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Gun Control: Too Strict or Not Enough?

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: the three fundamental values of the U.S. Constitution, a document in which the Founding Fathers intended the Second Amendment to replace the role of a militia in fear of another tyranny. However, over 200 years later, society has changed. With a standing army, the interpretation and application of "the right to bear arms" has shifted. U.S. citizens must decide the role guns play in the 21st century: whether or not the government should codify laws that regulate these weapons. Citizens must choose between loose restrictions on gun ownership or alleged increased safety by enacting laws that will, supposedly, efficiently control the distribution of these weapons. Although some consider the "right to bear arms" an unregulated, Constitutional right, gun control is necessary to a great extent in the United States. It has been proven to reduce mass shootings of vulnerable citizens and limit the drastically increasing gun violence rates, protecting life's most fundamental right.

We must control the accessibility of a fatal weapon if our country actively strives to reduce the mass shootings that threaten vulnerable citizens. We know that most guns can shoot multiple rounds, injuring numerous people in seconds, making death terrifyingly fast for victims and just as terrifyingly convenient for assailants. Although the severity of danger from mass shootings is apparent, it becomes increasingly frightening when attackers start targeting schools. Children are vulnerable and naive, going to school to learn— they should not have to fear for their lives every time they enter school. Schools are institutions that, since their founding, have been dedicated to fostering a safe and nurturing learning environment for children. If the danger of guns has come to the extent that future generations of America are threatened with being killed, it is evident that there needs to be regulation to protect children.

Furthermore, gun control is necessary to limit America's drastically increasing gun violence rates. The number of active shooter incidents in the United States exponentially increased from three in 2000; however, without enacting any regulations by 2020, the number had risen to forty. Similarly, it would also make it more difficult for individuals with impulsive suicidal thoughts to commit by controlling a gun which could symbolically represent the choice of death to force them to value the natural right of life they wish to take. So, with this approach of gun rights and minimal gun restrictions over the past ten years, there has been a 75% increase in gun murders inflicted on a person on U.S. territory by another person and an increase of 25% over ten years in gun-inflicted suicide rates. Overall, as gun laws become looser, guns become more readily available– resulting in a greater number of firearms owned and an increase in violence globally. The statistics support the possible logical belief that with more control on guns, there would be fewer gun deaths in the United States.

As gun violence and mass shooting rates skyrocket, if the opposition's opinion on guns for protection was implemented, the possibility of increased gun ownership nationally could increase fear of violence and use of firearms(accidental or intentional) in America- even if using it is justified as "protection." Furthermore, without restrictions on carrying firearms, Justice Antonin Scalia indicates the "purpose of being armed" is to come into "conflict with another person." Contributing to the notion that gun ownership induces more fear when a possible lethal weapon illustrates the intent of conflict.

Implementing stricter gun control laws will arguably keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. More regulations lead to fewer guns in the hands of potential mass shooters, subsequently protecting innocent American people. No matter the importance you hold to your right to bear arms, gun control saving the lives of countless victims of mass shootings is necessary for the U.S. gun control is necessary to decrease the number of mass shootings that threaten vulnerable citizens and children and curb the increasing gun violence rates through gun regulation and licensing. Following the moral compass by regulating deadly weapons could allow the United States to become safer, encouraging a decrease in crime and death overall.

Granted, the Second Amendment does encourage "the right to bear arms," but often, change is necessary: laws are designed to adapt to the country's dynamic. Gun control is an essential change, making it safer to allow the American people to potentially protect a natural right that some see as more valuable than unregulated firearms: life.


Works Cited

BCC. “Mass Shootings: America's Challenge for Gun Control Explained in Seven Charts.” BBC News, BBC, 12 Oct. 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41488081.

Gramlich, John. “What the Data Says about Gun Deaths in the U.S.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 16 May 2022, https://pewrsr.ch/3opljwS.

Henry, Tanya Albert. “When Mass Shootings Get Big Media Play, Firearm Purchases Often Rise.” American Medical Association, 29 Apr. 2019, https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/when-mass-shootings-get-big-media-play-firea

ProCon.org. “US Gun Deaths by Year - Gun Control - Procon.org.” Gun Control, 8 Mar. 2022, https://gun-control.procon.org/us-gun-deaths-by-year/.

US Supreme Court. “District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).” Justia Law, 2008, https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/554/570/#tab-opinion-1962738.

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