Keeping in mind the current exposure to violence in the world, the gun usage has increased massively for various reasons, whether be for protection, gang killing, intimidation, prestige of social class, watchmen or even hunting. This study is focused on the relationship between strict gun control laws and the murder rates. The independent variable, strict gun control laws, and the dependent variable, murder rates are studied under the Semantic Differential Scale. The two MAIN adjectives used were ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’; these two were used in the context of a statement that said strict laws reduce murder rate.
In the results the inclination was towards disagree but was not to the extreme. In all the other ratings and bipolar adjectives used, the inclination was towards the fact that although strict gun laws do not exactly lower murder rates, but they do control them slightly. Introduction Gun control has become a significant part of today’s world due to increasing violence and terrorism in the world. Apart from terrorism even, the increasing exposure to deadly weapons and incidents is making the usage of guns increasingly common.
There is a dire need for regulation and policies that restrict the use of guns because the recent days see people from various age brackets owning guns. To control the ownership and usage of guns has been a debatable topic since a very long time. People have differing views according their own realities; some believe that it is normal to let people use guns at their free will while others believe that the government should restrict who uses it, why he/she uses it, on what occasions and so on.
Therefore, conducting a survey on this topic is beneficial to conclude whether most people are for gun controls or against them. Body The hypothesis of this study is whether ‘areas with strict gun control laws have a lower murder rate’. This is self-explanatory – the study is about figuring out whether stricter gun laws are actually making a difference and bringing the murder rates under control or is it all completely useless. Every study has an independent variable that is not affected by any other factor; here this is the strict gun laws because we need to find out the effect of gun laws on the murder rates.
Since the murder rates are what are being affected by the strict gun laws and will vary with the strictness of the laws, it is the dependent variable of the study. Some people believe that these two variables do not have any relationship because guns are not the only weapons that can cause murder; if the gun laws are strict, people can find alternative ways such as knives, blades, poison and even screwdrivers. However, the others believe that if the gun control is high in a certain place, the hindrance towards a murder is increased and the chances of a person actually dying reduce slightly.
Both the variables are not difficult to quantify – the number and rate of murder can be easily measured in numbers from the data collected by agencies or the government that keeps track. However, this might not always be true because not all murders can be tracked and recorded. The gun laws can also be measured on a scale on which each law can be given a score according to its strictness level. However, the only thing to measure is not the strictness; there are other factors that really count.
These factors include the local reality, the implementation technique of the law, whether government is keeping a check or not, whether the policymakers are taking action against those who breech the law or not and also whether people understand these laws and their importance or not. For the measurement and examination of this survey, the instrument to be used is the Semantic Differential Scale. This is a scale that does not measure the denotative meaning, in fact the connotative one, to understand a person’s attitude towards a concept, object or event.
It can even measure qualitative factors; thus, it is suitable for this particular study as well. This uses two extremely opposite terms (bipolar adjectives) on the two ends of the scale and the participant has to mark his/her position on it. The advantages are that it can measure two variables; for example, a scale for happiness can even measure sadness. Disadvantages are that people might not be honest is answering and it can at times become difficult to transform the qualitative things. This study will be conducted over a period of 3 months; each month the level of strictness of the laws will keep increasing.
3 diverse locations will be chosen; one would be residential areas of the upper class, lower class and middle class; second would be a commercial area with bazaars and loads of people shopping around; and third would be a genuinely unsafe area where people are hesitant to go to and violent gangs hang out. This study will include a total of 150 people as the sample size; 50 from each of these three locations – in location one, the surveys will be divided equally amongst the three classes. The surveys will be face to face; the advantages are that the facial expressions and body language can tell whether the participant is lying or not.
Also, on the telephone people tend to get irritated and end up lying in order to get rid of it and get back to whatever work that they were doing. The disadvantage is that people might not want to meet the surveyor as many do not want their identity to be revealed. Limitations However, there are certain limitations to the surveys such as the third location; it is difficult to get the gangsters and people who use guns to kill and create violence compared to the upper class people who use it for activities like hunting or protection.
Conclusion Results and Recommendations The results of this study reveal that the upper class hotshots get away with the usage of guns under strict laws through their sources and contacts. The middle and the lower class, however, reduce their usage with increasing strictness of the laws and in fact, most do not even possess guns. The gangsters, however, do not entirely stop using guns if the laws become strict; instead they become more cautious and careful to be discreet about their activities.
Also, when they have to create violence in the marketplace, they do it at dark hours and not in the day as they did earlier if the laws were not strict. Therefore, we can conclude that although stricter laws do not exactly bring a huge downfall in the murder rates, they do reduce by a slight extent. The evident reason for this is the lack of the government’s concern – they do implement the laws but their follow up, tracking and recording is extremely weak because of which these gun users do not really get intimated and continue with their activities because they know nobody will catch or punish them.
However, further if a research needs to be carried out, it should be focused on why the government does not take any action or follow up with their regulations. References Himmelfarb, S. , (1993); The measurement of attitudes, Psychology of Attitudes, Thomson/Wadsworth Kopel, D. , (1995), Guns: Who Should Have Them? (Edition: illustrated); Published by Prometheus Books, ISBN 0879759585 Poe. R. , (2002), The Seven Myths of Gun Control: Reclaiming the Truth about Guns, Crime, and the Second Amendment; Published by Forum, ISBN 0761525580