Whether the American people should be allowed to own guns has been
debated since the founding of America and has increased in controversy in
recent times. With the advent of advancements
in modern day guns, the damage that guns in the wrong hands can cause has
increased dramatically. However, some
Americans feel there right to bear arms such as guns is being infringe upon by
gun control laws. Gun control is not
taking guns away, but merely regulating them.
Guns can be used for self-defense, but also can be used for the harm of
others. While some Americans feel that having open gun
trade is the best route, some form of rational gun control such as universal gun
training and education laws across all states is needed for the safety and
security of the American people.
One of the biggest arguments that anti-gun control can
argue is that guns provide security and self-defense for the American people. According to the National Rifle Association
(NRA), “guns are used for self-defense 2.5 million times a year.” The original
intent of allowing citizens to bear arms was an attempt to ensure the government
could not abuse the people. But back
then guns meant muskets that took a minute just to reload. But in modern times, we no longer have a militia
and some guns have high capacity magazines that can be reloaded in a few
seconds. In those 2.5 million cases, what type of gun was needed to
successfully defend themselves? It goes
to say that an automatic assault weapon is not needed to defend the average
suburb home against a home invader. The
constitution states that the people have the right to bear arms, but it is not
absolute. The definition of arms is all kinds of weaponry. The word gun does not appear anywhere in the
second amendment, which is the key amendment that grants arms to the people.
There is no state in the United States that would allow someone to keep plastic
explosives in their house. An American
man cannot build a nuclear bomb in his garage because there is no reason for
him to have one. The FBI would storm his
house and arrest him on the spot. So why
is it permissible to keep a weapon such as automatic rifles in American
homes? Automatic guns and other guns
that were clearly designed for a warzone are simply overkill for the purposes
needed by the average American. Gun
supporters could argue that they use these larger firearms for recreation, but
there is no reason to keep them in the home.
The federal assault ban was passed was passed in 1994 with a sundown
clause of ten years due to several shootings.
This law essentially banned automatic guns and high capacity ammo magazines. This law faced lots of opposition, but they
were all turned down by the courts because the logic was solid. In short, a hunter does not need an Uzi to go
add, gun advocates would argue that more guns in the hands of the public would
make a safer environment. “The police cannot protect everyone all of the time.
61% of men and 56% of women surveyed by Pew Research said that stricter gun
laws would “make it more difficult for people to protect their homes and
families.”” (Pew Research Center) To
start, just because more people have guns does not make for a safer
environment. Take this scenario. Guns are now allowed in bars all over
America. One night a man who has had a
bad day walks into said bar and has a few drinks. He gets into another argument with another
man and he shoots him. In the panic,
every drunk person in the bar pulls out their guns and then bad things
happen. This is a bit of a slippery
slope, but it is logically possible and very believable. Everyone having guns does not always lead to the
best outcome. The lesson learned from
this example is that guns and alcohol do not mix well. But bad effect of everyone being allowed to
own and carry guns can be applied to more than just bars. Take road rage for example. Road rage is very common occurrence that can
sometimes lead to violent encounters.
Sometimes people’s emotions get the better of them and their judgment is
impaired. When people’s judgment is
impaired, they can do things they would normally not do. Add guns into the mix and now there are
bodies turning up on the side of the road.
prevention of human harm and loss of human life is the reason gun control
exist. According to the center for
disease and control, “between 1999 and 2013 there
were 270,237 firearm suicides in the United States, accounting for about 52% of
all suicides during those years.” There is no denying that in states that have
more lenient gun control have much higher suicide rates than those who have stricter
ones. In study conducted by Harvard on
gun suicide rates found that “The nine states that rank lowest in terms of gun
prevalence are the very same nine that rank lowest for suicide rates.
Similarly, the three states top-ranked for gun prevalence can be found among
the four states ranking highest for suicide rates.” For example, Wyoming being number in gun
prevalence is number two in gun suicide rates.
While New Jersey ranks forty-nine in gun prevalence and ranks
forty-eight in gun suicide rates. This
is not just a few states that just happen to match up. The correlation fallows the trend of more
guns equals more suicides by guns. Whiles
there could be other factors that influence suicide rates, there is no denying
that the correlation is there and is very strong.
Despite the trouble that guns can bring, guns should not be
taken away from the people, but instead the government should place national
gun laws to help regulate and create rational rules for gun ownership. The problem with gun laws today, is that many
gun laws are separated by states.
Meaning that gun laws vary depending on the state one it in. In California, a gun license is required to
purchase a firearm, but in Idaho, one can simply roll up to gun show and buy as
many guns as their heart desires and leave without no questions asked. The problem with inconsistency between states
is that loop holes can appear between states.
The most well-known being the gun show loop hole. Guns advocates would argue that Illinois has
some of the highest gun control in the country, but also has one of the highest
rates of gun violence in the country.
