Debate about it: Gun control in the United States of America

James Hughes, Staff Writer

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A sensitive subject as always, news headlines are a constant reminder of an issue plaguing society. On the matter of gun control, there’s a consistent emotional backing to either side, with those supporting gun control looking to stop shootings, and those opposed seeking to protect Second Amendment rights.

While both sides seem to have valid claims both for and against gun control legislation, the most pragmatic situation would be to have some form of a compromise for both sides. In viewing the quest for rights, what must be kept in mind is that a simple limitation won’t snowball into a complete removal of all rights, and all guns won’t be seized.

A generalized view of gun control brings to mind complete seizures of weapons and key limitations on all forms of firearms; however, this simply isn’t the case. Gun control isn’t characterized by a complete removal of guns, rather it is more practical solutions that combat the problem at its roots.

One such solution is the implementation of a universal background checking system, where the potential firearm purchaser goes through an extensive check before being able to purchase and receive a weapon. In a study conducted by Boston University, they found that in an analysis of the top twenty five gun laws, that only nine specifically-targeted laws were truly effective. Leading the way was a background check law with the potential to stop gun related crime and death by around 62% by themselves, but when paired with other legislation the potential increased to 80% on the nationwide level.

Key opposers to such gun legislation are pro-rights lobbying groups such as the NRA (the National Rifle Associatiom), who argue that it’s an American’s right to be able to have no restrictions on gun ownership based solely on the Second Amendment. However, the basis for this is actually incredibly flawed for a couple of reasons, the first and foremost being the development of newer forms of weaponry that weren’t even thought of during the Bill of Rights’s framing, and that in some circumstances rights must be given up in order to benefit or protect a larger group.

While I agree that some action should be taken, the removal of all guns within the United States is not an option. Even though other countries such as Australia have benefited from the removal of guns from society, the United States is holistically different from other nations. Guns are needed for citizens to protect citizens and the removal is an infringement on their rights and would be unconstitutional. Action must be taken to curb gun violence, but can notimpose on citizens’ rights.

Overall, in order to lower gun violence, some form of further action must be taken rather than standing idly.

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