A shotgun is a powerful form of firearm typically fired from the shoulder. Although there are varying sizes, the average shotguns is a large burly weapon, which uses energy from a fixed shell to dispense a number of small spherical pellets. Unlike common forms of ammunition, the shotgun fires a cartridge which then disperses into smaller fragments. Although the range from the blast is limited, the widening angles available from the dispersed pellets are unmatched.
Weapons such as shotguns and rifles are thought to be used primarily for hunting and recreation. That being said, the laws regarding such weapons are fairly lax and casual throughout the United States. A prospective buyer will encounter limited red tape or procedural barriers when attempting to purchase, use, or carry a shotgun.
The average state does not require a permit for purchase, a license for ownership, a registration, nor even a permit for concealed carry. The ideology behind this casual stance stems from the weapons intended use. As a result of their size and cumbersome nature the practicality behind wielding a shotgun in public is unrealistic. Unlike pistols which are concealable and easy to tot around, the shotgun is a large firearm (on average 28-32 inches long) incapable of concealment or inconspicuous use.
Statistics regarding shotgun related deaths have not been recorded on a national scale. Considering handguns make up 50% of homicides via firearms one would imagine that shotguns have played a role in roughly 20% of all murders.
The primary difference between shotgun related murders and handgun murders is their intent and nature. The majority of deaths imposed by shotguns are hunting accidents, suicides, and mass shootings. An overwhelming percentage of firearm homicides occur in America's urban environments.
The majority of shotguns are found in rural areas or states with fertile hunting grounds. When you couple these facts together, the nature of shotguns becomes transparent. As a result of their size, limited range, bulkiness, and inherent nature the shotgun is simply impractical in regards to precipitating separate acts of violence.
The average firing rate of a shotgun is extremely slow. An operator must first, withstand the blowback from the powerful discharge, then manually reload two more cartridges (given the style of shotgun.) Unlike revolvers, semi-automatic weapons, or fully-automatic guns a shotgun operator wastes precious seconds when reloading his/her weapon. This inherent feature of the weapon directly impedes the gun's firing rate.
Although the cartridges are more powerful, they cannot be fired without manual intervention. The major concern associated with shotguns is their accessibility. As a result of their deregulation, an individual who is unstable is more than capable of obtaining such a weapon. Given the prospective user, the weapons convenience combined with its innate power could result in catastrophic implications.
Shotguns have played a major role in many of the infamous shooting sprees in American history. Instances such as the Columbine massacre are a reminder of the dangers and accessibility that these weapons possess. That being said, the true concerns associated with the shotgun are simply based on the individual's intentions.
The weapon is deregulated because it has plays an intricate part in many hunting, recreational, and competitive activities. For the majority of Americans, shotguns symbolize a rite of passage, a symbol of our nation's history, but for others, the convenience and potent nature represent an opportunity to inflict harm on a community.