Gun Violence In America: Protection Of Citizen Rights

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The United States Constitution promises that the government will protect citizens and their natural-born rights. The second amendment states“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (The Bill of Rights), by enforcing gun control laws the government is breaking their pledge to their citizens by not protecting their natural-born rights. In addition, gun control laws won't stop offenders from acquiring firearms. From 1982-2012 there were 62 mass shootings in the United States, 49 of its shooters legally acquired guns. Altogether 143 guns were owned by the shooters with 75% of them being legally obtained. Furthermore, gun control laws would not prevent most gun deaths which are caused by suicides. As of 2017, The U.S. Department of Justice reports there were 47,173 suicides that involved a firearm. That reports about 60% of all adult deaths that involved a firearm were suicides (“ProCon”). Suicide attempts that do not involve a firearm have a 95% chance of survival whereas if a gun is involved 85% of the victims will die (“Gun Violence”). A ban on the market of guns would most likely create a black market. The banning of the sale of firearms would just make more loopholes for criminals or lawbreakers to own guns. People will always find a way to steal firearms or change information on background checks, and there will also always be people that will illegally be selling them (“10 Advantages”).

“In summary, gun control infringes upon the second amendment, fails to solve violence issues, and violates U.S. citizens’ freedom to own guns for hunting and sport. All American citizens are born with unalienable rights that cannot be taken away. It is the government’s job to ensure that American’s rights don’t get taken away, yet they are the ones taking away our natural born freedoms. It is time America bands together to stand up for our rights and explore new solutions such as better mental hospital security or mental health awareness, instead of stricter gun laws”(Parades).

Primarily, the United States government has a duty to protect its citizens and their inalienable rights of the constitution. When a life-threatening gadget is brought into a community it is unwise to keep it in motion, if firearms are no longer flown through communities their threat will be non-existent. A stance many pro-gun control individuals take is that the second amendment is not a limitless right to possess guns. Their perspective includes them thinking the second amendment was calculated to safeguard the right of military groups, not single people to own firearms. Michael Waldman, JD, President of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law stated,

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“There is nothing about an individual right to bear arms in the notes about the Second Amendment when it was being drafted, discussed, or ratified; the US Supreme Court declined to rule in favor of the individual right four times between 1876 and 1939; and all law articles on the Second Amendment from 1888 to 1959 stated that an individual right was not guaranteed”(“ProCon”).

Besides, gun control does not require the seizure of all guns already owned. The only thing that would be required would be something as minimal as obtaining a license with a safety course (“10 Advantages”). According to the Institute of Medicine from June 2013, their report states that legally possessed guns are regularly looted by lawbreakers. A professor at Stanford Law School says that since firearms are an item that can easily be stolen and rapidly sold, their existence can actually assist as an encouragement to robbery. Furthermore, guns are hardly ever used in self-defense. There were 29,618,300 violent crimes committed from 2007 to 2011, with that number only 0.79% of the victims protected themselves by threatening or using a firearm (“ProCon”).

The number of Americans that suffer from gun violence is dreadful and the numbers are rapidly increasing. Over 1.2 million Americans have been shot this past decade, tens of millions have been a witness to gun violence directly, and soon enough almost every American will know at least one person that has been a victim to gun violence in their existence. Of the 39,773 people that died from gun violence in 2017, 61% of them died from suicides that involved a firearm, 35% from gun homicides, 1.4% from law enforcement shootings, 1.3% from unintentional shooting, and the last 0.8% is undetermined. Of all suicides in America, 51% of them involve a firearm. 70% of all homicides in America involve a gun. The majority of unintentional shootings involve people under 24 years old and usually involves someone around their own age. Research shows, states with the weakest gun laws have the highest number of gun deaths. For instance, Alaska has the weakest gun laws in the nation and is also home to the highest gun death rate, 25 residents for every 100,000. Conversely, Hawaii is a state with one of the strictest gun laws in the nation and its gun death rate is 2 residents out of every 100,000. In addition, abused women are five times more likely to die by their abuser if they own a firearm. Every year in the U.S 600 women are killed with a gun by their partner. Nearly one million living women have reported being shot by a partner, and 4.5 million have been threatened with a firearm by their partner (“Gun Violence”). The U.S particularly has the most gun deaths per citizen compared to most other developed countries. As of 2016, the U.S gun death rate is 10.6 people for every 100,000. Compared to Canada which was 2.1 per 100,000, Australia which was 1, France had 2.7, and Germany with 0.9. However, the frequency in America was much lower than El Salvador and Venezuela which was 39.2 and 38.7 respectively (Gramlich).

The issue with guns seems reasonably clear, however, the solutions become more and more evident each time there is a large violent gun act. By increasing the harshness of gun control laws, spreading and investing in more gun technology, permanently stopping legal immunity for manufacturers, and terminating restrictions on funding for research can all guarantee reduced gun deaths. By making it hard to buy a gun, people are less likely to be hurt. Similarly, Chris Wilson says, “Buying a gun should be like buying a car”. Making safer cars and stronger seat belts have all helped in reducing motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. Lawmakers should be able to do the same. An effective policy would be requiring registration of all purchases that include a free information and training class. Companies say, if a single simple product caused as many fatalities as firearms do, they would be banned or fixed however with guns nothing is done. Holding firearm manufacturers liable for their abuse would force them to make firearms safer. In addition, in 2013 President Barack Obama questioned: “If we can set it up so you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint why can’t we do the same thing for our guns?” Safety technology is obtainable. Businessmen/women have presented new innovative ideas such as products that have biometrics to recognize a weapon to their lawful owner. Although these types of innovations might not put a stop to mass shootings they could suppress accidental shootings and suicides with a weapon owned by someone else. The CDC shows about 500 people are killed by accidental shootings every year (Wilson).

To conclude, the research above shows having stricter gun laws may not end all mass shootings but with the help of more gun technology, holding manufacturers liable, and eliminating funding restrictions on gun violence research would eventually open up the public's eye to the continuous struggle of maintaining safety in America and overall lower gun violence. Smart gun technology that has been presented in the past have shown to help prevent unintentional shooting or deaths in homes. In addition, stronger gun control laws would help maintain safety corresponding to owning weapons. Finally, eliminating funding restrictions on research would help make people more aware and more involved in helping solve this issue once and for all. At the same time, ant gun control believers have explained that solutions that would increase the use of guns such as smart gun technology would be less beneficial than gun solutions that would overall decrease the usage of guns such as stricter gun control laws that would make it hard to obtain a gun. All of the research reaches the same conclusion: the only variable that can explain and can reduce the high rate of mass shootings and gun-related deaths in America is lowering its enormous number of guns. 

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