Problems With Gun Control

When a problem arises, people are most likely to asses the situation, find what is causing the complication, and then take actions to exterminate the cause of the problem. In recent years problems with gun control have risen and politicians, in addition to the general public, seem to lack an understanding of the true problem. However, it is undeniable that the rate of gun violence has risen, and many debates have taken place on whether guns should be take away from the public. Those who support gun control laws firmly believe that if the legislation could revisit and improve the restrictions needed to obtain a gun, crimes related to guns would decrease, however this is not the case. Legislation should not impose gun control laws for the reasons that it infringes upon the second amendment, encourages the public to resort to unlawful methods to obtain guns, and punishes the innocent by taking away a form of self defense.

In the beginning, many were content with the framework of the new government system created during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia (Office of the Historian). However, some were cautious as a result of the hardships they endured during the American Revolution, a war fought to guarantee the rights of the American citizens from the Britain monarchy (Britannica). The pain and loss Americas faced was too great and the new governmental system was too similar to a monarchy. As a result, a rift between the members of the constitutional convention arose and conflict developed. However this tear was quickly mended by, “… James Madison who submitted twelve amendments to Congress” (USHistory). By submitting these amendments, James Madison was able to appease both sides and allowed the new government system to stay structured while maintaining the rights that Americans fought for.

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However, the most important right that was immediately ratified was the Second Amendment which allowed for, “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” (HRLibrary). By ratifying the second amendment, the topic of gun laws commenced. The second amendment gives people the right to bear arms and expresses, “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” (U.S. Constitution). This amendment explicitly states and implies that it is the inalienable right of people to keep and bear arms, and should therefore be a right that can not be taken away by the government. By implementing gun control laws, the government would violate the natural born right of the citizen to own a gun. If the government starts to infringe on the rights of citizens starting with the second amendment, will they repeal every amendment associated with tragedies? This is not the method that will help decrease the amount of gun violence in America, and will cause riots and revolts instead. Especially since guns were used to protect American citizens at a fragile time during the American Revolution, it gives more reason to allow citizens own the right to have guns. It is the pride of America and puts citizens at ease, knowing they can protect themselves from tyrannical governments and dangerous situations. If the government decides to reevaluate and repeal the second amendment, it would be a clear violation of people’s inalienable rights. Even if the government were to take our rights of gun ownership, criminals or even people who mean to do harm will undoubtedly find ways to obtain what they want. Whether it be through the black market or even through a gun retailer, there are many unlawful methods people can utilize in order to obtain a gun.

The California Firearms Laws Summary states that any person convicted of a felony has a lifetime prohibition from owning a firearm (Penal Code Section 29905). Criminals clearly disregard laws, so even though it is illegal for a felon to own a firearm, felons still obtain and use guns illegally. Just because there is more gun laws does not mean criminals will follow them, therefore more gun control will not solve violence issues. If the criminals obtain guns with the intention of inflicting harm on others, the victims will not have a form of self defense to protect them from the assailant. This causes an unfair advantage in favor of the criminals, and would surely lead to increased levels of crime. Even if the actual sale is prohibited, the transfer of the gun cannot be regulated. Consider a twenty-five year old man or woman who buys a gun, he or she could give the gun to her brother when she is out of town or to a neighbor for protection. Background checks would be ineffective in such cases.

Gun Control In The United States

Over the past few decades, the United States has witnessed various high- profile mass shootings in towns including Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Orlando, and Newtown. Even though most homicides receive little public attention, incidents of mass shooting are extremely salient. Gun violence is the primary cause of mass shootings in the US. Victor Hayes attributes increased gun violence to how easily an individual can access a gun in the US and further argues that such ease of accessibility acts as a barrier in the legislative battle against gun violence (Hayes 1). Although gun control policies have been formulated to restrict firearm distribution to reduce mass shootings and gun violence, various studies still indicate high incidences of gun violence in the US. Gun violence has been on the rise, therefore, gun control laws should be enacted and implemented to restrict gun ownership and reduce firearm-related violence.

The Second Amendment does not guarantee citizens an unrestricted right to gun ownership. Antonin Scalia—one of the most notable conservative Supreme Court Judge once opined, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” (Byck para 2). Majority of gun owners violate or misinterpret the Second Amendment to own firearms. The Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, thus it should be amended or removed to salvage Americans from gun violence. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States ruled on June 9, 2016, that the Second Amendment doesn’t give protection to the general public’s rights to carry concealed firearms (Gonzales para 4). Gun owners infringe the Second Amendment to propagate gun violence, therefore, it is critical to implement gun control laws to regulate gun ownership. Gun control laws such as the Federal Firearm Act of 1938 and the National Firearm Act of 1934 should be implemented to license gun dealers and impose registration requirements and tax on “gangster guns” such as sawed-off shotguns and machine guns.

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Furthermore, ratification of more gun laws on gun control will help to reduce gun-related deaths. Although gun owners believe that guns prevent deaths, the Pew Research Center indicates that guns cause more deaths than they prevent. Between the years 1999 and 2013, there were more than of 464,000 firearm-related deaths of which 58.2% were gun suicides while 37.7% were homicides. In 2010 only, there were 31,672 firearm related deaths in the United States, primarily through homicide (11,078) and suicide (19,392) (Cohn et al. para 1). Gun violence claims the lives of about 33,000 American citizens annually. Approximately 200 Americans are taken to the hospital emergency rooms daily with gunshot injuries. The American College of Physicians supports proper regulations of the acquisition of legal firearms to decrease gun-related deaths and injuries (Butkus et al. 859). Firearms’ sales must be subject to the evidence of satisfactory completion of a relevant education program regarding gun safety and satisfactory completion of an individual’s criminal background check so that those who own firearms practice due diligence. Gun licensing laws can reduce firearm homicides by 14%. Therefore, implementing federal firearm laws will help to reduce gun-related injuries and deaths.

Moreover, gun control laws will help to reduce criminal activities. Criminals usually steal legally owned guns to propagate criminal activities. Virtually, every firearm in the US begins as a legal firearm, produced legally and initially sold by a dealer that has a federal license to a person that has passed the federal background check. Nonetheless, many individuals with known alcohol problems, violence or anger can still pass the federal background check and those who fail the check can still gain access to guns.

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