As human beings, it is in our nature to equate real-world objects with a certain set of outcomes. A wailing ambulance alerts us to the fact someone is in injured. A waiter’s tray full of steaming food as he walks by causes us to be more hungry as we await our own food. Whatever the object is, we use it as a symbol for something else, a symbol that has been enhanced and reinforced in our minds since the day we were born, from television programs to lessons from our parents. One object that is a symbol of danger, something that is deadly in the wrong person’s hands, is a gun. Since the first guns, basically mini cannons , of the 1200’s to the enhanced, super-powered rifles of today, guns have always been a medium through which one can efficiently use force to get what he wants.
Guns have received lots of criticism over the past few years. Gun critics have blamed these objects for the flurry of recent school shootings, calling for them to be banned. Advocates have replied that a gun does not shoot by itself; if the person behind the gun has malicious intent, it is his fault for what happens. Discussions over the Second Amendment have raised some interesting questions. Are we better off without guns? What kind of political arraignment does a gun support? And, finally, how can a gun upset the balanced order of society?
In the past, having a gun was one way to stay alive. People would hunt wild game with guns as a source of food and clothing. People still do this, but to a lesser extent because of the increased domestication of animals. People also use guns as a measure of self-defense in their homes in case of any attacks. Finally, guns can add to a criminal’s threatening demeanor. Others are less likely to confront him, and he can be more intimidating, and use it as a weapon, when committing crimes. These are just a few of the many forms of life that a gun can provide.
Many people ask if we are better off without guns, or, if laws should be put into place to prevent them. One study by JAMA Internal Medicine looked at which gun laws worked best to reduce violent deaths. The study showed that “they can provide “no firm guidance” about which gun laws work to reduce violence and how” .
When asked if a gun implies a democratic or authoritarian arraignment, one could answer either way. Some say that it is every person’s right to own a gun, and that taking this right away cannot possibly be fair. In this sense, guns are democratic, though potentially very dangerous. On the other hand, guns can easily be authoritarian. If no one is allowed to have guns except, perhaps, the military of a nation, the leader of the nation could order his military to use deadly force in carrying out his goals. All that do not comply would be killed. If only a select few have guns, they could push their own agenda onto the citizens of a nation, erasing any hopes of a democracy.
Guns can disrupt social institutions in a very clear way. By pulling the trigger, one’s life can be over in snap. This can be the murder of a parent, tearing a family apart. This could also be as huge as the assassination of a world leader, causing huge amounts of people to act in frenzy. There is no limit to the power of a gun.
In conclusion, as long as there are guns there will always be opponents and proponents of them. We have to remember that they are very dangerous, whether in the hands of the few or the hands of the many.
 Supica, J. (n.d.). A Brief History of Firearms. Retrived from
 Healy, M. (2013, March 7). More Gun Laws Reduce Violent Deaths. Or do They?. Retrieved from
Image: [Bullet Stop Handgun]. Retrieved January 28, 2015