Gun Control: A Debatable Issue Essay
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“There are an estimated 280 million to 300 million guns in private hands in America—many legally owned, many not. Each year, more than 4 million new guns enter the market.” (Goldberg). This shows that America has many gun enthusiasts and has plentiful guns. The first documented use of a firearm was in 1364. The first use of firearm proof marks was in 1637. In 1840, guns began to use pin fire cartridges. Shotguns first began to be frequently used in 1850. In 1892, automatic handguns were invented. Gun control dates back to the Revolutionary War, when the British attempted to confiscate American militia powder.
In 1813, Kentucky enforced gun control laws to stop citizens carrying concealed weapons in public.
After the Civil War, newly freed slaves in the South were not allowed to bear arms. In the 20th Century, many groups supporting gun control laws were formed. Finally, after the Newtown school shooting, President Obama tried to enforce gun control laws. Gun controls are laws or policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification and use of firearms.
Although the Second Amendment gives people the right to bear arms, the American government should enact gun control laws because there are too many mass shootings and there are too many guns in circulation.
Many gun rights activists argue that the Second Amendment gives US citizens the right to bear arms. However, the Second Amendment was created to allow states to make a military to protect the state. “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” (Agresti and Smith). This quote represents that the Second Amendment in the Constitution represents the military, not citizen’s rights to bear arms. Others say that without guns, citizens are left defenseless. Regardless, there are more police guarding the streets than ever, and many citizens have a concealed carry license that allows them to have a concealed weapon in public. “Today, more than eight million vetted and (depending on the state) trained law-abiding citizens possess state-issued “concealed carry” handgun permits, which allow them to carry a concealed handgun or other weapon in public” (Goldberg). This quote shows that many citizens are allowed to carry a firearm in public.
One could assume that if a shooting happened, the shooter could be disarmed or stopped by a citizen with a concealed weapon. If a citizen disarmed a shooter, then fewer deaths would happen. Opponents of gun control believe that gun control laws do not apply to criminals. On the other hand, most criminals are caught and put in jail and do not get a second chance to cause trouble again. In short, there are many citizens that can stop a mass shooting and the Second Amendment was created to let states make a military. If more concealed carry permits were allowed, then fewer murders would be committed and citizens would be happier. `Many supporters of gun control think that mass shootings are a dilemma because there are many school shootings and criminals are exposed to guns. In the light of recent school shootings, America has become very worried about gun safety and who can carry them. “…Tried to hide from the Columbine killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold…People were disgusted that Harris and Klebold, neither of whom was of the legal age to buy firearms, had found a way to acquire guns…” (Goldberg).
This quote proves that school shootings have to stop and that students need more rules introduced on them. One could assume that schools would feel more protected if more rules were established on students. Furthermore, elementary school shootings can take the lives of many small children. “On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza walked into the Newtown elementary school with an AR-15-style rifle and killed 20 students and six faculty members” (Straw). This quote proves that shootings are detrimental to the society and kills the future generation. One could assume that such shootings could happen more often if America did not enact gun control laws.
Finally, many criminals are exposed to firearms and weapons. “The National Rifle Association and other anti-gun-control groups worked diligently to defend the loophole—misnamed, because while loophole suggests a small opening not easily negotiated, about 40 percent of all legal gun sales take place at gun shows, on the Internet, or through more-informal sales between private sellers and buyers, where buyers are not subject to federal background checks” (Goldberg). This quote proves that criminals can buy any type of firearm on the Internet or at a gun show, without being subject to a federal background check. Consequently, more guns could be purchased illegally by a criminal on the Internet or at a gun show. Also, the seller and the buyer could both be criminals that are working together. In conclusion, there have been too many school shootings in recent years and most criminals have easy access to guns through gun shows and the Internet. If the government does not try to stop this, then crime rates will rise and America will not be a safe country to live in.
When it comes to gun control, many supporters believe that gun circulation is a very big problem because Americans adults own too many guns, some states do not require background checks, and firearms can be illegally bought by criminals. One reason that gun circulation is a big problem is because Americans adults own too many firearms at home or on their property. “According to a recent Gallup poll, 47 percent of American adults keep at least one gun at home on their property, and many of these gun owners are absolutists opposed to any government regulation of firearms” (Goldberg). This quote illustrates that American citizens keep too many guns and that many gun owners do not want gun control. One could assume that crime rates would rise since there are more guns than before. In addition, gun circulation is also a big problem because under federal law, it is not required to run a federal background check on people that wish to buy a firearm. “FBI-supervised National Instant Criminal Background Check System…Background checks, which are conducted by licensed gun shops, have stopped almost 1 million people from buying guns at these stores since 1998” (Goldberg).
“Under federal law, private individuals are not required to a conduct a background check before selling or transferring a firearm to someone who lives in the same state, but it is illegal and punishable by up to ten years in prison for a private individual to sell or transfer a firearm while “knowing” or having “reasonable cause to believe” that the recipient falls into one of the prohibited categories above” (Agresti and Smith). These quotes show that background checks stop criminals from buying firearms and private gun sales do not require a federal background check. One can infer that more criminals can buy guns and use them in a shooting, and murder rates will rise. If federal background checks were required for all gun purchases, then fewer criminals could buy firearms and murder rates would fall drastically. In short, Americans own too many guns on their property and criminals can acquire guns easily without background checks. If we do not set laws on background checks, then there will be even more shootings, and the future generation will be devastated.
Too many mass shootings and too many guns in circulation are just two reasons that America’s government should enact gun control laws. Mass shootings are a big problem in gun control because criminals have easy access to guns from the Internet and gun shows. Moreover, gun circulation is also a very big problem because American adults own too many guns and it is not federal law to have a federal background check. A solution for opponents of gun control is allowing more concealed carry handgun permits. Supporters of gun control should petition for federal law for background checks and protest for more gun control. In addition, supporters of gun control should write articles about gun control and why it is needed. If America enacts gun control laws, then other countries around the world will follow and the world will become a better and safer place to be in.