Against Gun Control
What purpose does our government serve? The U.S. Constitution beautifully declares this, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity...”(U.S. Constitution, Preamble). The inauguration of the U.S. Constitution was put in place to protect its U.S. citizens and their natural-born rights. However, can we the people, really rely on the government to fulfill this act of protection when the actions of our own government compromise our rights? For example, the issuing of stricter gun laws. The government should not keep inducing gun laws, as stricter gun laws and licensing will not effectively stop criminals from using violence, for this reason, the government should focus more on reforming the penalties dealt to criminals convicted of gun violence.
First and foremost, imposing more gun control laws, that is breaking the promise to protect our rights- our constitutional rights. The Bill of Rights notably specifies U.S. citizens’ unalienable rights, one of which is the right to bear arms. The second amendment states “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” (U.S. Constitution, Art. 2). It is clear here that every U.S. citizen is born with the right to own firearms and that the government shall not impede upon this right. But, when gun laws keep being imposed, that makes it impractical and nearly impossible for an American to own a gun. In 2010, a case arose when Otis McDonald, a retired maintenance engineer, wanted to purchase a handgun for personal home defense purposes, but was unable to due to Chiago’s requirement that all handguns be registered. Furthermore, making it more impossible was the fact that the city of Chicago was refusing all handgun registrations after the banning of all handguns in 1982 (Duignan). During this time in Chicago, the prohibitions and restrictions of handguns limited Americans to only certain firearms. So how would one protect themselves from an armed robber if you can’t legally arm yourself for situations like this? Should the government be able to dictate what guns people can get? Of course not, but the government advocates this by saying that stricter gun laws will prove favorable in reducing crime and violence. In reality, gun control fails to deal with either.
As stated before, an increase in stricter gun control laws will not solve the issue of violence. Take the city of Chicago for example. The state of Illinois has some of the tightest gun laws in the country and is one of seven states to require: a background check, licenses or permits to purchase any firearm, extensive waiting periods, etc. In 2016, statistics showed that Chicago had over 4,000 shooting victims- that’s about 25.1 gun homicides per 100,000 residents (Kurtzleben). Even though Illinois had some of the strictest gun laws, it still had plenty of crime and violence in those six years. This goes to prove that gun laws do not resolve the issues of crime and violence. Another issue to debunk; after the many recent chain of events of mass murders, it is often speculated or assumed that mental health is the root cause. But according to these two doctors, “Surprisingly little population-level evidence supports the notion that individuals diagnosed with mental illness are more likely than anyone else to commit gun crimes” (Metzl and MacLeish). Thus proving another point that in this case, as well as numerous others, the human is mentally unstable, making them the threat, not the gun.
In the U.S. alone, there have been over 18 million concealed carry permit holders accounted for in 2019. According to a 2018 article by National Shooting Sports Foundation, it was reported by the National Carry Academy that concealed carry permit holders obtained through the NCA jumped 120 percent, with women making up half that number... (Keane). A study on feminist criminology by Jennifer Carlson, concluded by her seventy-one interviewees said “During my interviews, gun carriers told me that guns leveled differences among men and between men and women and allowed women to defend themselves against crime as much as men” (The Equalizer?). Both studies support the importance of having a gun, as it is the only “equalizer” between two humans with contrasting physical differences. In the spring of 2019, in Tulsa, OK, a woman reported shooting and killing her attacker. Both the man and woman could be seen through CCTV footage vigorously struggling with each other, then a break happens, the attacker reengages, but falls to the ground and that’s when the woman takes the shot and finishes her attacker. The outcome would’ve been very different had she not had her gun on her. Maybe the government should consider the safety of our women and elders before inducing more gun laws.
There are plenty of Americans who’ll tell you that having more gun control laws, that’ll equate to lower rates of crime and violence. Between the years 1999 through 2016, there were 213,175 homicides (CDC). With the given stat, although it is a valid and valuable point that fewer guns may mean fewer gun deaths and can be argued, it needs to be made clear that having more gun control doesn’t mean a reduction in crime or violence. In fact, in an interview with John Lott, author of “More Guns, Less Crimes” states the opposite “There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate—as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates”. He makes it a point that there is a direct correlation in criminal behaviors to the number of gun owners, as they are less likely to engage in criminal activities knowing that the ratio of people exercising their right to own a firearm is rising.
The bottom line is, having gun control only infringes upon our second amendment, does nothing to solve the actual issue of violence, and contravenes U.S. citizens’ freedom to bear arms for self-protection. Not to mention, criminals, no matter the law, will not abide by them. Every American is born with the unalienable right to bear arms and is a right that cannot be taken away. The purpose of the government is to protect those rights, yet, they’re the same ones violating them. Perhaps it is time for all of America to join hands in rejecting these compromises, so that further violations of our rights are not encouraged, making it so we can focus on real solutions such as reforming harsher penalties for criminals convicted of gun violence!