Do you think governments should introduce strict gun control? IELTS Writing.

Do you think governments should introduce strict gun control?

Concern has been expressed about the amount of violence there is in the modern world. Much of this concern is aimed at fictional violence, the kind that we find in films or in computer games, for example. However, we should be more concerned about the violence that takes place in the real world.

Violence involving guns is particularly disturbing. Gun attacks, because of the very nature of the weapon, tend to be fatal unless the person shooting is deliberately aiming to maim rather than kill. It is true that violence involving other weapons, such as knives, can also be fatal. However, the possibility of fatality is not so high.

Because guns are extremely dangerous weapons, I think it is vital that governments everywhere should make every effort to reduce the number of crimes involving them. In order to do this, they have to introduce strict gun control laws.

Many countries have some form of gun control laws in place. In Australia, for example, anyone owning a gun must be in possession of a firearms licence, be over the age of 18 and have a secure storage system for the gun. Applicants for a licence must put forward a legally acceptable reason for gun possession, such as pest control, hunting, target shooting, or collecting.

Other countries have a similar system, except that some restrict the issuing of gun licences to members of registered shooting clubs or to registered collectors. It is not enough, however, for countries to introduce legislation which restricts the ownership of guns. They must make sure that laws are strictly obeyed by holding regular inspection of guns, licences and storage facilities.

The worst civil situation relating to gun crime is someone running amok with a gun and killing or injuring a great many people. Although such horrific happenings occasionally take place elsewhere in the world, the ones we hear about mostly take place in America. This is almost certainly because America has very few restrictions on the possession of firearms.

Many Americans fiercely defend their right to “keep and bear arms”, a right which is enshrined in the American constitution. A great many Americans also feel that they have to own a gun for reasons of self-defence.

The self-defence gun argument is a dangerous one for it simply helps to keep gun crime alive. If no one is allowed to own a gun, except in exceptional specified circumstances, then the need to defend yourself against someone with a gun should disappear.

Guns add an element of danger to crimes that might otherwise not cause physical harm to anyone. For example, an attempted burglary might turn into murder if the perpetrator of the crime is carrying a gun, or, indeed, if the house owner is in America and carrying a gun for self-defence. One or the other might be trigger-happy and shoot the other dead.

There is another problem related to gun ownership. Having ready access to a gun makes it easier for some people to commit suicide on impulse. Other methods, such as taking an overdose of pills or hanging yourself, involve more difficulty or more effort. In Switzerland, which has a very high rate of gun ownership, the suicide rate is exceptionally high and guns are used in about one-fifth of the cases.

Many people in America feel that their government should introduce strict gun controls for the safety of its citizens. Unfortunately, there is a powerful lobby which supports gun ownership. Let us hope that one day soon common sense will prevail and the use of guns in America will be greatly restricted—for the safety of everyone there.

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