Britney is a licensed clinical social worker and mom to two boys.
Gun Control Arguments
The 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, among the many other mass shooting tragedies that have taken place in recent history, has the entire country chattering about gun control. Many people are angry and believe that the lives lost are not being remembered. But what better way to honor their precious little lives than creating new legislation, the American way that prevents this from happening, hopefully ever again.
Gun control in the United States is rooted in the Constitution under the Second Amendment. In essence, the Second Amendment was created so that the people would have arms to overthrow a tyrannical government. Federally, this interpretation has been upheld, most recently in 2010.
Gun laws then vary based on each state’s rulings. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence notes that “40% of gun sales nationwide take place without a criminal background check” and that “2,793 children and teens were killed by guns in 2009… along with 75 adult Americans every day”. You can find a synopsis of each state’s gun laws here.
Quick Poll- before you read
Gun Issuance Laws in the United States
Explanation of Terms
- Unrestricted: No permit is required to carry a concealed firearm
- Shall Issue: Authorities shall issue a permit to those meeting law requirements, regardless of intent
- May Issue: Applicant must demonstrate a specific need for the use of a firearm
- No Issue: No concealed carry permits will be issued or honored (as in those from other states)
Arguments for Guns
- The Second Amendment of the Constitution has been interpreted that citizens have the right to bear arms. Specifically, there are two clauses. The first reads, “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.” In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment does give individuals the right to own guns for lawful purposes, including protection of homes and self-defense. This was appealed in 2010 but was again, affirmed. How many more times are we going to bother the Supreme Court when it has already made a ruling?
- Citizens have the right to own arms to protect themselves. If someone had guns on school campuses, gunmen looking to cause major damage could be shot and more lives would be saved. Statistics have shown that in the places with high rates of homicide by firearm, there is no real correlation with gun ownership.
- Hunting and shooting are legitimate sports that take skill. Hunting also provides a necessary service of keeping certain animal populations from becoming a problem. This also provides meat for people to eat and a way for people to be self-sufficient.
- Hunting, gun collecting, and firearm sports stimulate the economy. Over $123 million is collected by the federal government from firearm and firearm related sales. That's not counting the $525 million collected for licensing and fees. The number of people employed by the firearms industry is over 35,000.
Arguments Against Guns
- Many issues were seen by the Supreme Court more than once. If the social justice laws of 1964 were since 20 or 30 years earlier, they would have been voted against as well. The Constitution was made to be slightly malleable depending on the social culture of its people. The United States is a progressive place, and the population makeup is continually changing. Shouldn’t the laws reflect this?
- I read a statistic in college that you are more likely to get hurt by your own gun than you are to be robbed, the thing you are protecting yourself from. Just owning a gun puts you more at risk for being hurt by that gun, so why do it?
The NRA writes on their website, “gun sales in the state [Virginia] have climbed 73% since 2006, while the number of violent crimes involving guns has declined by more than 27%.” Interestingly enough, the Guardian published this statistic, saying:
"The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world- there are 89 guns for every 100 Americans, compared to 6 in England and Wales… And the murder figures themselves are astounding for Brits, used to around 550 murders per year. In 2011 - the latest year for which detailed statistics are available - there were 12,664 murders in the US. Of those, 8,583 were caused by firearms."
Although the statistics do not show a correlation between gun ownership and gun violence, they do not take other factors into account. California is a heavily populated state, with over 239 people per square foot. If a California man accidentally fires his gun in his yard and kills his neighbor, it is homicide by firearm. It is also more likely that the shot would hit someone because of the population density. This would not be the same for a man in New Jersey, where the population density is the lowest of all fifty states.
Adding to the confusion is the use of the term homicide. Homicide is not the same as murder; it is merely the act of one human being killing another. Homicides by firearms could include accidental deaths, including those from hunting accidents. Gun ownership may not lead to a correlation to murder, but it certainly leads to homicide, and one life lost to a firearm is one too many.
Also, these statistics may be skewed because of plea bargaining. Often pleas are made for crimes that didn’t exactly happen. A man may have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, firearm but because he takes a plea, the firearm charge is dropped, along with a few years on his sentence. These types of changes may not be reflected in the stats.
- Hunting is not a legitimate process for animal population control. The deer and elk population has recently been attacked by coyotes, their natural predators. Hunting is just another way humans are destroying the natural order of the animal kingdom. There are very specific laws concerning what kind, sex, and how many animals one may hunt in certain areas. The math, however, is estimated, and those as young as 16 are trusted to be able to discern from a male or female animal. There is too much room for error. Now we are talking about lost human and animal lives.
It is rare for a person to solely rely on hunting to survive or make a living. There have also been reports on the healthfulness of eating deer meat after it has been shot. Oftentimes, the lead from the bullets ruins the meat for human consumption. The population issue also ties in that some are bred in captivity to be eaten, so why do we need to hunt them?
- NASCAR is also a legitimate recreational sport. However, those who own NASCAR racecars are still not permitted to drive their cars around going 200 mph. Gun owners and hunters should not be allowed to carry their sport tools around town, either.
Types of guns also matter. A handgun is not used for hunting, and yet neither is an AK-47 (both legal). The minimum level of ammunition and power for the specific activity should be closely monitored.
We can all pinpoint little defining moments in our lives. These shape how we react to the world and what we believe in. I have been a passionate supporter of gun control my entire life. The saying goes, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” when the truth is guns make death easier to dish out.
