• September 29, 2020
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Gun control has been in debate for a long time. Having gun control laws will help people more than it will harm them. (Photo in public domain)

Introduction

Gun control first became an issue after the assassination of President John Kennedy. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968 to “keep firearms out of the hands of those not legally entitled to possess them because of age, criminal background, or incompetence,” said Robert Longley, a US government and history expert. Although the government passed this act in 1968, US citizens are still fighting for gun control laws to prevent mass shootings and other types of gun violence. 

The 2nd Amendment 

The Second Amendment 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,” according to the Legal Information Institution. Some argue that the Founding Fathers meant that “only those citizens who are organized into official militias…have the right to bear arms,” said Glen Martin, a writer for Cal Alumni Association

A militia is “a body of citizens organized for military service,” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary. Does this mean that only soldiers have the right to use firearms? Scholars and advocates have been debating over what the second amendment truly means for years. Others say that the amendment gives all citizens the right to own a legal weapon. 

Mass Shootings

Having gun control laws can reduce the number of mass shootings in America. In 2019 alone, there were “417 mass shootings,” said Jason Silverstein, a journalist. There were more mass shootings than there were days in the year. There was a shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas killing 22 people. A shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in San Francisco killed three people including two children and injured 12. In Dayton, Ohio a man killed nine people leaving 27 injured. All this to say that if there were gun control laws these people might still be alive.

Other countries like Australia refuse to be like the United States when it comes to gun violence. “I would dread the thought that this country would go down the American path,” said Prime Minister John Howard at a gun rally. After the mass shooting in 1996, the Australian government took the appropriate steps to end gun violence. The government implemented the National Firearm Agreement, which resulted in the banning of several firearms and the buyback of semi-automatics and other high-capacity guns. Since the NFA “Australia hadn’t experienced a fatal mass shooting in which five or more people [were] killed,” said Sean Rossman, an assistant Washington editor. If the US were to do something similar to what Australia did, we might experience the same results that Australia experienced.          

Banning High Capacity magazines and assault weapons

High-capacity magazines or LMCs can hold up to 100 rounds before needing to be reloaded. Using high-capacity magazines with an assault weapon can result in a high number of deaths and injuries in a shooting. In the Dayton, Ohio shooting, the gunman used a high-capacity magazine that he legally purchased. He was able to “unload 41 rounds in 30 seconds,” said Emanuella Grinberg, a multimedia journalist. Hawaii, California, and five other states have a ban on high-capacity magazines that contain more than 15 rounds. 

“LMCs, are disproportionately used by mass shooters to kill and injure large numbers of people quickly,” according to AGT News Release. There is no reason to use LMC, so to reduce the number of mass shootings more states should ban them. 

It’s Too Easy To Buy A Gun

Only 16 states require gun dealers to have a license. Since these states don’t require gun dealers to have a license, they don’t have to run background checks on their buyers. Running background checks can prohibit many people from buying guns inlcuding “felons, fugitives, undocumented immigrants, drug addicts and people committed to mental institutions,” said Elisha Fieldstadt, a breaking news reporter. Without running background checks these people whose background check would normally restrict them from buying guns will have an opportunity to get them legally. 

How Gun Control Can Help

Gun control laws will do more help than harm if the government were to implement them. Having gun control laws can reduce the number of dangerous people with guns because they will have to pass a background check before buying their guns. The number of people killed or injured in mass shootings can also decrease if the government bans LMCs over 10 rounds. Having gun control laws can save lives. 

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