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Gun control has recently been the center of many political debates as a result of many devastating world wide events. Some argue that all Americans have the right to bare arms while others argue that limiting the availability of firearms will only better American society. These two drastically different views have created conflict for centuries. On December 14 2012 a murderer by the name of Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary school with his mother’s assault rifle and brutally murdered 20 children and 6 employees.
This is only one of the many horrifying events that question the government’s regulations on guns in our country. As a result many ideas regarding regulating access to guns have been brought up. Although the question remains. What is the right thing to do? On June 21 1788 the constitution was ratified and the second amendment gave all citizens the right to bear arms. But why was this right so important to the founding fathers that it had to be the 2nd amendment?
In the late 18th century the fear of an oppressed government was a very large fear to most citizens.
Prior to the constitution the right to bear arms was only given to soldiers employed by the government (Lund). For this reason alone the founding fathers felt it was necessary to allow all citizens the right to bear arms. Today very few people who support the right to bear arms would argue that they need their firearm in case of an oppressed government taking over. A society changes over time and the rules of that society must adapt in order to achieve maximum success and happiness.
If America doesn’t adapt to its changing society, the country will never progress. School shootings, gang violence, and gun related murders all have a direct correlation with the accessibility to firearms in our country. A recent study conducted by the Harvard injury control research center proves that more gun accessibility results in more homicides (Miller). There is no sugar coating it.
The more guns American citizens put into this country the more people we take out in gun related deaths. The study also proves that the correlation between gun accessibility and homicide does not relate to non gun related homicides. Proving that the homicides were only committed because of the accessibility to guns not because of the people living in the area. The Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, Columbine shooting, and Virginia Tech shooting where all a result of easy accessibility to weapons in one’s household. The two seventeen year old shooters in the Columbine High school shooting acquired two 12-gauge shotguns and two 9mm firearms through their friends for a total of $500. The shooter of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting stole his weapon, a .22 caliber savage MK 11-F bolt action rifle, from his mother (Wilson). In every gun related homicide the attacker had easy access to a firearm. These deaths can easily be prevented by simply cutting down on firearm accessibility. On the other hand, those against gun control argue that the number of firearms in America is so large that applying gun control laws will only make matters worse. Currently there are approximately 270-310 million guns across American households (Wilson).
Confiscating every firearm is an impossible task and taking away weapons from the law abiding citizens will leave criminals armed while citizens are defenceless. Possibly resulting in a terrible backlash and create more violence throughout the country. Criminals would have a tremendous advantage over the average law abiding citizen. One could break into a home and not worry about the home owner retaliating. Self defense is necessary in today’s violent society and many people who argue against gun control will say that self defense with a firearm is needed in today’s society. Although a recent study conducted by the violence policy center proves the majority of firearm related homicides have nothing to do with self defence. Not to mention that in most cases a firearm intended to be used for self defence will often injure the owner of the firearm. The study also showed that a firearm is far more likely to be stolen than to be used for self defence (McLaughlin).
Therefore this argument is clearly invalid. There are many other “safer” weapons that can act as a replacement for firearms. Tasers for example have proven to provide just as much protection as firearms with little to no deaths as a result. There will always be an alternative to firearms those who believe differently usually tend to use firearms for recreational use rather than for self defense. Many phones and tablet have fingerprint technology that only allows access to the owner of the cell phone. Recently pro gun control activists have been fighting for more security options on firearms. For example a simple passcode to arm the weapon or even enabling fingerprint technology to ensure only the owner of the weapon can fire it. Recently President Obama has been promoting smart gun technology. Smart gun technology uses methods such as fingerprint and even phone compatibility to recognize the owner of the weapon (Mearian). Smart guns are the future of gun control in America. It is possible that in less than a decade all firearms will have smart gun technology enabled. Gun control will continue to be the topic of many debates unless our government takes responsibility for the thousands of lives taken every year from these deadly weapons. Whether it is school shootings, mass murders, or a simple gunshot, American society is becoming more tolerant of gun homicides. As a country, we need to take control of this problem. As long as firearms are as accessible as they are today America will never be truly safe.
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