Do States That Allow Citizens to Carry Guns Have Higher or Lower Crime Rates?

Crime Rate Persuasive Essay Sample

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The Constitution of the United States predetermines that every citizen of the US has a right for self-defense. Another important point to mention, the Constitution allows usage of firearm as means of self-defense. Still, open weapons-bearing is not allowed in some states as the question of the efficiency of owning guns in terms of self-defense is still open.

It seems that mid 1990s were the years when the question of safety issues with armed citizens was on the front burner. Still, the debates continue today, making gun regulations one of the most efficient weapons in hands of experienced politicians. The battles between lawmakers are fueled with controversial studies that provide more and more pieces of evidence about the positive/negative impact of the permission to openly carry weapon on the crime rate. For example, North Carolina and Florida have recently joined the list of states where gun laws are adopted and the decrease in the level of violence was reported. (Lott, 2010). However, not all support this point of view: critics of this law predict that sooner or later this rate will start to grow as jailbirds as well as low-abiding citizen will have an easy access to guns.

Pallid statistics shows that the level of crimes in states with guns allowance decreases: rape cases by 5%, murder rates by 8.5%, assault cases by 7% and robbery by 3% (Eide, Rubin & Shepherd, 2006). And Vermont can be considered one of the best positive examples of the state with allowed firearms. Here citizens have a possibility to carry guns without paying fees, permissions and waiting period. Since the “right-to-carry” law was concealed here, the reports have shown that murder rates reduced by 52%. There are 275,000 gun owners in the state and the level of violence continues to decrease every year.

Scientists name the reason for such decrease: firearms are frequently used by people as tools for self-defense, so in average citizens use guns about 2.5 million times each year. More than that, many states now advocate for passing laws that would allow students to carry weapon – it will help in promoting campus safety and reducing violent crimes (Vito, Maahs & Holmes, 2006).

It is known that criminals prefer to be arrested by policemen rather than to square off against armored victim – citizens tend to kill the assaulter when they are attacked.

On the other hand, some critics point out that armored citizens will promote violent crimes instead of decreasing crime rates. Firstly, there is no guarantee that in stressful situation a citizen with a gun will defend himself properly. Secondly, police have also reported cases where citizens possessing guns killed each other because of personal conflicts. In addition, with too many people allowed to carry weapon, police won’t be able to track guns used for the crime.

This sword cuts both ways: on the one hand, crime rates in the states where citizens are allowed to carry guns decrease markedly. Criminals are afraid to deal with armored victims and citizens become more confident in their safety. On the other hand, easy access to the weapon may result in growth of the crime rate as jailbirds can easily get a hand on gun and commit crimes. In addition, citizens themselves may become criminals because of using weapons to deal with home conflicts.

I believe that allowance to carry weapons is well-thought-out, yet, there is a necessity of passing some permissive psychological tests that will prove that weapon carrier will use it only in case of self-defence.

Works Cited
Erling Eide, Paul H. Rubin and Joanna M. Shepherd (2006), “Economics of Crime”, Foundations and Trends® in Microeconomics: Vol. 2
Lott, John R. Jr. Principles and Standards for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Crime, 2010
Criminology: Theory, Research, and Policy. Front Cover. Gennaro F. Vito, Jeffrey R. Maahs, Ronald M. Holmes. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2006 – Law