Gun Control has been a very controversial issue for many years, intensely debated in state and federal courts, supported and opposed by many citizens in the United States. Ever since stated in the second amendment of the constitution, gun control has been a relevant topic. Gun Control is a broad term that covers any sort of restriction on what kinds of firearms can be sold and bought, who can possess or sell them, where and how they can be stored or carried. Not only does the issue relate to regulations of guns but also includes background checks on buyers, registrations, allowing people to carry concealed weapons in public, and whether to allow the possession of assault rifles.
In the United States a majority of our citizens own guns. It is said that out of one-hundred people; eighty-eight people have gun ownership. (ProCon, 2013) We acquire more guns than any country on the entire Earth. What’s to say why so many of our people own guns? Many people believe in self assurance, and a possession of guns brings a sense of safety. For many Americans, the gun represents the heart of their nation’s foundation and identity, a symbol of their freedom. (Drew, 2015) It has been our inherited right every since we fought back bravely against the British during the American revolution. United we one stood as we were victorious against the notorious British. We came about the victory with guns and sheer unity. In the United States Constitution, citizens are granted the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment of the US Constitution reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (ProCon, 2017) Gun ownership by Americans has been a tradition older than our country itself. Justice Antonin Scalia, LLB, in the June 26, 2008 District of Columbia et al. v. Heller US Supreme Court majority opinion syllabus stated, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”(Supreme, 2007) Therefore we are allow to have guns. These guns give us power as Americans, a sense of pride; army strong. Many of us want to be prepared for another war so we stock up on weapons to be certain we’re prepared for whatever is thrown at us. We also in our daily lives feel threatened by criminals and we feel the obligation to use guns in self-defense if attacked. Americans are also very protective whether it is our home, our children, our ideals, our religion, or our rights. As stated in the Second Amendment of the Constitution is is our right to bear such arms. To ban these guns, would be an infringement on the rights of us Americans.
Gun control is the one massive bone of contention in the United States. It is a very controversial issue, and demands attention everyday. As stated in the issues.org, “81% of Americans say that gun control will be an important issue in determining which Congressional candidate to vote for. 91% of Americans say that there should be at least minor restrictions on gun ownership; and another 57% of Americans say that there should be major restrictions or a ban.” (Issues, 2016)
Ever since mass shootings have taken place, gun control issue has been an indefinite issue debated in politics and in homes. Guns are a manifestation of violence. Studies show that a large number of people are killed in gun-based homicides each year: On average there are nearly twelve-thousand gun homicides a year in the U.S.. (Research, 2017) “Over one-hundred thousand people are shot each year in the U.S.; and 72% of all violent killings use guns as the weapon.” (Issues,2016) “Worldwide, the United States have the most homicidal rate by twenty-five times more than any other country. Compared to Japan, where gun laws are very strict regarding both ownership and punishment, only 4 people were killed by guns in 2012. Japan has a smaller population, but even counting that, the per capita death rate is 1,000 times higher in the United States.” (Issues, 2016) With guns present, there is a much higher chance of violence occuring, and the severity of death to unfold. As stated by the extremity of the statistics in the United States, gun control controls domestic violence, and we must see why it’s vital. America remains one of the most countries with a high homicide rate. We even allow the possession of concealed weapons.
Concealed weapons have been under debate for the past few decades. To carry a concealed weapons, means to keep it hidden out of sight, concealed underneath clothing garments or tucked away on the body. Concealed weapons bring new complications to the already vast disputes on gun control. Common questions include whether concealed weapons should be legal, if they actually help deter crime, and if they should be allowed to carry at public places like campus and church. Carrying a handgun is allowed in all fifty states. Some states require gun owners to obtain permits, while others have unrestricted carry, and do not require permits for concealed weapons.
