Alcohol can disrupt the delicate balance and processes that our brains rely on to operate optimally, thereby affecting ones thoughts, feelings and actions. One is unable to make sound judgment. As one drinks more, the brains will be affected and with high alcohol levels, the feelings which may at first have been pleasurable start changing and a negative emotional response may set in and one is likely to make unsound decisions. This may result to aggression, anger, anxiety and at times depression. In this condition, being in possession of a firearm could lead to self-harm as well as interpersonal violence (Banks, Gina, 2017).
Alcohol may narrow one’s comprehension of a situation, making them not respond to all the prompts, and if one is prone to anxiety and sees something that could be a threat to him or what he holds dear, and is in possession of a fire arm, the intoxication may impair the individual’s judgment causing them to take an action which could be harmful to those around him. The intoxication may trigger assault and gun violence, innocent people could get hurt and lives lost. It could result to homicide as well. Most people who have committed homicide crime are said to have been under alcohol influence the time the crime took place (Banks, Gina, 2017)
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Alcohol use coupled with gun possession is a major contributor to criminal activities such as robbery, sexual assault, aggravated physical assault, child abuse, and violence. Drinking tends to make people narrow-minded, and unwilling to tolerate other people’s views or any form of caution given to them and also tends to increase aggressive behaviors. Aggression resulting from alcohol intoxication has led to a big increase in alcohol-related violence and criminal activities, hence putting other people in danger. Being in possession of guns only aggravates the situation and often times results to harsh consequences, like serving jail term, paying for any damages that may have been caused, paying legal fees, among other penalties that may be given by authorities (Monnat, 2017).
Alcohol is said to be a major factor in suicide. It may lead to increase in one’s negative self-image and tends to lower one’s self esteem. It may deepen depression, which could lead to social isolation. Alcohol use could lower concern for the future consequences in one’s actions. Many alcohol users with suicidal tendencies attempt suicide during drinking. Firearm access therefore is a big risk factor at such a moment and if one is in possession of a firearm, or if there is one at his/her disposal when this happens, then suicide may be inevitable (Banks, Gina, 2017).
Alcohol reduces self- awareness, and when an individual is provoked, he forgets everything save for what is in front of him, the most noticeable sign is right in front of him, in this case, a gun. Assault, which may lead to people being hurt, which would otherwise not have happened in the absence of firearms. Should a conflict arise when one is under the influence of alcohol and in possession of a firearm, then the end result may be very fatal. Serious injuries may occur, property damaged and even loss of lives (Monnat, 2017).
Possession of firearms while under the influence of alcohol could pose a threat to victims of domestic violence like spouses, ex-spouse, relatives and even domestic workers. Keeping guns in the home is highly associated with increase in homicide cases in the home by a family member, relative or close friend. The holder being an alcoholic, then there is a high likelihood of them using the gun against the victim, usually as a threat to shoot or kill, and in many cases this happens when the gun holder is under the influence of alcohol. Keeping a gun in the home not only poses a danger to the members of the family, but also to the community at large. Keeping guns at home by alcoholics can be a trigger to committing suicides with the firearm.
Intoxication while in possession of a gun could lead to loss of the firearm, which may land in the wrong hands, of criminals or even terrorists. This poses a threat not only to residents in a particular area, but also to the nation at large and at times neighboring states. Criminal cases such as theft, murder, rape, assault and robbery with violence could increase causing unrest in the affected areas and rises the risk for homicide and victimization for other people in the society, because the criminals or rather the terrorists may go shooting others for no apparent reason (Banks, Gina, 2017)
People own guns mainly for safety purposes. However, even the licensed gun holders could use their weapons to shoot someone or scare people without legal justification, or even engage in unwarranted horseplay when they get drunk and unruly. When drunk, one’s judgment is impaired and even licensed gun holders may use their weapon in scenarios that do not necessitate use of guns, leading to unnecessary unrest. This could also land them in serious trouble with the law.
Unsafe gun handling may result when one is under the influence of alcohol, since one’s reflexes, vision, balance and coordination are weakened. Accidents may occur. For example, one may miss his step or may be stumble while holding his weapon and accidentally pull the trigger, causing injury either to self or other people unintentionally. This could lead to conviction out of an offense that was not intended (Banks, Gina, 2017)
Banks, Gina, et al. "Gun violence and substance abuse." Aggression and Violent Behavior (2017).
Monnat, Shannon M. "Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide Represent Growing Share of US Mortality." (2017).