Gun Control

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English 1301-Composition I
Mrs. Watts
November 27, 2012
Gun Control
In the wake of multiple shootings such as the theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, should U.S. gun control laws be reformed, or would that result in the violation of constitutional rights? From the day the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted on December 15, 1791, giving U.S. citizens the right to carry firearms, the issue of gun control has been the subject of many debates. And the effects of more strictly regulated Gun control would be detrimental to our society. Gun control is unreasonable for the following reasons: 1) the right to own and carry weapons is granted by the Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court, 2) the majority of U.S. gun owners do not represent a threat to society, 3) and many of the states that allow citizens to carry concealed weapons have lower crime rates than those that do not. 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" (US Const., amend. 2). The amendment was adopted for a number of reasons, ranging from wanting to give U.S. residents the right to protect themselves in case the government waged war against the people, and the right to provide for their families by hunting with firearms, to ensuring their right to defend their homes against invaders. Basically, the second amendment was mainly put in place for our protection. The 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, upheld that right (No. 7-290. Supreme Ct. of the US. 26 June 2008). The Court's ruling led to the lifting of a ban on handguns that had existed for 32 years. In an interview with the Washington Post, Lawyer Alan Gura noted that there had been "all sorts of predictions that there would be blood on the streets and carnage and all kinds of Wild West stuff if people in the District of Columbia were allowed to legally own guns. Obviously, that has not come to pass" (Gun Control Reform). Despite what critics of the case may say, this court case put to rest all of the doubts of our right in a legal fashion. Nevertheless, many supporters of gun control reform still exist and many claim: the large rate of violent shootings in the U.S. can be traced to the country's lazy stance on gun legislation (Gun Control). These people believe that the banning or more restrictions on our second amendment right would mean it’d be harder to get guns…seriously? One example that comes to mind is the Prohibition Act of 1920, we see how well that played out, and it certainly didn’t stop people from drinking. It only made people that would sell it richer. Also, what about illegal drugs? Just because it is illegal doesn’t mean that people are doing it. Even kids, nowadays, can get their hands on many illegal drugs. Therefore, the banning of our second amendment right wouldn’t keep guns out of the U.S. According to a Police foundation study in 1996, Americans currently own an estimated 230 million guns--almost one gun for every U.S. resident (Kopel). Therefore, the majority of U.S. gun owners do not represent a threat to society. Banning guns would only take them out of the hands of honest citizens and give criminals more of an advantage over unarmed citizens. Criminals don’t care if they break the law, or they wouldn’t be considered criminals in the first place. Isn’t that the reason why we are trying to ban guns, to reduce crime? That could leave us law-abiding citizen in more danger and it could hinder citizens' abilities to defend themselves against such criminals. There will be no law that can keep guns out of the hands of criminals or to stop criminals from using them illegally. Gun buyers and sellers are already subject to many government regulations, and those who break gun laws already face harsh penalties. Instead of trying to pass new laws, the government should focus on prosecuting people using crime...
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