Gun Control in The United States
Guns. Instruments once used specifically, in war environments are now flooding the streets and putting the people in danger. It usually was safe for people to go out to enjoy entertaining events such as concerts. However, one cannot step out lately without worrying if they would be able to safely return to their homes at the end of the day. The most common factor that is almost always involved in incidents such as murder, mass shootings, muggings, and suicides or deaths in general in the United States, is guns. The United States’ history is full of gun related incidents that greatly affected the American people. Some examples include the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Senator Robert F. Kennedy which led to the creation of the Gun Control Act in 1968. Furthermore, there have recently been some mass shooting incidents that have brought about extensive debates on the issue of gun control. These debates place emphasis on the need to strengthen the gun control laws that are currently in place, which regulate the buying, selling, and owning of guns. Moreover, the first source that will be synthesized in this essay includes the article titled “Gun Control” which comes from the Gale online database, highlights several events that has taken place in the United States that raised the question of controlling guns. Some examples of such events can be found around the first line of this introductory paragraph. The second source that will be synthesized into this essay is an
article in a scholarly journal titled, “Making Guns Safer” by Stephen P. Teret et al. The focus of the source is about how personalizing weapons can effectively prevent gun-related accidents, injuries, and reduce the likelihood of teenage suicides in both children and adults. Lastly, the last source that will be synthesize into this essay is another article from the same database as the first and second sources titled, “Is Gun Control the Answer to Mass Shootings?” By Charles Scaliger which is against gun control. By looking at the tone of the article and Scaliger’s usage of words such as “anti,” “criminalizing,” “utopian,” “sin,” and “evil,” one can argue that the article is against gun control. These sources were chosen because they provide strong evidences that both support and disagree with gun control in the United States. Thus, even though gun control goes against the right given to individuals by the second amendment, having stricter gun control laws is beneficial for the safety of the nation because gun control can significantly decrease the number of deaths that occur because of mass shootings and gun control can also prevent students from shooting up schools.
The enforcement of stricter gun control laws would be extremely beneficial for the safety of the people in the United States. Stricter gun control laws would ensure guns do not fall in the hands of people who would misuse them. For example, individuals who are 21-years-old and below should not have the right to own or be around guns. For if they cannot legally drink alcohol, how can the authorities trust them with a weapon that can easily take a life within seconds. Furthermore, stricter gun control laws could make sure that people go through a proper psyche evaluation before they can obtain the right to own a gun. Not guns. This is because the majority of gun owners claim that they obtained the firearm for the protection of their families and themselves. One does not require a gun to feel protected if they do not go around looking for trouble. Even if someone absolutely needs protection, one does not necessarily require more than
one gun for his or her protection. One article states that, “In California, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina, for instance, a permit or license is required to purchase a gun. Laws restricting an individual’s ability to carry a concealed firearm also vary from state to state. In Illinois and Utah, for example, a licensed individual may carry a concealed handgun in public, while several states, including Alaska and Vermont, allow individuals to do so without a license. Concealed carry permits are issued in New Jersey at the discretion of the state, which requires gun owners to demonstrate an urgent need when applying for a permit” (Gun Control 3). The quote suggests that since each state has its own laws that governs who can buy a gun or carry a gun on them in public, which creates difficulties in regulating gun control within states. This is because unlicensed guns may be brought to other states and be sold illegally to individuals who are not licensed to own guns. Thus, inhibiting any progress that has been made so far with gun control.
Gun control can prevent a majority of gun related homicides and suicides that happen in the country. Some deaths happen accidentally, simply because people are fooling around with guns and trying to look tough before their peers. For example, some high school students walk around boastfully saying that they own guns such as Glock and A-Ks which they really have no use for them. Some of them even bring the guns to school just to prove they have them. Because of such behaviors, a Bladensburg High School student shot another student last year over a little dispute they had. If more people were in support of gun control, then the student would not have gotten his hands on the gun that ended another student’s life. Furthermore, accidental deaths and suicides in teenagers can be avoided if personalized guns were sold instead of regular guns. For instance, the article “Making Gun Safer,” states that, “Research on the guns used in crime demonstrates that many are no more than a few years old. Requiring all guns to be personalized
could, therefore, limit the availability of usable guns to adult and juvenile criminals in the illegal gun market” (Teret et al). As the quote suggests, the authors of this source believe that if guns were personalized to only accept the fingerprint of the owner, then all the stolen guns that are sold on the street would not be usable. As a result, the number of people killed with stolen gun would decrease. The quote above provides evidence of how this source supports gun control. Additionally, suicide is already a devastating problem to society and having guns just makes the whole process easier. Sometimes, people might think of suicide as the only way out of the hell they are experiencing. For instance, a person who has lost everything they worked for or a kid being bullied in school without having the courage to share what they are going through with another person would think about ending everything through suicide. Having access to a gun means there is no turning back because once you pull the trigger, that is the end. Guns cause people to commit suicide without any hesitation because they feel that it would be a painless death. So, restricting people with emotional problems would reduce the number of suicides and accidental homicides. According to an article, “The United States leads the world with more gun-related homicides and suicides than any other country, according to a 2016 study conducted by the American Journal of Medicine. In 2014, the CDC reported that 11,008 of the 15,872 homicides committed in the United States that year involved a firearm. Of the 42,826 suicides reported that year, 21,386 involved a firearm” (Gun Control 1). The quote above shows that homicides and suicides by guns has the highest percentage of deaths that occur in the United States. The statistics found in the quote stresses on how high the rate of gun related homicides and suicides are in the United States. No one can say that people do not die or commit suicide on a regular basis. Be that as it may, the availability of guns increases the percentage of
homicides and suicide. Therefore, gun control is one of the best methods of preventing such atrocities from happening.
