Students debate the necessity of gun control in America

May 29, 2018

Proposals for gun control could be found to be an infringement of citizens’ Second Amendment rights

Gun control has become a very prominent issue in today’s news. Since guns have been available to the public, some citizens have wanted stronger laws or more control on the sale and possession of firearms because of recent mass shootings.

However, I think that many gun control measures are an unnecessary because it could contain numerous unwanted or unpredictable problems. Many of the proposals for gun control could be found to be an infringement of citizens’ Second Amendment rights. And ultimately, I do not think that gun control would actually be able to stop some of the mass shootings that have happened in recent years.
Banning certain assault rifles, high capacity magazines and bump stocks could help reduce the massive casualty counts we’ve seen in these shootings, but it won’t stop them.

I think that banning these items now would have the same result as it did the last time there was an assault rifle ban. In 1994 to 2004 there was a ban on AR-15s and high capacity magazines. An article bye Washington Post reported evidence that the ban had little effect in criminal activity although this may have been due to the ban’s various loopholes. e article said there were small increases specifically in the rate of mass shootings that began when the ban was lifted, but there has been no direct evidence between the ban and increases in mass shootings.

Though I am against most forms of gun control I do believe there is an appropriate level that could be enforced. I believe that limiting certain people on having rearms could help the problem. I also believe that increased and improved background checks could help prevent mass shootings. This would also require increased background checks and screenings for potential buyers of rearms.

I also believe there should be an age limit placed on purchasing a rearm as there is now. The age limits do vary from state to state. The current age limit enforced in Texas is 18 years old for a shotgun or rifle (longun),and 18 for any type of ammunition. It’s 21 for a handgun, which I think is a reasonable limit. I think the age limit is reasonable because if people can join the military at 18 and use these weapons they should be able to use them domestically.

If an extreme form of gun control was implemented there would be severe problems. Guns would still be bought illegally and it could create even more problems. For example, the prohibition on alcohol in the 1920s created gangsters such as Al Capone and the proliferation of organized crime. The same type of black market could develop for guns if restrictions make it too difficult to buy guns. Guns can also be built by obtaining pieces from different sources so gun control would be ineffective.

Unlike other gun rights supporters, I do not agree with proposals to arm teachers to combat mass shootings in schools.

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Gun control is necessary to keep public peace

I, and many others, feel that following the recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland Florida,  that  we desperately need some type of gun control laws.

Kids should be able to get an education without the overhanging threat of dying everyday. Kids should react to reports of others dying like “Oh, just another school shooting. At least it wasn’t here.” We shouldn’t have to keep brushing mass killings under the rug just because of arguments that gun control would somehow limit one’s ability  of self defense or to hunt.

I’m not saying ban all guns, period, and take every gun in the United States away from everyone. All I’m saying is we need logical restrictions. Specifically, we need common sense limits on age and mental fitness. We need enforced and thorough background checks to make sure someone is fit to own a gun.

In Japan, before anyone can even lay their hands on a gun for hunting and sport shooting, they must attend classes and pass written and practical exams. They must then undergo psychological assessments to determine if they are fit to own a firearm. Police background checks are exhaustive and even extend to the gun owners’ relatives. I really do believe that this level of forethought and precaution is needed here in the United States given that 34 mass shooting incidents have happened up to February 21 of this year alone.

While there is an age limit to purchase a gun in Texas, the minimum age is 18 years old for a shotgun or rifle and 21 for a handgun. Federal law has no minimum age for long guns and their ammo. When it actually comes down to it it’s harder for an 18 year old to get a lottery ticket then it is to get a gun and that quite frankly is ridiculous.

A frequent argument used by gun rights supporters is that stricter gun laws will only make it harder for law abiding citizens to buy a gun, and the “criminals” will continue to buy them on the black market.

I’m not going to deny that the black market exists and people are crazy and yes there could be a Prohibition Era comparison that could be made. So yes guns will still be bought on the black market. However, to the Prohibition Era argument, alcohol is exponentially easier to make than an entire AR-15 with ammo, meaning it is easier to get alcohol out to a buyer than specialized ammunition.

Another alternative that gun rights activists propose is arming teachers. It is simply ridiculous to imagine that teachers would be able to successfully take down a shooter when it takes police officers on average 21 weeks to undergo that kind of training. This whole “good guy with a gun can stop it” mentality is toxic and is just a way to sell more guns. Arming teachers would only end up with more people dead or injured. Expexting teachers to be able to keep steady in an active shooter scenario and fire back with accuracy to kill or incapacitate is something out of movies. It simply doesn’t apply in real life, and even it it miraculously works out, the teacher is still going to be firing near students.

Even if we give teachers appropriate training where is the funding going to come from? The tree in the White House courtyard? No, it would come from taxes — our taxes. Millions of dollars are needed just to get the proper training to handle a gun, not to mention the cost of the guns themselves. This begs the question of what kind of gun a teacher would be armed with? Assault weapons? AR-15s? Handguns?

We as a country can’t even afford to give teachers basic supplies like markers, paper and pencils. So how are we magically going to afford to train and arm teachers?

According to the  2nd Amendment of the Constitution, “a well regulated militia, being necessary to secure a free state, and the right to bear Arms shall not be infringed.” The first part of that is what is ignored.

Take one look at the history behind that statement when it was made in 1786. Fresh out of the Revolutionary War it was illegal to band together and fight an oppressive government. The framers of the Constitution feared the government becoming too powerful with no way of stopping it without another Revolutionary War. They wrote the 2nd Amendment to absolutely ensure that the people had the right to fight the government if it came down to it.

This isn’t about citizens owning guns for themselves; it’s about having the ability to organize a citizen led militia to defend ourselves if the government gets out of control so we could avoid the need for another revolution.

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