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Compare and Contrast: Gun Legislation and Why Guns Should not Be Banned

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A few centuries ago, in 1787, the constitution was brought to life when many delegates came together to write the principles that our country would run on. They included many important things such as freedom of speech, right to a fair trial, right to citizenship if born in the country, and so forth. One amendment that is very controversial today is the second amendment. The second amendment gives us, the American people, the right to bear arms. There are a select few people out there who believe this amendment should be removed from the constitution because times and conditions have changed. However, other people believe strongly in gun use because, as I stated before, it is a constitutional right. A few things people frequently debate about through the United States is the role of a gun in mass shootings, if assault rifles should be banned or not, and if guns should altogether be banned.

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“As of September 1, which was the 244th day of the year, there have been 283 mass shootings in the U.S., according to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive (GVA).” One side of America blames mass shootings on the person rather than the gun. In the article, “6 Reasons Gun Control Will Not Solve Mass Killings” by The Buzz, they make a few convincing points on why gun control is not the answer to stop mass shootings. One point they make is that over 90 percent of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. If shooters are already breaking the law, what makes people think they would listen if the united states banned guns? The second good point the article makes is that mental health is a huge factor when it comes to mass shootings. Over 60 percent of mass shooters have some sort of mental health issue. The most common disorders and schizophrenia and severe depression. It is not the gun who is making the perpetrator commit a mass shooting, it is the person’s issues.

The other side of this controversial topic is that it is the weak restrictions on guns that cause mass shootings. In the article “Gun Control: Research shows how policies can reduce gun deaths”, by business insider makes valid points for this side’s opinion. They stated that people who use guns for violent crimes rarely have a mental illness. To be exact, they claimed that less than three percent of violent shooters have a mental disorder. Another point they made was that in 2004 congress let a ban on assault rifles expire and after that massacre deaths increased greatly.

The two articles I presented had some contrasting information. The first article claimed that mental illness was a huge factor in mass shootings. Whereas the second article claimed that mental illness had a very small role in mass shootings. The main point in each article was gun laws. However, both articles had different opinions on how gun laws will affect mass shootings. The first article claimed that people already break the law so enforcing more gun restriction laws wouldn’t have much of an effect. The second article gave evidence that when a gun law expired mass shooting deaths increased, supporting why gun laws are effective.

“A study of mass shooting incidents between 1981 and 2017 found that assault rifles accounted for 86 percent of the 501 fatalities reported in 44 mass shooting incidents.” With now reading this fact, one could understand why there would be a discussion on why assault rifles should be banned. The first article that will be used as evidence is titled, “Assault weapons must be banned in America”. This article is published by the Washington Post. One main argument they have is that the constitution is outdated and not relevant when it comes to the 2nd amendment. When the constitution was created there was no such thing as an assault rifle and they couldn’t have predicted the creation of it. Also, the author claims that there is no logical need for assault rifles in the hands of regular American citizens.

The opposing article, “It’s Too Late to Ban Assault Weapons”, by New York Times highlights why a ban on assault rifles would fail. Their main point of the argument is that it would be impossible to confiscate all assault rifles. There are over 15 million assault rifles in the hands of Americans. Another statement they make is that gun owners have extremely low compliance rates when it comes to guns. Therefore, a ban on assault rifles would have little to no effect.

These two articles presented very different ideas, however, they didn’t necessarily disagree with each other as the last two did. The first article talked about the lack of a need for assault rifles and why the 2nd amendment isn’t applicable today. The second article talked about why the ban wouldn’t work, but the author never claimed that he disagreed with the ban. It felt as if the author thinks there should be a ban but they know that it is unrealistic due to the unwillingness to cooperate that most gun owners possess.

The main question that lies when discussing gun legislation is, why guns should not be banned? There are many reasons for each side of this controversial topic. In the article, “10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Gun Control”, published by Vitanna, both sides of the gun ban are presented. One advantage of banning guns is that they would be harder to get. One statistic says that 75 percent of guns used in crimes are purchased legally. This means that without access to buying guns there would be less gun-related violence. Additionally, not owning a gun or being around guns reduces accidental gun injuries. Gun-related suicide is 90 percent more likely to take place if there is a firearm in the home.

That same article also gives reasons why banning guns would fail. The first valid point the article makes is that a black market would be created for guns. If someone is sick enough to want to kill people they will find ways to get guns even if that requires doing so illegally. People already require guns illegally, so this would increase after a gun ban. Another point made is that a gun ban will not change the hearts of people. Like I said previously, if someone wants to kill people they will find a way to do it, no matter the circumstances. Additionally, the article provided that if someone who is suicidal doesn’t have a gun they will find other ways to carry out their mission.

The two sides this article presented are total opposites. For example, one argument was that if a gun ban was put in place people wouldn’t have access to guns. However, the other side argued this and said that a black market would most likely be created and bad people would be able to acquire guns. Another contrasting viewpoint was on the topic of gun suicide. The first side argued that gun-related suicide is 90 percent more likely to occur in a home that has a gun. While this may be true, there are more ways than just using a gun to commit suicide. If a gun ban was enacted we may see gun-related suicides decrease but other forms of suicide would most likely increase.

Gun legislation is a very interesting and controversial topic that most people in America have some opinion on. The two sides frequently have very contrasting opinions on gun laws. Big picture topics that are currently being talked about is are guns the root of mass shootings, should assault rifles be allowed in America, and should a gun ban be enacted. Citizens of America many times think it is the gun who commits mass shootings, other people believe it is solely the person’s fault and there are no law that will change it. When it comes to banning assault rifles, some people think banning them would be unproductive and other people think it would be a lifesaving decision. Some people believe that banning guns would be the solution to all of our nation’s problems while others think that it would only cause more altercations.

Sources:

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/gun-control-research-how-policies-can-reduce-deaths-2019-8
  2. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mass-shootings-2019-more-mass-shootings-than-days-so-far-this-year/
  3. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/6-reasons-gun-control-will-not-solve-mass-killings-24975
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/09/opinion/ar15-assault-weapon-ban.html
  5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/assault-weapons-must-be-banned/2016/06/13/0d6a58f4-3195-11e6-8ff7-7b6c1998b7a0_story.html
  6. https://everytownresearch.org/assault-weapons-high-capacity-magazines/
  7. https://vittana.org/10-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-gun-control 

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