Gun Control: The Greatest Debate of the Century
Throughout the past 50 years, Gun Control has become one of the hottest debates in America. Since the beginning of the 19th century violence in the USA has been on the rise, with more and more people dying every year, especially by guns. According to the Federal Bureau of Justice, every year over 100,000 Americans fall victim to gun violence. In 2010, 31,076 Americans were killed in homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings. There have been dozens of mass shootings since 2000 that have left hundreds dead and injured, and thousands of families torn apart by the tragedy of losing loved ones. These factors have propelled Gun Control into the minds of all people, wondering whether citizens should have the right to own guns, and if so, what restrictions should be placed on those rights in order to better protect the American people. However, these restrictions only impact the law-abiding citizens, since criminals are defined as criminals because they don’t follow the laws and rules set by the government. Therefore, Gun Control must either be the elimination of all guns, or restrictions set to prevent criminals from getting their hands on firearms, otherwise the idea is worthless.
In order to debate over the Gun Control, one must define Gun Control. Many people assume its regulations set on the selling, purchasing, and use of guns, while others believe it’s the complete ban of guns in America. Many Pro-Gun advocates use the Second Amendment to justify the argument that there shouldn’t be any (or at least very relaxed) regulations on firearms because the constitution was written to protect that right. Contrary to popular belief, there was gun control before, during, and after the Second Amendment was ratified (1791) in America. “Some examples of gun control throughout colonial America included criminalizing the transfer of guns to Catholics, slaves, indentured servants, and Native Americans; regulating the storage of gun powder in homes; banning loaded guns in Boston houses; and mandating participation in formal gathering of troops and door-to-door surveys about guns owned.” (Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?). The founding fathers intended for Americans to have the right to bear arms, but under regulation from the Government, just like anything else that can cause bodily harm. The Pro-Gun Control party argues that stricter laws and regulations will drop gun crime and reduce the amount of mass murders committed with firearms, however, statistics have shown this plan to be flawed. “A Nov. 26, 2013 study found that, between 1980 and 2009, “assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level” and “states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murders.”  While gun ownership doubled in the twentieth century, the murder rate decreased.” (Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?). A prime and perfect example of this is the infamous city of Chicago. Literally referred to as “Chiraq” (combining the war torn country of Iraq and Chicago’s name together) by the young people inhabiting the city, who consider it a war zone. Chicago has become renowned for its incredibly high homicide rate and dangerous gangs, as well as having some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. In 2016, 762 people were murdered in Chicago, 90% of them by guns. That is an average of two murders per day, and more than New York and Los Angeles combined. The city also saw 1100 more shootings in 2016 than it did the previous year. Some blame this on the racial tension between police and blacks, some blame it on the crime-centered culture, and others still blame it on guns. Chicago is a prime example of why the U.S. form of Gun Control does not work, since it only applies to people who follow the law, and all of the crimes and murders committed are by people who don’t. The facts and statistics show, Gun Control in its current form does not work, and requires change. Statistics and facts also show that tightening down on gun owners and modifications to weapons and ammunition does not help against gun violence. Most would wonder at this point, well what will fix the problem then? The answer lies not in politics, pacifism or gun control, but rather in humans.
The Crime Prevention Research Center shows that the top two countries in the world with the most firearms per capita, Israel and Switzerland, also have some of the lowest firearms homicide rates in the world. Israel has a gun ownership much higher than the US 88.8 guns per 100 people, but dodges the survey’s conducted because technically the guns in possession by the people are owned by the government. Although the United Kingdom has a much lower firearm homicide rate due to its strict gun laws, the murder rate in the UK per 100,000 people is 722, while Israel’s is 159. Now this begs the question, how are more people being killed per capita in the UK than in Israel, when almost everyone in Israel owns a gun, and the complete opposite of that in the United Kingdom? The answer lies not in politics, pacifism, or gun control, but in humans. Statistics and studies show that if you take away the guns from people, the murder rate does not decrease, the firearm murder rate decreases, while the murder rate stays the same. Is murder any less of a murder based on the weapon used to commit it? Obviously not. When you take away guns from people, they kill each other with knives. When you take knives away from people, they kill each other with stones. When you take stones away from people, they kill each other with sticks. When you take sticks away from people, they will kill each other with their bare hands and teeth.
Guns are simply a tool used to kill, either for murder or defense. Eliminating them will not change anything except the tool used to commit the murder. Gun Control is like putting a Band-Aid on a cancer ridden person and expecting them to go on with their life care free. In order to stop murder and homicide and violent crime, America must come together to instill into younger generations the value of human life, and the value of life itself. The United States must severely punish those who commit these violent crimes, as many sit inside a jail cell with more amenities and privileges than those in the American ghetto, let alone those in poverty around the world. The justice system must act as a deterrent to these acts, instead of a system filled with loopholes and safe havens for criminals. The great country of America must come together and instead of focusing on gun control, focus on troubled kids, abused teenagers, depressed adults, and the hurting people in this nation rather than inanimate press of cold steel. There is no doubt in the minds of American citizens that a major problem is arise in the Nation of Freedom, however, all must remember the answer to this issue lies not in politics, pacifism or gun control, but rather in us as humans.
“Crime > Violent crime: Israel and United Kingdom compared”, NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Israel/United
“COMPARING MURDER RATES AND GUN OWNERSHIP ACROSS COUNTRIES”, 31st March 2014, Crime Prevention Research Center, http://crimeresearch.org/2014/03/comparing-murder-rates-across-countries/
“Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?”, ProCon.org, 6th June 2016, http://gun-control.procon.org/
“Public Views About Guns”, Pew Research Center, 26th August 2016, http://www.people-press.org/2016/08/26/public-views-about-guns/#total
“About Gun Violence”, Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence, http://www.bradycampaign.org/about-gun-violence