The Gun Control Debate

Gun control is one of the most controversial arguments that has been, and is going on in the twenty-first century.  Millions of innocent people are hurt every year from gun violence. There has been many mass shootings across the United States, from Parkland, Florida, to New Town, Connecticut, that took many innocent lives from us.  In the United States of America, citizens have the right to bear arms. It was a right given to Americans from the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which was written September 17, 1787. In the modern-American period, gun control has been one of the most known and discussed arguments between Republican and Democrats.  Most people disagree on how to solve the gun issue in the United States of America. There are over 270 million firearms in the United States of America, which makes up ninety out of every hundred citizens (Watkins). Many people have formed ideas on how to solve the problem. Many people believe we need a ban or put stricter regulation on what kind of rifles, pistol, and attachments for civilians, while others believe that putting any ban on rifles and pistols are against the Second Amendment. Therefore against their constitutional rights and illegal.  Putting more regulation and banning rifles, pistols, attachments will not stop mass shootings. If we put stricter background checks and not allow people who are mentally ill to acquire rifles and pistol, we can decrease accidents with guns with proper training to adults and children if they have a firearm in their house.

There are many reasons why people believe that the United States of America should take away rifles, pistols, attachments from law-abiding citizens.  Guns are one of the most commonly used weapons to rob a person or to murder someone, ¨guns are used to kill more than 30,000 Americans each year and injure approximately 70,000.  Guns are also used to commit nearly 400,000 crimes each year¨ (Watkins). Firearms in general are very dangerous and have caused so much damage to many people lives. Too many people in the United States of America are killed or injured by firearms.  Firearm related injuries are high among gun owners and their families, especially children. Gun safety is an important trait that needs to be taught to anyone who wants to, or will use a firearm. ¨In 2010 the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) denied 76,000 would-be buyers. How many of those individuals were prosecuted? Forty-four out of 76,000. How many convicted? Thirteen out of 76,000. That is a conviction rate of 0.02 percent, which suggests two possibilities. Either the remaining denials were legitimate purchases that were unjustly blocked by the NICS system or, if the denials were proper, then somehow 99.98 percent of those 76,000 rejected applicants escaped punishment. Most likely both factors were at work. But neither of those possibilities offers much hope for an expanded system of background checks. We would do much better to improve the existing system¨  (Merino). Background checks are vital for protecting Americans from people who are mentally ill and should not receive a firearm. Nikolas Cruz took seventeen people lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He was known to be a mental ill and he was also known by the sheriff’s department yet he still passed the background check (Watkins). When background checks are not effective, that leaves millions of innocent Americans with mentally ill people with a dangerous history, who should have never acquired a gun.

The issue of gun control and the second amendment have popped up many times in different sessions in Congress and the debate even popped up in the Supreme Court in the last fifteen years.  District of Columbia V. Heller was the legendary court case that was heard by the Supreme Court and would ultimately define the fate of the second amendment in the twenty-first century.  ¨The 2008 decision upheld that right in an individual’s home and within “federal enclaves” such as the District of Columbia, which the court found had unconstitutionally restricted gun possession within its boundaries.  Part of the basis for the court’s decision in the Heller case was the concept of natural law—a preexisting natural right that everyone is inherently entitled to without it being specifically granted by legal statute.  The right of self-defense is a natural law that is guaranteed by the Second Amendment, not granted by it (Kopel).¨  District of Columbia V. Heller said that people were born with the natural right of the second amendment and they were born with the naturally right to defend themselves from home intruders.  The Constitution also states that ¨The Second Amendment declares that it shall not be infringed….(Kopel).¨ The founders of our nation put that phrase inside the second amendment so that the future leaders of our nation do not take away the rights that every law-abiding citizen to protect and defend their property using a firearm.  The Second Amendment was put in place to protect the First Amendment the right to free speech. With the Second amendment and the Supreme Court case of District of Columbia V. Heller, the law abiding citizen has every right to possess and use a firearm.

