The Ongoing Debate: Gun Control and the Second Amendment

Categories: Gun Control Laws

For many decades gun control has been an ongoing controversy for those who believe guns should be outlawed and those who want the 2nd amendment to be honored. Although guns do have the potential to be dangerous, they are used for self defense, law enforcement, hunting, and to protect others from unwanted harm. Guns put in the wrong hands could lead to catastrophic events, and in the past it has. Due to these horrific events guns have been put on a pedestal and been speculated as too dangerous for American citizens to handle, and the right to own a gun should be taken away.

Many people who are for gun control believe “the more lax gun laws are… the more likely one is to face someone with a firearm who has no business owning one” (Holt), but criminals are not called criminals because they obeyed the law. According to Jason Howerton, a pro-gun advocate, societies against gun control believe otherwise and consider the gun ban has an unintended effect: it emboldens criminals because they know the law-abiding District residents are unarmed and powerless to defend them.

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Studies done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics report firearm homicides have declined 39 percent since 1993, and “a separate study by the Pew Research center put the decline at an even more impressive 49 percent” (Barrett). In the same research, the government had reported that an average of about 22,000 nonfatal shootings occurred annually from 1993 to 2002 and from 2002 to 2011 that number had declined by about half. Even though there has been a drastic decline, people who are anti-gun supporters want to create stricter regulations making it tougher to own a gun or even take guns out of the society completely.

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Implementing gun control policies throughout the U. S. will not make guns disappear, furthermore it will just mask all citizens good or bad have automatic weapons. Gun control laws were made up in effort to regulate and control the sales of guns. In the history of gun control, American Rifleman published an article by Stephen P. Hallbrook, PhD. , J. D. , where he explained Hitler’s use of firearms registration lists led to the confiscate of guns, and the execution of gun owners.

He also observes “registration makes it easy for a tyrannical government to confiscate firearms and to make prey of its subjects” (Fetzer). Throughout the world guns controlled by the government has made it easy for those in power to do whatever they want to their people. Studies in the article Do Strict Gun laws really stop gun Crime? by Mytheos Holt, the gun control movement tried for 30 years from the 1960’s to the 1990’s to ban hand guns, but had failed miserably.

Senate Rand Paul, pro-gun advocate and a republican in Kentucky, “has implied he will filibuster new proposals and has said to Obama, “Call me if any of your reforms would’ve saved those kids at Sandy Hook” (Fetzer). He does not believe any new laws to be passed on gun control would prevent another tragedy, such as Sandy Hook. Cleta Mitchell, a Washington lawyer and director of the National Rifle Association, justifies the reason for gun control is due to the insane people who have had their chances to obtain guns, and using them in criminal behavior.

She also includes that the “Obama Administration has a pathetic enforcement record, including an abysmal failure to enforce existing legal prohibitions on purchases of firearms by persons adjudicated mentally incompetent” (Mitchell). An author for The Washington Times, David Sherfinski, notes in his article Sen. Joe Manchin III thinks we need to strengthen our approach on mental illness, as well. Overall, people believe that mental illness should not be taken lightly when buying or obtaining an automatic weapon. Amongst gun control follows controversies, and not just one or two, many.

Under the current law, gun dealers hold a Federal Firearms License and are required to conduct instant background checks before allowing a firearm to a buy, but “transfers between people who are regularly engaged in business of dealing firearms fall outside this requirement” (Rivkin Jr. ). This includes family to family transfers or family to friend transfers, anyone dealing outside of a gun dealership. Though universal background checks are a great idea, it will not stop a criminal from obtaining and using it to break the law.

The communities of pro-gun control believe it is a vital necessity to the welfare of our nation. They feel many deaths caused by guns can be stopped by controlling the ownership of guns within the U. S. According to Paul M. Barret, author of Good News on Gun Violence Could Shape Gun control Debate, the main argument gun control advocates have long made is that tighter restrictions on firearms are needed to cut crime. This has been proven wrong; the states with the highest amount of murder rates by guns had the some of the strictest gun control laws.

In 2011 data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, California had the highest number of gun murders, as well as the strongest gun control laws. Along with this report, Washington, D. C. has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and yet again, the gun murder rate remains dramatically high, the highest in the United States. Through these studies, the states with strictly regulated gun control laws do not correlate with less guns equals less crime, in fact it has done the exact opposite. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC has said, "Organizations like the NRA ... re trying to increase deaths by gun in this country” (Stossel). You cannot argue that “Guns in the right hands help public safety.

Guns in the wrong hands harm public safety” (Holt). Societies with Pro-Gun Laws do not have a strong argument except the fact that clinically insane or any other mental illnesses should not be able to obtain a gun. Taking Sandy Hook Elementary into consideration, “Connecticut has among the most stringent gun control laws in the country—There are ample laws on the books that restrict gun purchases by those who shouldn’t buy them” (Mitchell).

