Gun Control Gun violence is a big problem in theUnited States today. Over 30,000 people are killed each year from firearms with66.8% of all homicides a firearm. Currently, there are 88 guns for every 100people living in the United States.
With so many guns and so littlerestrictions over them, how can we expect to keep guns out of the wrong hands? GunControl refers to laws and possession, manufacture, sales, and transfer or useof firearms in order to control crime. Because guns are a big part of ourcountry’s history and today but we need to increase gun control in order tolower gun violence. If we increase background checks and enact new gun controllaws, we can lower gun violence, keep guns in law abetting citizen’s hands andmake our country a safer place to live. Someargue that gun control laws are against the Second Amendment and that itguarantees an individual’s right to have firearms. Accordingto The Progressive Cynic, “The 2nd Amendment to theconstitution was interpreted to protect the rights of the states to maintainmilitias and for militiamen to sustain arsenals.
In the early years there wasno standing federal army… and the states were expected to sustain militia inorder to contribute to the national defense; this expectation necessitatedprotections for militias that would facilitate militiamen keeping weapons fortheir service.” (Sager) The2nd amendment reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary tothe security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear armsshall not be infringed.” This states that state militias had the right to beararms not Americans. Today, a militia would be the equivalent of the NationalGuard. The Second Amendment allows militias the right to bear arms to protectcitizens, not American citizens the right to bear arms for personal use. TheSecond Amendment is also not an unlimited right to own any gun a person wouldlike. There are still restrictions on what guns one can legally own. High capacity magazines and assaultrifles should be restricted because they are too often used for mass shootings.
“A Mother Jones investigation found that high-capacity magazines and assaultweapons were used in at least 50% of all mass shootings between 1982 and 2012″(Aronsen, Follman, Lee), In 1994, Congress passed a federal assault weapon banthat lasted until 2004 which banned many different military-type assaultweapons. This ban also limited magazine rounds to ten. After 2004, the numberof mass shootings nearly doubled.
Experts estimate that as many as 40 millionhigh capacity magazines may be in circulation today in the U.S. If we were to continue to ban assault weaponsand limited magazine capacities to ten rounds, we could reduce the amount ofmass shootings. Many people argue that they need more than ten rounds forhunting or self-protection. They also argue that passing another ban this willonly affect law abiding citizens.
More than ten rounds are not needed to killany animal. A thirty round drum magazine is not needed for self defense. Itdoes not take more than ten rounds to stop an attacker. Franticly shootingrounds at an attacker puts others in danger. If more than ten rounds are neededto stop an attacker, then a person should not own a gun. “InTucson, where former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot, the assailant, JaredLoughner, was able to fire off 33 rounds in 15 seconds — a rampage that wasonly halted once he was tackled while trying to change his magazine. If hismagazine was limited to ten bullets before reloading, how many lives could havebeen saved?” High capacity magazines have one purpose and that is to kill a lotof people quickly.
That is why they are used so frequently and why they need tobe banned immediately. They were meant for the military, not for citizens.High-capacity magazines give criminals an advantage over civilians. If asmaller magazine was used during a shooting, the criminal would have to reloadmore frequently, giving a person enough time to flee. Limiting rounds willdeter criminals from mass shootings because limiting magazines to ten rounds isnot enough for them and they know they are at a disadvantage at that point.
To decrease the amount of guns ownedby criminals, background checks need to be required for all gun sales. “There’sa loophole where you can sell guns without a background check at a gun show…40% of guns are sold that way same on the Internet.” (Greenberg and Moorhead).
Onlyfederally licensed gun sellers are required to run background checks. Thelaw does not apply to private sellers at gun shows, flea markets, or people whopost firearms for sale on the Internet. If criminals can simply goonline or to a gun show and buy a gun without a single background how can weexpect to keep a country safe? It is too easy for criminals to get their handson these weapons. If we make background checks required for every gun sold, wecould see a huge decrease in gun violence. “Statesfailure to submit mental health records made it easy for millions ofdangerously mentally ill individuals to pass background checks… Inthe November 2011 report Fatal Gaps, Mayors Against Illegal Guns(MAIG) documented that 23 states and the District of Columbia had eachsubmitted fewer than 100 records to the FBI’s National Instant CriminalBackground Check (NICS) system.
