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Weapons, Personal Protection Equipment and Use of Force

One of the main concerns of the people is to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from harm. In the advent of terrorists’ attacks and increasing criminal rates, the people have more reason to fear for their safety. Advancements in science and technology gave way to the creation of various weapons and personal protection equipments. This is to ensure the people’s safety. However, recent problems regarding the use of force with these weapons again threaten the safety of the people.

This has resulted to the regulation of the use of such weapons to promote the security of the people. Introduction Aside from the physical needs like food, shelter, and clothing, people also need to feel safe. For most people, safety is such an important concern for themselves and their family. But no matter how much people try to keep them and their family out of harm’s way, there are still some incidents that could jeopardize their safety. Some of the current events that posed a threat for a majority of people include terrorists’ attacks, and even political unrest.

Neighborhood violence and increasing crime rates are also threaten the safety of others, and for some, it is very alarming. Because of this, some people would resort to various means in order to keep them safe and ensure the protection of their loved ones. One of these means is the use of weapons, and other tools for personal protection. The use of force is also employed especially if someone’s safety is threatened. In relation to the issue of safety of one’s self and family, the fear of crime is always present.

In an article by Warr and Ellison, fear of crime in the United States has been associated to personal fear, and it goes along with overlooking the fear that people have for other people, especially those who are important in their lives (Warr & Ellison, 2000). These include their children, spouse, close friends, and relatives. Aside from the fear for personal safety, Altruistic fear is also evident. It is oftentimes more intense than personal fear, and being self protective is just a result of that altruistic fear.

In relation to this, people would resort to various means in order to avert their fears for themselves and for others. One of this is through arming oneself with tools or weapons that could be used in times of adversity. These weapons or tools are used for defensive purposes, mainly personal protection equipment. Some examples of these are stun guns, hand guns, and pepper sprays. Some may be fatal and could end an attacker’s life, while some are non-fatal, mainly to disable the attacker to provide a chance to escape.

Looking at the statistics, the crime rates in the United States are very high, and are among the highest in the industrialized countries of the world. Despite this, violent victimizations are rare events, though this is enough to cause fear in the people. This result to a public fear of victimization, with 40 to 50% of Americans worry about crimes which they think might happen to them. One of the results of this public fear is that every year, a lot of money is being spent on home and personal security measures. Americans are cautious enough not to let their guard down, regularly engaging in precautionary behaviors.

Examples include avoiding certain locations that they fear might bring them to being victimized, staying home at night, traveling with companions, and finally, the use of protective devices. Stun guns, pocket knives, pepper sprays, and other similar devices are not being purchased just for the fun of it. People spend money for these things because they feel that it would keep them safe, if ever they face a situation that they will be victimized. Using such tools has other social repercussions, such as indifference or the initial uneasiness or unfriendliness with other people.

These reactions may be rude or not pleasant for some, but if safety is concerned, it is best to have these things with you. Currently, there are a lot of negative elements in the society that could harm and even kill people. The increasing crime rates caused by financial problems, the presence of illegal drugs in the neighborhood, these are sound enough reason to fear for one’s safety. With advances in technology and sophisticated science, new tools and equipments are created that could help in keeping one safe. One example is the technological change in the field of military.

Weapons are being created out of light and strong materials, the sizes of guns are being shrunk to proportions that could fit a ladies’ purse. These weapons are not limited to military purposes; it is also now being harnessed for the purpose of protection. Another issue that can be related to this is the acts of terrorism that the nation once suffered (Krieger, 1977). After the September 11 incident, more and more people become aware that they’re not safe no matter where they may be, and that added protection and precautionary measures are needed to keep one’s self and one’s family safe.

Homeland securities have been heightened for the country, with tightened security checks in airports and borders, and even increased level of intelligence for those who are suspected terrorists. This action may have been disturbing to some, but this was necessary to make sure that every citizen in the country is safe from such attacks. New technologies were developed in order to answer the need of protection in a nationwide scale (Kaldor, 1986). New surveillance devices were used, leaving every suspected terrorist with virtually no where to hide.

Several questions were raised because of this, including issues on the invasion of privacy. But because the safety of the majority is important, the government proceeded to use such equipments of protection. This gives way to another concern, which is the use of force. Use of force talks about the right of an individual or authority to sort out conflicts and settle problems by applying certain measures that could dissuade a party from a certain course of action, or just physically stop them using intervening measures.

The use of force is a common practice of the police, corrections and several other security people in order to prevent crimes (Rappert, 2001). The result of this is that improved military capabilities make use of the “use of force” as a more attractive policy of choice. This resulted to the increase in the frequency of using force to deter crimes, though it could also be avoided and just resort to peaceful means of doing so. Because of this, the decision makers often rely to the use of force rather than thinking of other means to resolve a conflict.

Wit the advancement and technology and science, we are able to develop tools that give us the chance of protecting ourselves. However, some of us abuse the power that we get from this. Decision makers who rely in the use of force have a weak judgment of the how their current problems should be resolved. Another concern is that military spending was increased because they favored more of the use of force, which is often associated with high caliber and high value weapons and relatively well paid personnel.

Because of this, some nations were forced to regulate conventional weapons, no matter how difficult it is to achieve weapon regulations (Bring, 1987). Highly advanced weaponry may have been very effective in deterring the crimes and helping promote safety for the people, but there are those who chose to abuse such powers. In response to this, several nations tried to remove certain weapons in their arsenal or reduce the production of such weapons. These weapons have really promoted safety for the people, but the wrong use of this can also bring back the fear that everyone have suffered from.

Safety has been our biggest concern, that’s why these weapons and personal protection equipment were produced. But if it would again threaten the people’s safety, then there is indeed the need to remove them.

References:

Bring, O. (1987). Regulating Conventional Weapons in the Future. Humanitarian Law or Arms Control? Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 24(No. 3, Special Issue on Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflict). Kaldor, M. (1986). The Weapons Succession Process. World Politics, Vol. 38(No. 4). Krieger, D. (1977).What Happens If…? Terrorists, Revolutionaries, and Nuclear Weapons. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 430(Nuclear Proliferation: Prospects, Problems, and Proposals). Rappert, B. (2001). The Distribution and Resolution of the Ambiguities of Technology, or Why Bobby Can’t Spray. Social Studies of Science, Vol. 31(No. 4). Warr, M. , & Ellison, C. G. (2000). Rethinking Social Reactions to Crime: Personal and Altruistic Fear in Family Households. The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 106(No. 3).

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