Yet, Adam Lanza was still able to gain access to the weapons. In the article, Why Gun Control is Bad for America? by James H. Fetzer, he explains the weapons allegedly used by Adam Lanza were lawfully obtained by his mother in accordance with Connecticut laws. Which shows, no matter how many gun laws are passed out there, criminals or the mentally incompetent will find a way to retrieve a weapon. Because of our founding fathers, the United States Bill of Rights protects the right to bear arms.

Some experts maintain that it was added because of the need for a citizen militia that could defend the nation in times of need and therefore does not support owner ship of a wide range of weapons, the “Supreme Court has supported a broader interpretation of the law as a fundamental right of American citizens” (Fetzer). It also states in the 2nd amendment that this right to bear arms will not be infringed; consequently banning guns would take one of our rights away. History has a way of repeating itself.

Throughout several political administrations, one continual of tyrannical government has been disarming citizens. “No man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against the tyranny in government” -Thomas Jefferson. When disarming citizens, there will be too much power on government side leaving the common people defenseless, and unable to fend for themselves. Not saying the American government would ever believe on eliminating its own citizens for their benefits, but rather be safe than sorry.

Which lead into “gun control is not about guns- it’s about control” (Mitchell). The idea that regulating the type of gun you can purchase, limiting the size of a magazine or background checks will stop murders like so many school shootings from happening is absurd. Any criminal will find his or her way to get their hands on any type of weapons that comes thrown at their way. Gun requirements vary throughout the United States, although there are some basic federal laws which affect the U. S. nationwide.

The National Rifle Association have noted restrictions on guns such as a person must be 21 or older to purchase a weapon , no person convicted of a crime can own a gun, and persons who engage in the business of buying or selling firearms must be licensed. The implementations of gun control laws have been boundless and widespread though they do not altogether block people from attaining a firearm. Although I am in the military, I do not always believe what the government has told me about guns to be true. Not from my chain of command stationed in Pensacola, but rather those I do not interact with everyday, such as people in Congress.

Through writing this paper, I have asked many officers, petty officers, seamen, seamen apprentices, and recruits their view on gun control. Without any questions asked to why I would be asking, they all agreed gun control should only be for those who are A- criminals or B- mentally unstable. The law-abiding citizen should not get punished because of a few bad apples that have taken guns and done evil things with them. How guns are used is completely up to the person in possession of it. Any type of weapon cannot physically hurt a person by themselves.

It takes at least one person to decide how a weapon shall be used for good or bad. Having my qualifications to use guns, I do believe those who have guns should have at least one safety class just to reeducate the correct way to use one. I do not believe gun control laws will end violence considering a disturbed person does not need a gun to be destructive. It actually might have an adverse effect; removing guns from these types of people will not make them any less violent, it might just make them even more violent. Even though I do not use guns to hunt game, I do enjoy going to the gun range for some target practice.

Not only does it help me aim more efficiently, it gives me a sense of security. If anything were to happen, instead of being completely uneducated about guns I know exactly how they work, and how to use one. It also helps that I know how to unarm an armed person, which by the way, takes a lot of practice. All in all, some type of screening to own a gun would not be a bad idea; it would definitely help provide some sort of boundary to those who are allowed to carry an automatic weapon. Believing guns are the reason there is more crime rather than there is just violent people in the world just seems a bit ridiculous.

Not taking into consideration that human beings are the ones that control objects, such as guns, not the other way around. If that were the case, why not ban all sorts of weapons; anything could be a weapon. From a paper clip to a car, all could be used as an object to harm others. In any case, completely ignoring the 2nd amendment and banning guns would create uproar with many pro-gun citizens. Though some gun control is a good thing, such as background checks and at least 21 of age to purchase a gun, there should not be any reason to put anymore laws into effect.

As said before, criminals will get their hands on a weapon one way or another. If it’s not a gun, then it could be anything else. No other gun control legislation can or could have prevented the catastrophes that happened in Connecticut or Colorado. Each of these events had a mentally incompetent person involved in the massacres, and we have laws for these types of people. Furthermore, more gun regulations will not stop violent crimes in America. It is how we use our resources to stop these people from creating even more violent occurrences, and that is letting citizens have the right to own their guns.

Gun control is not going to save lives as many pro-gun control advocates believe. The only thing that will actually save lives is educating those who know nothing of guns, and knowledge to be widespread through our nation. There are too many people who have never even held a gun, and even be in the same room as a gun to decide if they are for gun control or anti-gun control. The only way people will actually get an understanding of the information is to be informed, rather than going off other opinions.

Updated: Nov 20, 2023
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The Ongoing Debate: Gun Control and the Second Amendment. (2016, Dec 13). Retrieved from

The Ongoing Debate: Gun Control and the Second Amendment essay
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