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The Charles Street Times

Gun Control in America: Pros and Cons

Adrian Bak, Staff Writer

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Due to the recent Las Vegas shooting, the subject of gun control is brought up once again. Many politicians have had discussions on this matter, but many share different views on the topic. Although what should be done about the gun issue in America is heavily debated, what will end up happening is unknown.

The belief that guns cause violence is not a new theory. People have been attempting to completely get rid of guns for decades, and they have good reasons to try. America has a very large amount of gun violence cases and deaths compared to other countries around the world. The other countries that have as much gun violence as America are not as advanced or civilized, and many of those countries are involved in wars. What is this saying about America? America’s murder and crime rate is awfully high, including 373 people out of 100,000 being the victims of violent crimes, such as rape, homicide, and robbery, and 2,487 people out of 100,000 being the victims of property crimes, such as burglary and vehicle theft, just in 2015 alone. Many people put the blame on guns. Guns are easy to acquire, so virtually anyone can get and use one. Anyone, regardless of their education, status, training, or mental state can acquire guns and hurt or kill others. In addition,these weapons making it easier to rob stores or commit other crimes. Guns were made for violence, and there are few other uses for them.

Americans that support stricter gun laws may argue that after a mass shooting in Australia in 1996, strict gun laws saved the country. The government decided to take action and banned all semi-automatic firearms along with many other guns in Australia. Nearly 650,000 guns were banned to date. They were bought from the owners and were destroyed. A study done by the Australian Institute of Criminology proved that this information was true, and that the movement was effective. Since then, there have been no mass shootings at all, and crime rate in general had decreased greatly. The rate of homicides had dropped to nearly zero, and other rates for crimes such as robbery dropped from a rate of 140 victims per 100,000 people to only 60 per 100,000 people since the year 2000. When asked about this topic, Daniel Webster, director of the John Hopkins Center of Gun Policy and Research, stated that it is “difficult to pinpoint precisely which aspect of the policy contributed to this success, but the substantial reduction in the population’s exposure to semi-automatic long guns capable of accepting large-capacity magazines (LCMs) for ammunition is likely to have been key.” Because of this event, many Americans think that a similar action would make America a better and less violent country.

Though the violent events continue in America, others believe that guns are not to blame. There is a common belief among those that are against stricter gun laws that people are the only cause of gun violence. Though guns are popular weapons when it comes to hurting others, other things such as cars have been used. Devil’s advocate can be made that even though dozens of incidents where a car was driven through a crowd of people by a terrorist have occurred recently, no one has made any attempt to ban cars. Though guns are tools created for violence, they don’t have to be used as mass murder weapons. Many gun owners use them for hunting purposes. Whether they sell the animals they hunt or cook and eat them, this activity can help people survive. Other gun owners prefer to own the weapons as a means of self-defense. In case someone attempts to rob the house of one of these people, they might want to own a gun to potentially scare away the criminal. In the worst case scenario, the robber can be shot at and potential injuries that could have occurred to the victim would be avoided.

A big argument can be made that people who are against strict gun laws are follow the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment of the Constitution declares that every citizen of America has the right to bear arms. The Constitution is something that most Americans like to follow on a day-to-day basis, and some find the idea of going against one of the amendments to be insane. Another good argument against strict gun control is the fact that Prohibition did not work in the 1900’s. Back when people tried to ban alcohol, the illegal selling of alcohol continued and never went away. After the failure, alcohol was made legal again. Many people are convinced that because guns are loved by so many citizens of America, the same thing would happen, and banning guns would do nothing to change the rate at which they are circulated.

Though there are many arguments for or against this topic, no direct action is being made yet. Until action is finally taken to change the gun situation, all we can do is wait and make predictions.

 

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