Importance of Firearms and Controlled Gun Usage

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Gun control is a major nationwide topic today in America that people are trying to sort out and take a side on. The issue of major mass shootings with automatic firearms and the “ease” of purchasing a firearm is the main concern of this subject. Guns have always been a major part of American society. Whether it be for military, self defense, home defense, hunting, target shooting, or even as collectors items once they become a “classic”. These were the reasons for guns, not mass shootings or police shootings or any type of neighborhood shootout. This brings me to my first point, some people say “guns kill people, we need to ban guns”. Well yes, that is true that guns have been the reasons for many terrorist attacks and of course mass shootings. The death tolls change, the places change: 26 at a church, 26 in an elementary school, 49 in a nightclub, 58 at a country music festival. But, I promise you if someone was to lay a gun on a table and no one touched it, it would not shoot or kill anybody. With that being said, it takes a certain type of person to take a gun, point it in the direction of another human being, and have the decency to pull the trigger for no reason. Samuel L Jackson one said, “I don’t think it’s about more gun control, I grew up in the south with guns everywhere and we never shot anybody, this is about people who aren’t taught the value of life”. Guns have been the focal point around the majority of terrorist attacks. That being Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine High, Virginia Tech, Las Vegas, etc.. Every time one of these attacks happens, the very first thing that comes up is gun control and how guns should be illegal. Which gives a bad rep to gun owners for possessing “killing machines”. People only see the bad in guns and not the good.

The statement, “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” is the second amendment of the Constitution. The right of all Americans to bear arms is a right the Founding Fathers held to equal importance as the Constitution itself. Gun control laws directly violate this right and therefore should not even be under consideration. Even if that issue is overlooked, gun control advocates state that in order to reduce firearm related violence, gun control laws must be implemented to remove the violence caused by firearms. Although this may seem reasonable, the consequences of such laws are ironically counterproductive, they exacerbate the problem instead of fixing it. Besides the fact that the American Constitution guarantees its citizens the right to bear arms, the idea of restricting gun ownership in order to reduce firearm-related violence would ultimately fail given the previous experiments of gun control in England and in numerous states. Leaders such as Kim Jong Un and Adolf Hitler among others have all tried to pass gun control laws in their own countries and it is always unsuccessful.

Gun control laws aim to restrict firearms by carefully choosing who can sell, buy, and possess certain types of guns. Criminals do not obey laws and stricter gun control laws or banning guns will have little effect on reducing crimes. There are many myths about gun control decreasing acts of gun violence, which are not true according to research. People are responsible for the crimes, not the guns themselves. Taking guns away from United States citizens that use them for many reasons, shooting practice, competition, hunting and self-defense, should not be punished for the acts of criminals. As stated by Mytheos Holt, “Guns in the right hands help public safety. Guns in the wrong hands harm public safety”. Research shows that defensive use of guns discourages criminals and reduces crime. Not only is it wrong to penalize law-obeying citizens, it is against the Second Amendment. It is unconstitutional to pass laws that infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Some people believe that extremely tight gun control laws will eliminate crime, but gun control laws only prevent the ‘good guys’ from obtaining firearms. Criminals will always have ways of getting weapons, whether it be from the black market, cross borders, or illegal street sales. New gun control laws will not stop them. Since the shootings of Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook, the frequency of mass shootings has increased greatly. Gun control is not effective as it has not been shown to actually reduce the number of gun related crimes. Instead of considering a ban of private firearm possession, and violating individual ownership rights, it may be more practical to consider the option of partially restricting firearm access.

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If we look at the history of gun control in the United States, we find that laws concerning gun control are not anything new. In 1968, a law passed, this being the Gun Control Act of 1968 and it was the first major gun control law in America. It prohibited certain people from being able to purchase guns including convicted felons, underage customers, individuals with a history of mental illness, dishonorable discharged veterans, and illegal aliens.

Continuing on gun control laws throughout American history, the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act of 1993 established background checks for gun purchasers. This law was passed to insure that no firearms would be sold to the people listed in the 1968 regulation. These background checks are required only on sales through licensed dealers, not on sales through unlicensed private sellers who do not sell firearms as a business, with the exception of certain states. Then in 1994, a ten year ban was placed on the production of nineteen listed new semi-automatic assault weapons with the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. Some of these weapons that were banned include some versions of the AK-47, the Uzi, the MAC-10 and the TEC-9. Along with the banning of these assault rifles, large capacity ammunition magazines were limited to ten rounds. This ban was lifted in 2004 when it expired and attempts to reinstate this law failed.

The implementation of gun control in the United states is a large problem as it will take away the 2nd Amendment rights and would also stop the ability of law abiding citizens to protect themselves from criminals who obtain guns illegally. The right to bear arms is promised to citizens of the United States, and to put gun control into effect is to take away their Constitutional rights. Crime is very high in cities that have few gun control laws. However, the problem will not be solved by taking guns away from people who are registered and licensed to carry them. Americans have never responded well historically to prohibitions. For example, during prohibition of alcohol, many ways were found to obtain alcohol illegally, Gun control could result in similar methods of obtaining weapons illegally. These already exist and gun control would make the problem worse. This problem is solvable with the right solutions. Alternatives to gun control would be, law enforcement and government officials to work together to take unregistered weapons off of the streets. Obtaining warrants to inspect suspicious homes, such as known gang and drug houses are a possible solution to removing unregistered guns from the streets. Despite all of the wrongdoings that come with firearms, the pros are important enough for the average citizen to own a gun if they so desire. While there are definitely too many crimes and shootings with guns, it is vital for us to be able to protect ourselves, criminals will have no problem obtaining firearms. This is my viewpoint on gun control and how government officials should handle it.

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