Banning assault rifles, pistols, attachments from law abiding citizens will not solve anything.  “The study that Congress required of the federal “assault weapon” and “large” magazine ban of 1994-2004 concluded that “the banned weapons and magazines were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders” even before the ban, and that the law’s 10-round limit on new ammunition magazines wasn’t a factor in multiple-victim or multiple-wound crimes¨ (Merino).  This means that assault rifles and ten-round ammunition were taken away from law-abiding citizens which left people defenseless. Another problem of banning pistols is that most pistols use a thirteen-seventeen round magazine so banning magazines that could hold more than ten bullets would put thousands of people defenseless against intruders. The weapons ban of 1994-2004 proved that banning guns will not solve the issue.  The California ban of assault rifles and high magazines in January of 2000 saw an increase in crime by twelve percent. Pistols are also the most commonly used firearm for self-defense. Banning rifles and magazines that hold more than ten bullets have proved to be worthless and left millions of law-abiding citizen defenseless from intrudes.

Mass shootings have become very common in the twenty-first century. There was a mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas which killed fifty-eight people. Mass shooting are still occurring at schools and social events such as concerts.  One way we can solve this issue of school shootings is putting armed guards inside schools and social events. ¨Another alternative suggested by the National Rifle Association [of America] is arming guards at school. Israel has done that and school violence is effectively zero¨ (Merino).  There were multiple situations were there was an armed guard on campus and they were able to execute the shooter before he/she does harm to the innocent people.  People who are out to seek harm with a firearm typically go towards heavily populated areas where the shooter will not receive much resistance so they can injure or kill the most people, which are in gun free zones like airports, schools, social events. If American copies Israel and put an officer in every schools, children will feel safe and there will be less school shootings.

America is divided on the issue on gun control. We have thousands of people dying every year.  Many solutions that are made go against the Constitution of the United States of America and therefore is illegal. We have had bans of ten-round magazines and assault rifles which proved to be ineffective.  We need to strengthen background checks and we need to make sure that people who are mentally ill do not receive firearms. Most mass shootings are from mentally ill people who are mentally unstable and decide to kill many innocent lives.  We need to defend every schools with a police officer or paid security. Mass shootings and the killing of innocent people have become too common in the United States of America . People should not be afraid of going to school or to a concert. We need to make sure that children who are not old/responsible enough stay away from firearms so they do not accidentally cause any damage. To many innocent Americans are dying everyday and it must end, but taking away firearm from law-abiding citizen is not the solution the American citizens want or needs.  The United States of America is the greatest country on Earth. This debate of gun control will go on for a very long time but hopefully in the near future we can fix it.

A.J (snowflake.tears)

Political Analyst

Work cited

“A Ban on Assault Weapons Would Not Reduce Crime.” Guns and Crime, edited by Noël Merino, Greenhaven Press, 2015. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010015270/OVIC?u=scschools&sid=OVIC&xid=1dc4db23. Accessed 5 Dec. 2018. Originally published as “Ten Reasons Why States Should Reject ‘Assault Weapon’ and ‘Large’ Magazine Bans,” National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action [NRA-ILA], June 2014.

Kopel, David B. “Self-Defense Is a Natural Right.” Self-Defense Laws, edited by Tamara Thompson, Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010891203/OVIC?u=scschools&sid=OVIC&xid=baafb094. Accessed 5 Dec. 2018. Originally published as “The Natural Right of Self-Defense: Heller’s Lesson for the World,” Syracuse Law Review, vol. 59, 17 Apr. 2009.

Levy, Robert A. “Gun Regulations Are Ineffective and Threaten the Second Amendment.” Gun Violence, edited by Noël Merino, Greenhaven Press, 2015. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010223284/OVIC?u=scschools&sid=OVIC&xid=063e371b. Accessed 30 Nov. 2018. Originally published as “Our Core Second Amendment Rights,” Cato’s Letter, vol. 11, no. 3, Summer 2013.

Malcolm, John G., and Jennifer A. Marshall. “Gun Control Won’t Prevent School Shootings.” School Safety, edited by Noah Berlatsky, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010981212/OVIC?u=scschools&sid=OVIC&xid=820e0c4d. Accessed 30 Nov. 2018. Originally published as “The Newtown Tragedy: Complex Causes Require Thoughtful Analysis and Responses,” http://www.heritage.org, 18 Jan. 2013

“Stronger Gun Control Laws Will Save Lives.” Guns and Crime, edited by Christine Watkins,      Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010015248/OVIC?u=scschools&sid=OVIC&xid=e09ea6b8. Accessed 4 Dec. 2018. Originally published as “Ten Myths About Gun Violence in America,” LCAV.org, 2009.

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2 comments

  1. Guns are not violent. Guns are not dangerous. Guns are tools. Humans are violent. Humans are dangerous. Humans are not tools. Any tool in the hands of a human can kill. Guns are not the problem. Humans are.

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