” (Closing The Gaps). Not allmentally ill people should be able to own a gun; they could be a danger tothemselves and others. States failed to provide the records that forbids themfrom buying a gun. Doctors are restricted from disclosing information abouttheir patients which is why they do not include their mental health whilebuying a gun. Mental records should be included in background checks whenbuying a gun. If mental records are included in background checks, we could seegun violence decrease. If a mentally ill individual wants to own a gun heshould be examined by a doctor to make sure they are not a threat to theirselves or others. This is the only way to know whether or not that people arementally stable to own a gun.
Gun control could reduce thecost gun violence. “In collaboration with online publication Mother Jones, Miller conducted extensive research onthe cost of gun violence in America. Gun violence costs the U.S. $229 billion ayear, or about $700 per American… Each year more than 11,000 people aremurdered with a firearm, and more than 20,000 others commit suicide using one…At $229 billion, the toll from gun violence would have been $88 billion more than what the US government budgeted foreducation that year. (Follman)Each murder in the United States cost over$441,000. We are spending more on gun violence then we do on education when itcould have been avoided by increasing gun control. All this money spent on gunviolence could have been used on education, Medicare, law enforcement, and antipoverty programs.
If we increase gun control we can lower gun violence and havea better place to live and save us all money. More gun control would lead to fewersuicides. “Between 1999 and 2013 there were270,237 firearm suicides in the United States, accounting for about 52% of allsuicides during those years. ” (ProGun) Over half off all suicides a firearmwas used. This number could have been lowered if gun control was increased.
Agun in a home makes a suicide three times more likely. A big problem is thatwith so many guns readily available in this country there very easy to gettheir hands on and it makes it easy for someone to take their own life. This iswhy it is very important to keep guns locked up and away where someone is notgoing to find it. This is also true if you have children in your home with theamount of bullying and cyberbullying that occurs today.
Suicide is the secondleading cause of death between the ages of 10 to 24. The more guns availablethe higher the risk of suicide. Some people do not believe that gun controlwill affect firearm suicide but a person is more likely to use a firearm totake their life than poison or suffocate their self. Mandatory safetyfeatures would reduce the number of accidental gun deaths. “The US General Accounting Office (GAO)estimated that 31% of total accidental shooting deaths could have beenprevented by installing safety devices on guns: 100% of deaths per year inwhich a child under 6 years old shoots and kills him/herself or another childcould be prevented by automatic child-proof safety locks; and 23% of accidentalshooting deaths by adolescents and adults per year could be prevented byloading indicators showing when a bullet was in the chamber ready to be fired.”(GAO) According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the NationalPhysicians Alliance, states with the highest concentration of guns have ninetimes the amount of accidental gun deaths and “89% of unintentionalshooting deaths of children occur in the home—and most of these deaths occurwhen children are playing with a loaded gun in their parent’sabsence.
” (Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence) Many guns today havemany types of safeties. The purpose of these safeties is to prevent accidentaldischarge and help make a guns safer to handle. Some of these safeties are gripsafeties, trigger safeties and loaded indicators. These are all used to preventaccidental discharge. If we enact new laws requiring more of these safeties, wecan prevent accidental shootings from occurring. Gun violence is serious issue in ourcountry today and will continue until we do something about it. Makingbackgrounds checks required for all gun sales will help prevent criminals fromgetting their hands on guns, adding safety features like trigger locks and gripsafeties will prevent accidental shootings, gun control will help reduce thecost of gun violence and can be used for education, Medicare, and lawenforcement, increasing gun control will reduce the amount of suicides eachyear.
Enacting new gun control laws will keep guns out of criminal’s hands andkeep them in the right hands. We need to enact new gun control laws to lowergun violence and make our country a safer place. Increasing gun control willensure a safe society for our kids to learn and live.