The Struggle of Gun Control

As elections draw near, the issue of gun control has sparked furious debates between the Democrats and the Republicans. Although the battle rages on, no compromise has been reached. All that is left from the endless arguments are hurt feelings and increasing vigor for each position.

The deep rooted love for guns from one side, combined with the naivety of guns from the other side, creates a disparity between the two views. In order to fix violence in America, the con side needs to understand the opposing position. To solve the core issue, one must understand why people have such a love for guns. To pro-gun people, owning a gun is an extension of their freedom, to the same extent as the freedom of speech. By using the Second Amendment, people are able to defend their rights in the case of government corruption. Guns also allow groups such as militias to form and prevent tyranny by the government. Similar to how hate groups and racism are enabled through the freedom of speech, violence due to guns is just another price to pay for more freedom.

Gun activists have another threat looming over them. Generally, gun lovers are law abiding citizens who follow the rules and regulations set forth by the government. By taking away firearms from the general populace, however, people worry over the lack of self-defense against thieves and criminals who have no qualms against breaking the law. As more gun control laws are passed, a dichotomy is created where law abiding citizens have fewer tools for self-defense while criminals grow in power.

However, in terms of statistics gun control laws work well in other countries. According to CBS, America has the highest rate of gun violence compared to other high-income countries. This statistic, although true, is interpreted incorrectly. It is reasonable for the U.S. to have a higher gun-related violence frequency because we have more guns. An apt comparison would be car related accidents. If one nation were to have more cars than another, and also had a higher rate of car accidents, cars are not to blame. It is not reasonable to outlaw cars in this sense just because a country without cars has fewer accidents. The same logic is applied to gun regulation and control, where the elimination of guns is not necessarily the right choice.

Strict regulations would seem like the most effective choice in preventing these gun related deaths, but they are not as effective as one may think. Despite the heavy punishments against minor drugs such as marijuana, or even heavier drugs like heroin or cocaine, drug usage still runs rampant within the United States. Furthermore, because all of these drugs are sold in a black market, there are no regulations and each drug becomes more hazardous. Drug dealers and criminals who do not follow the law create a dangerous environment that could have been controlled by the government. This can be seen as a cautionary tale for gun control laws. While it is true that guns will be sold less in America, unregulated black markets would surface for criminals.

That is not to say that regulations should be completely blown off, moderation is key to a safer America. But the question is where do we draw the line of gun control? In order to understand this concept better, a comprehensive understanding of guns and violence is required. As an old saying goes, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” However, guns can extend the ability for a person to kill another.

There are many guns available, each with different uses. whether it is a hunting rifle, a pistol for self-defense, or a recreational rifle, each gun will require different rules and regulations framed in logical ways. For example, hunting rifles should obviously require a hunting license with safety lessons. Recreational assault rifles should have heavy regulations, such as where they are permitted for usage, what type of bullets are used, and what kind of people are allowed to use them. A gun enthusiast would think enforcing the same regulations on every gun is illogical.

Ultimately, guns are not the cause of gun violence. Gun violence is just an effect due to deep-rooted problems. Banning guns is the equivalent of putting a Dora band-aid over a gushing wound. Sure it might help a little, but there are a variety of better ways to solve the issue.

The underlying problem behind gun violence is the lack of opportunities presented to the unfortunate. There are many reasons for this lack of opportunity: mental diseases, a lack of a supportive infrastructure in schools, or maybe just a bad time in the economy. These problems lead to people finding the easiest way out, which is sometimes violence. How many gang-related deaths would occur if poor neighborhoods were given the appropriate schooling and chances at life? In the end, guns are nothing more than a distraction from a much larger problem.

MHS Union

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