furthermore, the organizations also lobby for financial support from other organizations. For example, the gun manufacturers are a major supporter for the National Rifle Association. The gun manufacturers provide support for the tNRA because they seek to maximize their profits from the sale of guns to the American citizens. Furthermore, the organizations also lobby for support through holding public campaigns. For example, the campaigns seek to sway the public to the point of view of each organization. The tNRA seeks to have the public support the passing of legislation that allows Americans to own guns while the Coalition to stop gun violence seeks to reduce the number of guns that the American citizens hold.
- Duggan, Mark. More guns, more crime. No. w7967. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2000.
- Kates, Don B., et al. “Guns and public health: Epidemic of violence or pandemic of propaganda.” Tenn. L. Rev. 62 (1994): 513.
- Resnick, Michael D., Marjorie Ireland, and Iris Borowsky. “Youth violence perpetration: what protects? What predicts? Findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.” Journal of adolescent health 35.5 (2004): 424-e1.