Our Blind Spot about Guns Article by Nicholas Kristof Analysis
English Composition I ENC 1101
October 15, 2022
Our Blind Spot about Guns Article by Nicholas Kristof Analysis
Gun regulation is perhaps one of the most controversial issues in America today. A section of Americans supports regulations, while others oppose them. Recently, there has been a rise in gun-related deaths attributed mainly to the mass shootings that have been on the rise. In his article,Â Our blindspot about Guns, Kristof ( 2014) argues that guns, just like cars, should be regulated as this will reduce gun-related deaths by a third.
Kristof (2014) argues that guns, like vehicles, need to be regulated in his article. He further states that since cars have been regulated, the number of deaths linked to cars has dramatically reduced. He argues that if cars meant for transportation can be regulated, how about guns used primarily to kill? He adds that gun related deaths have significantly increased in the past years. He argues that when the question of gun regulation is brought up, people are quick to justify how cars kill people, and the same cars are not confiscated after that. This, he argues, shows how people have a blind spot for gun regulation in America. Kristof argues that regulating guns may not prevent people from killing, but it will reduce the number of deaths caused by guns every year. In a nutshell, Kristof argues that gun restrictions and regulations should be increased, just like cars, to reduce the number of deaths caused by guns.
Kristof (2014) uses comparison and contrasting strategies in his writing. He compares car regulations to gun regulations. He argues that fatality rates have been reduced by 95 percent due to car regulations. He then argues that the same margin would reduce gun-related deaths if guns were regulated like cars. By comparing and contrasting Kristof’s measures and strict regulations on cars have reduced car-related deaths by a considerable margin, Kristof proves that when the same is done on guns, the same effect will be achieved. Another strategy used by Kristof uses cause and effect. He argues that the lack of regulations on gun usage has led to increased gun-related deaths. Therefore guns should be restricted and regulated.
Kristofâ€™s writing strategies are very effective. The compare and contrasting strategy are effective because it gives the reader a clear picture of what would happen if guns were regulated. To do this, Kristof gives the statistics of car-related deaths in the 1920s, which by 2014 would have translated to 715,000 deaths. He points out that car deaths have been reduced by more than 95%. Kristof’s use of such raw data gives the reader a more precise picture than generic words such as ‘many’ or ‘a lot.’ He then argues that 10,000 deaths would be saved each year if guns were regulated. The combination of compare and contrast strategy and statistics is more effective and convincing than if the author had just given reasons why guns should be regulated.
I agree with Kristofâ€™s argument that gun use should be regulated in America. It makes no sense that cars used primarily for transport are regulated, yet guns for killing are not regulated. ( “Regulate Guns for Safety.” 2014) In recent years, gun deaths have increased because guns are in the hands of the wrong people. Mass shootings in schools and public places are just an example of how guns are in the hands of the wrong people and this needs to be addressed. According to Greene-Collozzi and Silva (2022), approximately 634 firearms were used in 348 mass shootings between 1966-2018. The sheer number of guns used in these mass shootings supports my argument that insufficient gun regulation in America has led to increased mass shootings in the recent past.
In this study, Greene-Collozzi and Silva(2022) examine the guns used in the 348 mass shootings. They examined the type and number of guns used, the legality and attainment strategies, the regulations in place at the time of the shootings, the impact of these shootings on gun regulations and lastly, the impact of these regulations on the casualties. They found out that single handguns were mainly used during mass shootings, though, in some shootings, two to three firearms were used. Secondly, they also established that 70% of the guns used were legally obtained. Lastly, they also established that the existing gun regulations at the time of these mass shootings had little effect on the mass shootings. Only purchasing permits significantly affected the casualties. States which had purchasing permits and registration limits recorded fewer mass shootings. Evidence from this study shows that the majority of gun regulations as they are do little to prevent mass shootings and gun-related violence. These regulations are either ineffective or too few to effect any change. It means that more purchasing permits and registration limits should be implemented throughout the states if any change is to be observed.
In his article, Kristof’s target audience is the government. The government and, more specifically, congress are responsible for implementing laws that regulate the purchase, ownership and use of guns. Kristof (2014) poses a question at the end of the article asking why politicians can’t be reasonable when dealing with guns as they were when regulating cars.
One argument that is often used against gun control and regulation is that gun regulations do not affect criminals but law-abiding citizens. They argue that criminals do not follow these regulations when obtaining guns, but they find ways of obtaining guns illegally. What they fail to recognize is that these criminals often obtain these guns illegally because there are a lot of guns in circulation. If the government tightened gun purchase and registration regulations, fewer guns would be in circulation, making it even harder for criminals to access them. Secondly, not only criminals kill using guns; even law-abiding citizens sometimes kill. Homicide cases are on the rise, and many of those cases are people with no criminal record. Guns should be regulated even if it does not affect the acquisition of guns by criminals.
In conclusion, Kristof (2014) argues that guns should be regulated like cars. The regulations will help reduce gun-related deaths by a third. In addition, mass shootings and homicide cases will reduce if purchase licenses are required for guns and if the number of registrations per month is reduced.
Greene-Colozzi, E. A., & Silva, J. R. (2022). Contextualizing firearms in mass shooting incidents: A study of guns, regulations, and outcomes.Â Â Justice Quarterly,Â Â 39(4), 697-721.
Nicholas Kristof, (July 30, 2014). Our Blind Spot About Guns: retrieved from:Â https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/31/opinion/nicholas-kristof-our-blind-spot-about-guns.html
â€˜Regulate Guns for Safety.”Â New York Times, August 5, 2014, p. A20(L).Â Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A377335269/OVIC?u=lirn99776&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=723e896d. Accessed October 13, 2022.
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