However, this can be explained through the gun show loop hole. Someone merely must go to a neighboring state
with very little gun control laws, such as Idaho, and buy a large number of
firearms at a gun show. Then smuggle
them into the neighboring state with high gun control, such as Illinois, and
sell them illegally on the street for a profit.
Thus, resulting in the gun restrictions in Illinois basically be made
null. Therefore, having universal gun
laws at the national level is of the utmost importance. Having inconsistent gun laws between states
is like having one very strict parent and one very leant parent. The child is going to the leant parent to get
around the strict parent and it usually ends up with the parents arguing and
the child being messed up in some way.
In short, the situation does not end well.
It should be said that laws that completely prohibit rational
firearms are unconstitutional. This can
be seen in the supreme court case of Columbia v. Heller. The case was against the law that “The
District of Columbia generally prohibits the possession of handguns. It is a
crime to carry an unregistered firearm, and the registration of handguns is
prohibited.” The challenger was “Respondent
Dick Heller is a D.C. special police officer authorized to carry a handgun
while on duty at the Federal Judicial Center. He applied for a registration
certificate for a handgun that he wished to keep at home, but the District
refused. He thereafter filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the
District of Columbia seeking, on Second Amendment grounds.” The supreme court ruled that “the Second
Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms and that the city’s
total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be
kept nonfunctional even when necessary for self-defense, violated that right.” The restriction that the District of Columbia
had in place ban the only type of firearm that is normally allowed in public
areas, hand guns, which basically banned guns altogether in the district. Guns should not be outright banned. Doing so
violates one of the founding principles that the United Sates was founded on as
ruled by the Supreme Court. It is worthy
to note that the ruling was not a land slide.
Heller won by a five to four vote.
This shows how much of a debatable topic this is. Heller won by one vote. If one justice had changed his mind, hand
guns might still be banned in the District of Columbia.
And like the handgun ban, not all gun laws are perfect. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act also
known as the Brady bill made it harder to obtain a handgun on the national
level by requiring background checks before the purchase of a firearm, but
statically showed no effect on gun homicides rates. However, it is important that these laws are
enforced. When a lot of states do not
agree with gun control, some authorities may let a few infractions go
unnoticed. If this happens, then the
problem of uneven gun laws between states comes into play again. But the Brady Bill attacked gun violence by
trying to make it harder for people to obtain hand guns which is the most common
type of firearm. The Brady Bill may not
have had the most success, but the reasoning behind it makes sense. From an economic prospective, reducing the
supply of guns makes it harder for people to obtain them. Yes, this would make it harder for the law-abiding
citizen too, but the aim is to keep it out of the hands of young gang members
and others who should not have guns in the first place. Using the gun loop hole example again, if the
supply of guns in the country is reduced, then the price of guns will go
up. With the spike in prices, a young
gang member in Chicago is going to have a much harder time purchasing a firearm. The idea is that the window of people that
can buy guns is moved to those who should not necessarily have firearms to
those who should be able to. Rich
criminals will still be able to get their hands-on firearms, but at a reduced
number. Notice that the guns are not
being taken away but merely reduced.
For these reasons, the best course of action should be to have
mandatory gun training evaluations for gun ownership in all 5 states. When US citizen wants to drive a car, they
are required to obtain a driver’s license. To obtain a driver’s license, one
must pass several tests, both written and practical, acquire several days’
worth of practice, and first obtain a learner’s permit. This whole process takes a little over a year
to complete. Very few people complain about the process it takes to obtain a
car, yet so many people groan over having a process to obtain a gun. It is arguable easier to obtain a gun in some
states than it is to get a car. The
reason for the numerous hoops that people must jump through is for the safety
and wellbeing of people. A car can cause
great harm to people if used incorrectly, and the same goes for guns.
Therefore, a national law should be put into place that is like how the process
of obtaining a driver license, but of course modified to the use of guns. These training courses would need to be more
rigorous than current gun license test.
They would include hands on gun lessons as well as a gun safety test.
And period with some restrictions such no public carry just as a driver’s
license does not allow for the new holder to drive others for a certain
period. The hope for this solution is
that it would reduce accidental gun deaths and gun violence as a whole.
There is no perfect solution to this problem. The saying, “guns don’t kill people, people
kill people” is true, however guns are a means to do so and a very efficient
one. Gun violence will always pelage the
world because they are a part of the world.
Guns are here and they are here to stay.
However, that does not mean that nothing can be done to prevent gun
violence. Through negotiations and
common sense, a balance can be reached between gun ownership and gun control
laws. A good way to start is through
national gun laws that apply to all states to make a standard and for one of
those laws to be establishing a gun safety training for the end goal of
creating a safer American.