Banning guns would be detrimental to American society. Guns are a large part of American heritage, and banning them would upset many people. In addition, the right to bear arms is supported in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. People like James Madison, one of the founding fathers, promoted firearms. Finally, it is impractical and illogical to ban all guns in America. This is a very polarizing topic in the United States, and most people have taken a side in the debate. Despite the atrocities that have occurred due to firearms, banning guns is not the answer that we need.
One reason that the gun debate is so polarizing is because it is a clash of cultures. On one side, we have the people who live in cities and suburban areas. They have first hand experience of the crimes committed with guns, from robberies, shootings, and suicide (Hanson). To them, guns seem like instruments of evil, meant for nothing more than to hurt their fellow man. On the other side, there are the people who live in rural areas of America. Firearms have a much different meaning to rural Americans. They are used to hunt, to defend the family, and put down sick or dying animals. In a study done by Pew Research, 82% of rural gun owners said that owning guns was essential to their personal sense of freedom (Igielnik). Banning guns would deeply upset almost half of Americans, and cause more social turmoil than we already have.
Not only would a ban on guns divide Americans more deeply, but legal roadblocks exist that make banning guns impractical. The 16th clause of the constitution calls for the establishment of the Militia (US Const. Art.1 sec. 8). The second amendment builds upon this, stating that “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” (US Const. Amend. 2 sec. 3). In addition, guns are property, property rights are guaranteed in the fifth amendment. (US Const. Amend. 5 sec. 3). Throughout history, changing parts of the constitution has been a slow and rigorous task. In the case of guns, three parts of the constitution would have to be changed in order to even get a glimpse of gun reform. By the time changes to the constitution are made, a solution to the gun problem may already exist.
Finally, banning guns is illogical. James Madison, a founding father and author of The Federalist Papers wrote very highly about “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…” He says that we have the advantage of being armed, it is clear that even then the founding fathers were thinking about how gun ownership is better than not owning guns. Data from a recent study by the Department of Justice backs up James Madison’s claim, as firearm related homicides have decreased 39 percent from 1993 to 2011 (Planty). The number continues to drop. Additionally, Americans own over 393 million guns (Wikipedia). It would be impossible to ban and destroy every single one of these guns. Even if you could ban these guns, if the demand was high enough, they could be smuggled into the United States. Only criminals would have guns, and the actual law abiding citizens would not. That is a scary thought, and not what the founding fathers intended.
All in all, the long term effects of banning guns would be harmful to America. It would be impossible to ban all guns. If guns were banned, only the people who do not obey laws would have them. While banning guns may be a quick solution in the short term, the worst side effect would be deepening the political divides that have been forming in America for generations. It is important to carefully consider the clashing cultures that have taken sides on this issue, and try to come up with a gun control solution that everyone can tolerate.
“Estimated Number of Civilian Guns per Capita by Country.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Sept. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimated_number_of_civilian_guns_per_capita_by_country#References.
Hanson, Jon. “Inner-City Gun Violence.” The Frontier Torts Project, learning.law.harvard.edu/frontiertorts/topics/inner-city-gun-violence/.
Igielnik, Ruth. “Rural and Urban Gun Owners Have Different Experiences, Views on Gun Policy.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 10 July 2017, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/10/rural-and-urban-gun-owners-have-different-experiences-views-on-gun-policy/.
“Inner-City Gun Violence.” The Frontier Torts Project, learning.law.harvard.edu/frontiertorts/topics/inner-city-gun-violence/.
Madison, James. “The Federalist Papers : No. 46.” The Avalon Project : Federalist No 46, 2008, avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed46.asp.
Planty, Michael G, and Jennifer L Truman. “Firearm Violence, 1993-2011.” Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2013, www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4616.
United States Constitution. Amend. 2, Sec. 3
United States Constitution. Amend. 4, Sec. 3
United States Constitution Art. 1, Sec. 8
Image From: https://legalcareerpath.com/the-constitutionality-of-gun-control/