Advocates of concealed weapons have many different claims to support their ideals. Supporters of concealed weapons say that criminals are less likely to attack someone they believe to be armed. They say the second amendment’s “right of the people to keep and bear arms” allows such possession of concealed weapons. Proponents also argue that most adults who legally carry a concealed gun are law-abiding and do not misuse their firearms. Many citizens need a reassurance of safety, and to carry a concealed weapon brings that sense of security, especially disguised weapons. It would be absurd for citizens to carry visible guns on a daily basis. Concealed weapons allows for a stealthy, healthy way of protecting society. We cannot always rely on police forces for protection, as they don’t always respond to emergency calls fast. The majority of Americans are in favor of the concealed weapons cause because of these facts. According to an Apr. 2012 poll conducted for Thomson Reuters, “75% of Americans support laws allowing law-abiding citizens to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.” (Issues, 2016). Advocates also strongly argue carrying a concealed handgun could prevent a serious crime, or mass shooting. Having more easily accessible guns especially those concealed and under clothing ready for self defense, can prevent mass shootings. According to John R. Lott Jr., PhD, “[w]hen states passed concealed carry laws during the 19 years we studied (1977 to 1995), the number of multiple-victim public shootings declined by 84%. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90%, injuries by 82%.” (ProCon, 2017) Thus, the custody of concealed weapons positively correlates to deterring violence.
The opposition to concealed weapons argue increased gun possession leads to more crime and unintended injuries, and state many concealed weapon laws are insecure. They have reasonable evidence to support their claims. Opponents recite from the second amendment of the constitution that concealed weapons are never once mentioned. Furthermore, in “[a] 1995 peer-reviewed study of five urban cities, published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, concluded that gun homicide rates increased on average by 4.5 per 100,000 persons following the enactment of ‘shall-issue’ law which requires police to issue concealed carry permits as long as the applicant meets certain minimum requirements such as a minimum age, no prior felony conviction, and no recent commitments to a mental institution.” (ProCon, 2017) There are also a few states in the United States where an “unrestricted carry” is established. In these states no permit is required to possess a concealed weapon. Concealed carry application requirements and background checks also do not prevent dangerous people from acquiring weapons, especially in those with living in unrestricted carry states. Members of the public who carry guns risk the lives of those around them. Not everyone is suitable to carry a concealed weapon, and many argue where concealed weapons should be allowed. Disagreements at popular places like bars, clubs, sporting events, traffic, and especially in open places can turn into public shootouts. Thus more bans should be placed on college campuses, large public places, and private areas. Opponents say public safety should be left to professionally qualified police officers, not private citizens with little or no expert training who have concealed weapons.
When it comes to gun control, four major components are vital to acknowledge; concealed weapons, the interpretation of the second amendment, the effectivity of current gun control laws, and the two sides to gun control. All four make up the the vast issue and debate surrounding gun control itself. Now that I have discussed in detail why gun control is important, the violence guns induce, the meaning of concealed weapons, and the Second Amendment explanation, it’s time to dive full on into this frenzy of a debate.
Those in favor of gun control argue gun control laws directly correlate to a decrease in domestic violence and gun deaths annually. Advocates say more gun control laws would reduce gun deaths. “There were 464,033 total gun deaths between 1999 and 2013: 270,237 suicides (58.2% of total deaths); 174,773 homicides (37.7%); and 9,983 unintentional deaths (2.2%). Guns were the leading cause of death by homicide (66.6% of all homicides) and by suicide (52.2% of all suicides).” (CDC, 2017) They support gun control regulations on the possession of firearms, background checks, gun registration, and the size of ammunition clips. Enacting gun control laws such as mandatory safety features reduces the number of accidental gun deaths. Advocates of gun control laws argue the second amendment of constitution is not an unlimited right to own guns. The second amendment says “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” (Patrick, 2001). The interpretation of the second amendment has raised many questions about gun control laws and the constitutional limits on the right of individuals to bear arms. Does the 2nd Amendment protect an individual’s right to bear arms and prohibit the government from making and enforcing more gun control laws? Michael Waldman, JD, President of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, stated “[t]here is nothing about an individual right to bear arms in the notes about the Second Amendment when it was being drafted, discussed, or ratified; the US Supreme Court declined to rule in favor of the