Tyler Sedlak Mr. White English 10 CP 24 February 2017 Gun Control Approximately 30,000 people die a year because of guns when they are used in both self defense and murder. Many people argue whether restrictions on guns should be enacted or repealed. Tensions have grown high on both sides of the issue making it a hot topic in our country today. Many people cast their votes in the last election based on their feelings about this very issue.
The divide among Americans when it comes to gun control is large, spanning from those who want strict regulation, including an outright ban on all firearms, to those who want complete legalization of individual gun ownership. Guns can be used for killing or protection, so it is important to examine all sides of the issue before making an informed decision. In 1791, the United States of America adopted the 2nd Amendment which reads: “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”.
This was put in place so that early Americans were able to protect themselves from foreign armies and Native Americans. This was during a time when their survival depended on the right to have a firearm, both for their own protection as well as to put food on their tables for their families. People today still depend on guns to survive. A hunter named Mayor stated, “Semiauto changed my life, I’m able to make the shot because I don’t have to run the bolt and lose the target in my scope”(Drabold p. 14).
Because of the importance of guns in their lives, individuals begin to feel very strongly about their right to bear arms. In the United States, 2. 5 million people defend themselves with guns a year. When asked, 61% of men and 56% of women say the stricter gun laws would make it harder for people to defend themselves (“Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? ” p. 3). Many people believe that the right to self-defense and to the means of defending oneself is a basic natural right that grows out of the right to live.
In a survey about gun control, 57% of the people said that gun control laws would give too much power to the government over the people. The Second Amendment was adopted so that the government wouldn’t have as much power over the people as King George III did over the colonists. Many people believe that the Second Amendment is outdated and that in it there is nothing about an individual’s right to bear arms. The Second Amendment was put in place so the militias could own weapons, but since there are no more militias in the U. S the Second Amendment is no longer needed.
The people who founded our country were known as the Framers, “The Framers single-minded focus in crafting the Constitution guarantee ‘to keep and bear arms’ was on Military use of firearms, which they viewed in the context of service on state militias’ hence the inclusion of the phrase ‘well regulated militias”(“Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? “). Unfortunately, the 2nd Amendment is quite vague and unclear leaving much to interpretation on both sides of the issue. Individuals have gone so far as to argue that the intentions of our Founding Fathers was clear based on how they grammatically structured the 2nd Amendment.
They argue that the first dependent clause “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” gives the conditions under which the rest of the sentence is true. In addition, the initial clause is meant to clarify the rest of the sentence. So unless individuals believe that the Founding Fathers were grammatically incorrect, the 2nd Amendment was put in place so that only the militias had the right to bear arms and that this right does not pass to the individuals. In the United States, 2. million people use a gun to defend themselves yearly (“Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? ” p. 3). Criminals will always find a way to get a gun if they are banned, but if gun control is put in place, law abiding citizens will have nothing to protect themselves from their attackers.
A senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, said, “If God forbid, ISIS visits our life, our neighborhood, our school, any part of us, the last thing standing, the last line of defense could very well be our ability to protect ourselves” (“Should Adults Have the Right to Carry a Concealed Handgun? ” p. 1). A 2013 survey found that 48% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing a crime when they knew that the victim was armed. Even if they are attacked, they would be less likely to be successful if the victim fought back. Wayne Lapierre, the Executive Vice President of the NRA, stated, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. A gun is just an object, the variable that can make a gun do good or bad is the person operating it. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Just like cars don’t kill people, but the drunk driver does.
There were 62 mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and 2012. Not one of them was stopped by an armed civilian, even though gun rights activists would have claimed that their right to bear arms is a critical component in their own personal protection, and the protection of others. Armed civilians aren’t likely to stop a mass shooting because they are not trained in law enforcement nor are they trained to handle life threatening situations. In addition, in at least 50% of the 62 mass shootings, the shooter was using high-capacity magazines. When high-capacity magazines were used in mass shootings, the death rate rose 63% and the injury rate rose 156%”(“Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? “).
Civilians should not have military grade firearms or accessories, including high-capacity magazines. These weapons are complete overkill when it comes to personal protection or hunting. “These weapons that will shred your venison before you eat it, or go through the wall of your apartment when you’re trying to defend yourself…. they’re made for mass killing, but not useful for law-abiding citizens. Johnathan Cowy, Director of Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to prevent Gun Violence. Pope Francis even stated, ‘Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? “(Hale p. 1). Gun Control is a pro-life value, with 30,000 gun related deaths a year in the U. S. every year something needs to change.
Women carry concealed guns becuase they want to be able to defend their home and defend themselves if they go out. When concealed carry was put into place “States that implemented ‘shall-issue’ concealed carry laws reduced murders by 8. %, rapes by 5%, aggravated assault by 7%, and robbery by 3%” (“Should Adults Have the Right to Carry a Concealed Handgun? “). The percentage of concealed handgun permit holders who are female rose from 15% in 2004 to 23% in 2014. Concealed carry gives women a sense of safety when going outside at night or when going into a rough part of town. In a study by the National Opinion Research Center, “59% of the people who carry a gun outside do so becuase it makes them feel safer”. May officers believe that when citizens have concealed carry permits it is a great crime deterrent.
In fact a 2013 survey of the 1500 current and retired police officers found that 91. 3% support concealed carry of weapons by civilians. In a study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology found that when someone draws a concealed gun in self-defense, the criminal retreats 55. 5% of the time. 5 women are murdered a day in the United States. A woman’s risk of being murdered increases 500% if a gun is present in a domestic dispute. Between 2001 and 2015, during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, 5,364 U. S. oldiers were killed in action; between 2001 and 2012, 6,410 women were killed with a gun by an intimate partner in the United States (“Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? “p. 4). About 90% of all women who were killed by firearms were from the United States. The increase of guns in the U. S. seems to increase the violent crime rate. States that passed concealed carry saw a 2% or more increase in the murder rate, and at least 9% increases in the rates of rape, aggravated assault, and burglary (“Should Adults Have the Right to Carry a Concealed Handgun? ).
People with concealed weapon permits tend to make situations more dangerous by adding the variable of a gun. In a “Peer-reviewed study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that someone carrying a gun for self-defense was 4. 5 times more likely to be shot during an assault than an assault victim without a gun”. Guns are extremely powerful tools and can be used for killing or protection, so it is important to examine all sides of the issue before making an informed decision.
I presented both sides of the 2nd Amendment debate, as well as the self defense and the women’s safety aspect of gun control. I came into this research paper feeling strongly against gun control and I came out believing that it was not necessary even more than I had before. Approximately 30,000 people a year do die from gun related incidents, some in murder and some in self defense, I feel strongly that gun control is not the answer, education is. Criminals do not obey laws so it is obvious that they will not obey any gun control laws which will leave only the innocent unprotected.