Gun control

Britain has the most severe gun control laws in the world. But is gun control a good thing or a bad thing? Let’s look at some of the common arguments for and against the right to own a gun.

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Britain has the most severe gun control laws in the world. Handguns or pistols are banned for civilians, even for sports purposes. You must get a certificate from the police to own a shotgun or a rifle for hunting , and the certificates aren’t easy to get. So, is gun control a good thing or a bad thing? Let’s look at some of the common arguments for and against the right to own a gun.

Pro gun

Guns prevent crime. Criminals will think twice before robbing the house of someone with a gun. The police can’t keep order so people need guns to protect themselves. If you take away their guns, innocent people will suffer because they won’t be able to defend themselves.

Anti gun

If guns prevent crime then why doesn’t the USA have the lowest crime rate in the world? Guns don’t protect you. Statistics show that you are more likely to be shot if you have a gun in the house. And the person who gets shot is more likely to be the householder than the intruder.

Pro gun

People always talk about gun control after massacres like Hungerford or a school killing like Columbine in the USA. The people who do these things are mentally ill. You can’t legislate against what these people might do. The actions of one ‘madman’ shouldn’t be used to make everyone else criminals too.

Anti gun

In the majority of these ‘massacre’ killings, the murderer got the guns either from his or her own home or from the home of a member of the family. And the guns were usually legal. If the guns weren’t available it wouldn’t have happened. It’s as simple as that.

Pro gun

Most people who have guns are responsible law abiding citizens. They use them to hunt or for sport. They store their guns carefully and know how to use them. They aren’t a danger to anyone else.

Anti gun

Every year, thousands of children die in accidents involving guns in their own homes. Why not use the new generation of ‘smart’ guns that can only be used by the owner, through, for example, fingerprint recognition? The technology is available, but gun makers and gun owners don’t want to use it.

Pro gun

A gun is only a tool. It doesn’t kill by itself. People kill, not guns. Are you going to ban knives next?

Anti gun

Guns and knives are not the same. You can kill many more people with a gun than a knife. And with a gun, the killing is depersonalised. You can kill people from a distance without seeing the consequences.

Pro gun

Thousands of people are killed every year by cars, but we don’t ban cars.

Anti gun

Cars weren’t invented to kill people. Guns were.

Pro gun

There are too many gun laws already which make life difficult for law-abiding gun owners. We need more severe penalties for criminals who use guns, not restrictions on normal people. Give the criminals longer prison sentences and leave the rest of us alone.

Anti gun

Tougher penalties won’t stop serious criminals from using guns. A cocaine dealer already faces a long prison sentence if he is caught. We need to stop them getting hold of the guns in the first place. We need to break down the gun-owning culture.

Pro gun

People have the right to carry guns. In many countries, (the USA for example) it’s a right that goes back hundreds of years. Why should the government interfere in the lives of ordinary citizens?

Anti gun

The world was a different place hundreds of years ago. Machine guns didn’t exist for a start. And obviously, if the rights of an individual makes life dangerous for other people, then that right should be taken away.

Pro gun

If gun control is such a good thing, why have British gun crime figures increased and not decreased?

Anti gun

Gun crime is in the news at the moment, but it’s still a very small percentage of the total of recorded crimes in Britain, less than half a per cent. And most of this crime is connected with members of criminal groups, such as drug gangs. It’s a problem, but it certainly isn’t caused by gun control.

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