Table of Contents
- Guns Both Harm And Defend
- Required Legislation
- Works cited
Guns Both Harm And Defend
Gun Control has been an issue that has been brought to the public's eyes in recent years and is very much controversial. What many people do not know is that gun control has been a debated issue since 1963 when president John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Gun Control has been majorly controversial due to the 2nd Amendment, mass shootings, and recently the 2019 presidential debate. Examples such as these give us reason to understand why guns are so loosely regulated. Guns cannot be properly regulated because of so much back and forth discussion, therefore leaving no room for common ground to be established on gun control. Americans are divided when it comes to the issue of gun control. Some are for, and others are against it. For any change to occur, America needs to understand they do not have to change their individual beliefs on guns, but they must agree on a way of stopping gun violence and that solution could be a form of gun control depending on which side you are on. Gun control is an issue and people have the power to allow guns to stay so that they can save and take lives or taking them away so that people have less of a weapon to hurt someone with, but also less to defend yourself with. Guns both harm and defend, but we have to know both sides of the story to determine which to side with.
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The constitution tells us in the second amendment that we, "as American Citizens, have the right to bear arms". Some may say the government is trying to change the second amendment by regulating everything to do with owning a gun, and others may say this change is completely understandable because you do not want to make access to guns so easy, you just need to go to a Walmart and pick one up. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to protect someone as self-defense, or in Texas, it is known as the "Stand Your Ground" law which "allows a person to use lethal force in self-defense with no duty to retreat when the person has the right to be present at the location where the force is used". This law does make sense as it allows you to protect your home and family from someone who may cause harm for you, and it is an understandable argument for people who do not want gun control to be put in place.
On the other hand, the second amendment cannot stop stupidity. Many people take advantage of the 2nd amendment for their own petty and selfish crimes such as robbery and murder. The Second Amendment would be arguably more powerful if it created specific restrictions to ownership based on behavior and previous crime. "Several demographics, including teens with a history of violence, can still purchase firearms despite their history of choices. Even people convicted of gun crime can still buy more of them if they are not convicted of a felony and their misdemeanor sentence is less than 2 years in some states".
People in favor of gun control want it to protect people from criminals, and people do not want strict gun control for protecting their family and property. There must be a solution because as we know there are more weapons than just guns. However, a gun has the power of saving, or taking a life.
Mass shootings and various other methods of gun violence are a reason for many people to die every year. In today's world, it is sad for schools to have to create active shooter drills when "active-shooter drills scare the children they hope to protect". Due to shootings such as "El Paso Walmart mass shooting" in 2019, "Santa Fe High School Shooting" in 2018, "Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre" in 2012, and many more cause people to be afraid of firearms every day. They have caused such an impact on today's culture that according to The New York Times "Nearly every American public school now conducts lockdown drills". This is the reality we live in and factual evidence of what ineffective gun control can do. Therefore, to combat such terrors, alternative gun control solutions must be made. Gun-related murders can be decreased if people for and against gun control can find a form of common ground, and this is why the government is so important right now.
People who do not want gun control to be implemented do understand the issue of a massacre, however, they believe that only depends on the individual persons' phycological health who was causing the harm. After the El Paso shooting Donald Trump made a television statement saying he called for action to "stop mass killings before they start," the contagious nature of mass murder; the glorification of violence in video games; and the need to act on "red flags" to identify and potentially confine the "mentally ill monsters" that he said to commit the crimes. Therefore, the cause of mass shootings is not guns. The cause of mass shootings in the eyes of a person against gun control is mental health.
During the Democratic debate for the nominees of the 2020 election, a major controversial topic is gun control. Some candidates such as Beto O' Rourke will tell you "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47". Now, this is not the definition of common ground, though some may say this is what must be done to protect America from gun violence. However, Republicans such as Donald Trump are usually in favor of gun control because of the number of donations and economic revenue which come from the selling of guns. "The New York Times reported, exit poll surveys found that gun-owning households went to Trump by 63 percent to 31 percent; non-gun households went to Hillary Clinton 65 percent to 30 percent".
Now being uninterested in politics is understandable, therefore the breakdown of why politics is so important in the decision of gun control is simple. By statistics shown in the paragraph before conducted by The New York Times Republicans favor guns and Democrats are all for gun control or getting rid of guns indefinitely. This is one of the most important reasons for the great divide happening in America due to guns.
Abraham Lincoln once said in "A house divided against itself, cannot stand". Understandably, this was at the time about slavery, however, at that point in history, it was Democrats against republicans as well during the civil war fighting against each other and creating the same bloodshed guns produce. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and understood there had to be a change for the country to be whole. History repeats itself. If we learn from historical events such as the civil war, then we too can find a way to stand against gun violence and reduce massacres. What becomes of gun control is up to the people of the United States, because as of now people die every day by cause of a firearm, and now that you understand the sides and different points you can decide for yourself which side you are more to align with and find a solution.
We can all agree that there is indeed a problem that we have to address the debate of gun control. The solution to that problem, however, has been debated by many, and there may be no final answer as to what happens with gun control until a political leader decides which is more important. This will be just as Abraham Lincoln did during the time of the civil war and its fight to end slavery. In eyes of Republicans, gun violence does not originate from the accessibility of guns, but rather the actions of an individual that has disregard for life in today's society. There will always be ways for the offender to commit crimes with or without guns. There are also groups of people, such as democrats that believe that as long as we have the right to bear arms that many unprotected people will lose their lives due to gun violence. Many trends come with gun violence and where these mass shootings occur. The implementation of gun control in the U.S. will diminish the 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms, as well as prevent the citizens from the right to protect. With the knowledge gathered from the paper above it is now upon the personal judgment and the hands of our voters to decide what will happen concerning gun control. Will we end it altogether, or just limit it even more?
- Duwe, G. (2019). Mass murder in the United States: A history. Sage Publications.
- Dwyer, J. (2019). NRA is facing internal turmoil and mounting legal bills. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2019/09/04/757482253/nra-is-facing-intern..
- Giffords Law Center. (2021). Gun violence statistics. https://giffords.org/issue/gun-violence-statistics/
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- Johns Hopkins University. (2019). Gun policy in America. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-policy-and-research/publications/Gun_Policy_in_America.pdf
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- Madfis, E. (2018). The subjective reality of mass shootings and the politics of emotion. Crime, Media, Culture, 14(2), 241-258. https://doi.org/10.1177/1741659018772468
- National Conference of State Legislatures. (2022). Gun laws – Background checks. https://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/background-checks-for-firearms-statutes.aspx
- Pew Research Center. (2021). Americans have broad exposure to guns, whether they own one or not. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/05/21/americans-have-broad-exposure-to-guns-whether-they-own-one-or-not/
- Webster, D. W., Vernick, J. S., & Zeoli, A. M. (2020). Association between youth-focused firearm laws and youth suicides. JAMA, 323(8), 727-728. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.0009