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The debate between those for and against gun control is becoming more and more prominent in the United States. Several gun control activists have problems with the possibility of owning weapons. The solution is simple. The United States should continue supporting the second amendment and allow Americans to protect themselves using firearms.
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Currently the United States’ President, Barack Obama, is creating a plan to increase restrictions on owning arms. The current draft includes background checks for every single purchase as well as limiting ammunition magazines to a maximum of ten rounds (Gettings, McNiff). He also plans to reinstate the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, more commonly known as the Assault Weapons Ban. This bill prohibited the “manufacture, possession, and importation of semiautomatic assault weapons” (Getting, McNiff). The problem lies with that they aren’t proven to prevent anything. Five years after the ban on assault weapons the infamous Columbine Incident happened. While three or four regulations that have helped rid the United States of gun violence, large and vague laws do not have any effect.
In 1871 Ambrose Burnside, a former Rhode Island Governor founded the National Rifle Association. Their purpose remains to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis” (Getting, McNiff). The NRA has remained largely active in politics, donating as much as 13,000 to each senator who supports the rights of gun owners. Without this funding, many senators would have remained in their positions as mayors or governors with out a voice.
Many supporters of strict gun control laws entertain the idea that guns are always dangerous and that they kill innocent animals and humans. This statement does not need to be argued over and over. Many bills have been proposed that would take away the rights of Americans to own their own weapons. Gun control activists want the government to require everyone to surrender their weapons. It is commonly overlooked that the citizens who turn in their guns are law abiding citizens who don’t normally engage in violence. The gun owners that will struggle with surrendering are the same criminals that have the lack of mental capacity to walk into an elementary school and harm innocent children. This is not just an idea that floats around but one that our nations leaders have had. A quote from former president Ronald Reagan includes “It’s a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun-control laws… Guns don’t make criminals… We will never disarm any American who seeks to protect his or her family from fear and harm” (Gottfried).
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A president other than Reagan had the same views. Thomas Jefferson wrote “laws that forbid the carrying of arms… Disarm only those who do not wish to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants” (Lee). There is absolutely no room for controversy when it comes to protecting others. It’s morally and ethically wrong to not want to help others when possible.
It has become common to see school shootings in the news or hear about how someone shot a family member or friend. However statistics suggest around 1,501 victims die in accidental shootings every year. This seems like an an extremely large number but when compared with other causes of death it seems so small. “A person is twenty-six times more likely to die in a car accident than to be killed by a gun. And yet the government does not try to ban cars. Instead, authorities try to better educate the public to proper uses of cars.” The solution to gun violence is education. If the public knows how to handle weapons safely, it would save approximately 1,501 lives.
It’s difficult to find another nation to compare to the United States when researching gun control. Of the core countries, that have a similar government and economy, most of them do not place much of an importance on weapons. One of the only countries that has had legal involvement with firearms recently is Australia. In 1997 they enacted a bill prohibiting the owning of fire arms. The government assumed this would lessen the number of homicides that took place, however it did not. In 1999 Australia’s homicide rate reached its peak. The consequence of attempting to disarm it’s citizens was that those who did not follow the laws had the ability to attack those who could not protect themselves.
While fire arms have the possibility of being dangerous dangerous, they’re also a extremely important tool when discussing a person’s safety. The United States requires those carrying a concealed weapon to have a permit to do such and many states mandate they take a class before they receive the permit. Many citizens who own a gun don’t use it on a regular basis but rather keep it for when needed. Citizens who are armed are twice as likely to remain unharmed during a robbery as those who are not armed (Gottfried).
When looking at each side of a gun control debate it’s important to recognize the facts. The United States already has a law in place advocating the ownership of firearms. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of peple to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”(US Const.). While the second amendment has always been free to personal interpretation, a person can only analyze it so many ways. It clearly states that United States citizens have the right to protect themselves using guns. James O.E. Norell stated that gun control “in all its forms represents a loss of basic human dignity and in its ultimate form-civil disarmament-it represents the loss of the most fundamental right of all-self defense” (Utter). A major part of the founding of this nation continues to be that each and every person should have rights. If that means a particular citizen simply wishes to defend themselves as well as their family then it is completely absurd for the government to even consider taking that tool away.
This debate has been happening for many years and will continue. It takes only a small amount of research before a person can realize that guns will always be a major part of life. They are present in our military and in our neighborhoods as a measure of protection. Rather than taking them away, wisest to educate gun owners on the safe operation of them. If gun control activists win, the only citizens with guns will be criminals. We live in country where we express freedom constantly. An individual isn’t truly free if they are unable to protect themselves.
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