Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
I believe that the most important political issue happening right now in American politics is the ongoing debates focusing on the 2nd amendment and gun control laws. I have always been a firm believer in the 2nd amendment as I do think that every person in the United States should have the ability to defend themselves, their family and friends, and their home. In recent years there have been mass shootings by gunmen at religious areas, schools, concerts, bars, and more. These events are absolutely horrific. They tear apart families, communities, and our country as a whole. I do not believe that there is an end-all solution to continued gun violence problems as a whole though. No matter what, there will continue to be people in this world that will find a way to wreak havoc and terror on other people. However, I do believe that we can help improve this situation and try to limit these awful occurrences as much as we can, but the American government cannot find a way to help improve the situation as it is, because neither side of the debate is willing to give in and compromise towards the middle. There can be solutions to this crisis without having to completely take away the public’s right to bear arms. Continuing to restrict access to certain high-volume guns is a start, such as AR-15’s. Another possible start to a solution is also keeping large-capacity gun magazines for guns like the AR-15 out of easy access as well. This crisis will not go away overnight, and there is no magical answer that is currently available to completely solve it, but there is still much to be done that can help prevent gun crimes and mass shootings from happening as often as they seem to be happening currently in America.
The first argument from the pro-gun control side is to completely take and strip away all guns from the public in the United States of America. The idea behind this logic is simple; take all the guns away from the people, gun crimes should therefore go down. Unfortunately, this is not correct at all and it also violates the American right to bear arms. This is a right that Americans have just like the right to free speech and freedom of religion. Regardless, taking away all the guns will not just simply stop gun crimes. This is actually proven and shown to do the complete opposite of the intended outcome and can increase the likelihood of gun-related crimes. For example, according to ProCon.org, even with incredibly strict gun laws Mexico struggles extremely with gun violence. In 2012, the United States had 2.97 gun homicides per 100,000 people, while on other hand Mexico had 9.97 gun homicides per 100,000 people, even with strict gun control laws. (Gun-control.procon.org, 2019). The reasoning behind this is that the fear of someone being able to defend themselves with a gun is oftentimes enough to deter a potential criminal away from actually attacking someone. If it is known knowledge that guns are banned from the public, every criminal will have no fear of the consequence of their victim being able to retaliate and defend themselves with a gun of their own. It is a very scary scenario for 2nd amendment supporters to envision themselves not being able to legally own a gun, and then being put into a situation where they are being attacked and have no reasonable way of defending themselves and their family.
This is also not going to be a valid solution for the problem of mass shootings either. If someone wants to commit a mass shooting or mass murder, they will be able to illegally obtain a gun and commit the crime and there will be no ordinary citizen that will be able to effectively help defend the situation. It is also shown that many mass killings are done with other forms of killing compared to guns. Bombings, car-ramming, and knife attacks can take place of a gun shooting for a mass murderer as well. With all of these other ways for attacks to happen, then what can be done and what is not being done to help prevent them is the question.
I think that our government is too scared to compromise and meet in the middle to start producing results on this matter. This is a case that is very common and that the Republicans and the Democrats want it to be completely on their specific side of the matter, instead of sacrificing to meet in the middle for the greater good of the country. Because of this, the government is failing the people of the United States of America. The longer they continue to wait, the worse it is.
A possible solution that I believe would be a good step towards an ultimate solution and is not completely against the 2nd amendment could be increased and required background checks. Background checks are already in place for licensed gun dealers and their transactions. The problem is that for unlicensed sellers there are no laws in place for any background checks. They do not even actually have to check an ID for a person’s age. According to a study published in 2017, “22% of current U.S. gun owners who acquired a firearm within the past 2 years did so without a background check.” (Miller, M., Hepburn, L., & Azrael D. 2017). 22% may not seem like a crazy high number, but to put into perspective the large amounts of guns that are bought and sold in total, this number is still in the millions. That means that millions of guns every year are not tracked, are not required to have a background check or an ID check. This is a huge problem that contributes heavily to the illegal use of firearms. These are sales that occur in multiple different places as well. These unlicensed sales can happen online, directly in person, and even at the many guns shows that occur throughout the year. People have the right to gun ownership, but background checks should be universal for all transactions and much deeper. If you are not a person looking to take illegal action with a firearm, then this should not be a problem at all.
With all of this considered, the 2nd amendment is a crucial piece of American government and should be upheld at all costs. It is the fabric that keeps the social public with the ability to defend themselves from potential attackers, foreign powers, and any type of danger that could come up. Without the 2nd amendment, the people are sheep in a pen and wolves are waiting to take on the easy prey. But, it is all too easy for criminals and mentally unstable people to get their hands on guns, both illegally and even legally. The government needs to take action to quickly ratify these problems and at least try to come together to help prevent the easy access of guns from coming into the wrong hands. The government is too scared to commit to something of substance that could help change what is happening in America. This is an issue that the different parties in Washington DC need to compromise and come together to find a helpful solution.