individual right four times between 1876 and 1939; and all law articles on the Second Amendment from 1888 to 1959 stated that an individual right was not guaranteed.” (ProCon, 2017) The Second Amendment was intended to protect the right of militias to own guns, not the right of individuals, thus the second amendment doesn’t directly grant individuals the rights to bear arms. Advocates of gun control support the fact that more laws lead to fewer suicides each year. Guns are also rarely used in self defense. “Of the 29,618,300 violent crimes committed between 2007 and 2011, 0.79% of victims (235,700) protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm, the least-employed protective behavior.” (Pro Con, 2017) Therefore, guns aren’t necessary for self-defense. They have been proved helpful at times, but for the majority of situations, citizens don’t use guns for self defense or eve worse know how to. More gun control laws are needed to protect the citizens of the United States, especially women. They are most prone to be murdered and used by criminals and stalkers who seek the opposite gender to use for their own benefits. Women aren’t usually as physically strong as men and that makes them targets. Gun control laws must be established to ban condemned stalkers from getting guns. Gun control is the thin layer or laws that protects our country from sustained chaos. With gun control laws set, mass shootings are less likely to happen, criminals have a harder time getting guns, and sale of certain kind of guns like assault rifles are limited. Gun control advocates also support laws on concealed weapons. Banning certain areas like campuses, schools, churches, and public places protects people from being exposed to the possibility of violence.
Those against gun control argue past laws have been ineffective and the second amendment of the constitution protects an individual’s right to own guns. Justice Antonin Scalia, LLB, in the June 26, 2008 District of Columbia et al. v. Heller US Supreme Court majority opinion syllabus stated, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” (ProCon, 2017). Thus many support the ideal of the second amendment. However, gun control laws infringe upon the right to self-defense and deny people a sense of safety that many feel is essential. We never know when foreign invaders may intrude, and we feel obligated to take up arms and be prepared for the worst. The main claim opponents make against gun control includes the fact that criminals, will always find their way around the law, even if a ban is placed on weapons. With a ban on firearms, a black market would take place across the country for guns. Guns would bring more power to criminals, and would threaten the safety of the public, creating an even more dire situation then before.
When it comes to gun ownership, gun regulations and laws are necessary but to an extent. As stated in our national constitution, we shall not infringe upon the rights of citizens to bear arms. Therefore we must not ban citizens from guns. However, guns are high-risk, and dangerous weapons. After recent mass shootings at Las Vegas and the occurrence of death with the use of guns daily, certain gun control laws must be established in order to promote the safety for all Americans. But what laws? Not many gun control laws have been proven to be effective in the past years. Thousands of people are killed annually, mass shootings are still taking place even with gun control laws established. What can be done? Three laws are most strongly associated with reductions in overall gun-related mortality, “Laws requiring firearm identification through ballistic imprinting or microstamping were found to reduce the projected mortality risk by 84 percent; ammunition background checks, by 82 percent; and universal background checks for all gun purchases, by 61 percent.” (Sciencedaily, 2016). These three laws, background checks, ammunition background checks, and firearm identification have been proven to be the most effective out of the hundreds of laws already passed. These three laws must be imposed, along with a stricter age requirement of age twenty-five and a limitation on ownership of concealed weapons. Only those professional trained in the field should be able to possess such concealed weapons, and can be allowed to go anywhere with concealed weapons to keep all citizens safe. The age requirement shall also be set for twenty-five, for the brain doesn’t fully develop until age twenty-five. If I were the leader of any other country, I would ban the possession, sales, and uses of guns for all citizens expect those currently in the military. But this is America, we have fundamentally grown up as country with the ownership of guns, it’s part of who we are. We are the most stubborn and prideful country on the planet. Even with a ban on guns people, especially criminals, will always find ways around the law. A ban on guns would also cause a black market on guns and would go against the rights of citizens. We cannot predict when tragedies will happen, but it’s in our best interest to set small gun control laws in place. Step by step, acknowledging which laws are working, and what can be done in the future to preserve peace for all American citizens. There isn’t a simple solution for gun control. Gun control has been heavily debated in court for years. It’s a process, one we must pay much more attention to. One we must work towards together as a country.
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