Lastly, the most important reason why having stricter gun control laws is beneficial is because gun control can significantly decrease the number of deaths caused by mass shooting in the United States. Lately, there have been a series of mass shootings happening around the United States. These shootings have been happening a long time ago but, the recent shootings started around 2014 to the present year 2018 and has left many people feeling heartbroken and uneasy about their safety. For example, in 2015 an armed man walked into a Black church and killed nine people for no reason. Another incident similar the one above was when another man shot and killed 49 and injured 58 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida, as an act of hate towards gays. Those lives were all lost because guns fell into the hands of lunatics who acted without considering the consequences of their actions on others. This all happened due to how lax gun control was at the time, which is why stricter gun control laws are necessary. Moreover, not long ago, an ex-student of Stoneman Douglas High school in parkland Florida shot and killed about seventeen students and staff. The shooter was a nineteen-year-old student who had been expelled from the high school for disciplinary reasons. Since, he was over 18-years-old purchasing a gun came as an easy task to him for his plan to shoot up his school. This devastating incident proves that a person who is under 21-years-old is not mature enough to own a gun. Furthermore, the enforcement of strict gun control laws cannot be successful if there are people who keep fighting against gun control. According to an article, a few days after the massacre at the nightclub in which the perpetrator used a gun he purchased legally, Democratic lawmakers introduced “four new proposals to Congress restricting gun sales just days after the shooting, including one aimed at withholding gun sales from individuals on terrorism watch lists.
All four proposals were rejected by the majority-Republican Senate. Opponents of the bills argued that it did not provide adequate protections for the rights of gun owners” (Gun Control). This quote shows how the struggle to promote gun control resurfaces after every mass shooting incidents but keep getting rejected simply because they do not protect gun rights. But when will those who are against gun control start caring about these deaths? Is it only by being directly impacted by mass shootings or other gun related incidents that would cause people to care? Surely, that is not what people one. Therefore, giving up guns will not hurt people but, instead prevent them from getting hurt by guns.
Finally, gun rights supporters believe that mass shooting incidents do not provide a compelling enough reason to take away the rights of gun owners. Furthermore, they believe that people should not have to give up their right to own guns because of the mistakes of a few gun owners. The article “Is Gun Control the Answer to Mass Shooting?” by Charles Scaliger, states that, “Laws criminalizing firearms ownership, which end up denying the vast majority of decent Americans the right to defend themselves from the occasional malefactor, are an outgrowth of the Utopian expectation that government can somehow rid the world of sin and evil” (Scaliger). This quote is claiming that new gun control laws are directed towards that all the negative incidents caused by guns while violating the rights of law-abiding citizens. This source clearly is not in favor of gun control since the author, Scaliger believes that simply giving all gun ownership rights to the government does not necessarily maintain the safety of every citizen. One cannot deny that people need guns for protection. But, how many times has a gun meant for protection been utilized in a homicide or suicide. People can be unpredictable, especially after being pushed to a certain limit. Therefore, a great deal of evaluation is necessary before allowing people to own guns since you never know when someone might use a gun on another person.
In conclusion, although gun control goes against the rights given to people by the second amendment, having stricter gun control laws is beneficial for two main reasons. First gun control can prevent homicides and suicides. But most importantly, gun control can significantly decrease the number of deaths caused by mass shootings. Additionally, even though gun control may not prevent all gun related crimes or suicides from happening, it is still the best option right now that can decrease the rate of crimes involving guns. Therefore, I strongly urge everyone to be in favor of making even stricter gun control laws instead of focusing only on the idea that gun control laws go against an individual’s Second Amendment rights while people are dying everyday due to guns.
Work Cited “Gun Control.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2017. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://montgomerycollege.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PC3010999212/OVIC?u=rock77357&xid=f7c311be. Accessed 18 Mar. 2018. Scaliger, Charles. “Is Gun Control the Answer to Mass Shootings?” The New American, 23 Oct. 2017, p. 31. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://montgomerycollege.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A515974889/OVIC?u=rock77357&xid=0e496a35. Accessed 18 Mar. 2018. Teret, Stephen P., et al. “Making guns safer.” Issues in Science and Technology, vol. 14, no. 4, 1998, p. 37+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://montgomerycollege.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A20988908/OVIC?u=rock77357&xid=e310ad33. Accessed 25 Mar. 2018.