When I was 2 years old, my father committed suicide with a gun from his collection. Not long before this, my maternal grandmother was murdered by a liquor store owner with a double-barrel shotgun who thought she was trying to rob the store. I share these personal stories to inspire you to search your own background and figure out if this is an issue you can just stand by and watch innocent people continue to get hurt.
I’m not saying the guns were the main issue because all people have issues, but that is precisely my point. It is the access to guns that is the problem. We bar access to everything. You must be a certain age to see specific movies, to buy super glue and spray paint. So why is it still so easy to buy a gun?!
I tried my best to show both sides, although every piece will have its bias. I do not necessarily agree with all of the arguments for either side. This is meant as an informative piece of your discovery into this issue. Please, do your own research and share what you find!
Quick Poll- now that you've read
Sources and References
- So You Think You Know the Second Amendment?
- Hunting Statistics and Economics
- National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, & Wildlife-Associated Recreation
- The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
- National Rifle Association
- The Guardian
- Gun Laws in Arizona
- The Washington Post
- NRA Institute for Legislative Action
- Statistic Brain
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
hi my name jayden spence on November 19, 2018:
i like work because im stupid
WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on October 17, 2018:
"Aside from hunting rifles and shotguns, every other type of firearm requires some sort of background check."
All retail firearms sales require a FBI background check. That includes hunting rifles and shotguns.
Crowded California on October 17, 2018:
"239 people per square foot" in California is a lot of people. Are they hoisting each other on shoulders or how does that work?
Liberal Hysteria on April 22, 2018:
Emotional experiences amount to nothing when it comes to an international topic. Leave your emotions out of this argument and remember how to write a non biased both-sided article when you are remembering how veterans of this country fought and died to protect our 2nd amendment. The reader of a factual article on a topic doesn't care about your past experiences.
Will on March 15, 2018:
I am sorry to hear about your father and grandmother. These are terrible tragedies that should not have happened.
You do hit upon a part of the anti-gun argument that I would like to address. You mention that it is the access to firearms that is the problem, not the firearms themselves. There are two points I'd like to make. First off, there is very little unrestricted access to firearms. Aside from hunting rifles and shotguns, every other type of firearm requires some sort of background check. Carrying a concealed firearm requires more background checks. All of these require the filling out of forms. There is a minimum age limit on the purchase of firearms. Firearm ownership is restricted. Much like a race car owner is not allowed to drive his race car on city streets, (restrictions are far more serious than simple speeding. Working headlights, and other requirements keep typical race cars from being street legal) a gun owner is not allowed to discharge his weapon at will. Gun discharges are investigate-able by law enforcement. So, there already is regulation in place for firearms. In fact, in many cases where guns were legally attained and used for unlawful practices, it is discovered that there were failures within the system, such as people not entered into criminal databases in various states. The restrictions we now have on weapons need to be enforced.
Secondly, legal access to guns is one thing, but illegal access is another. We could outlaw the sale of guns outright, and all we would be doing is creating a black market for guns. This has already happened once in history. Prohibition should tell people all they need to know about banning anything. The drug war today is another example of the impossibility of banning something outright. It simply won't work.
Trashing opinions and solutions is easy. Offering up other solutions is another. I am a big fan of Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO). This would be a way to target specific people as opposed to the entire population. The vast majority of gun owners are law abiding and would never use there guns for unlawful purposes. A targeted ability to confiscate guns, or deny ownership, that requires due process, seems a good compromise. Of course, the devil is in the details, and what constituted the need fro a restraining order would be one place where this would bog down. I believe there are other, less all encompassing measures that could be implemented. Outlawing bump stocks, for one. Requiring background checks at gun shows would be another.
The important thing is asking questions and discussing in a calm way. Walking out of school demanding the government "do something" accomplishes nothing. The kids from Parkland who vented at the sheriff and NRA spokesperson on CNN accomplishing nothing. Meanwhile, there's a kid whose name escapes me who is a 2nd amend supporter, but he's also met with many in Washington, DC and is helping usher in some of these less sweeping legislative changes. It's all about how you approach it.
hello hello on February 16, 2018:
jkj on September 18, 2017:
WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on April 11, 2017:
Great Hub, Britney!
As a long time gun owner and student of the Second Amendment, I would use all due caution when using know gun control groups as sources.
"I read a statistic in college that you are more likely to get hurt by your own gun than you are to be robbed, the thing you are protecting yourself from. Just owning a gun puts you more at risk for being hurt by that gun, so why do it?"
Two out of every three gun deaths in America are actually suicides like your father's, and those deaths are the source for the cleverly worded statistic that you heard in college, but your source did not tell you that.
Also contrary to the insinuation that thousands of children and teens are killed by guns in the home, less than 500 people a year die of gun accidents and less than 50 are children.
Of the homicides, over 80% are committed by inner city drug minority gangs killing each other or customers who fail to pay. The reason other nations do not have America's crime rate is because they do not have the minorities that commit those crimes. And no, simply telling the truth is not racist.
The fact is, if you are not suicidal, not a gang member, not an illicit drug user, and not a police officer who has to deal with criminals, your chance of being shot in America is almost zero.
youngdoug2nd on November 21, 2016:
keep our guns
TG on October 16, 2016:
Really... 239 ppl/sf?? In California? Handguns and ak47 not used for hunting?? Have you ever even researched this? Handgun hunts are quite popular. New Jersey is the least dense of all 50 states? Have you heard of Alaska, North Dakota, or Oklahoma just to name a few? Hoboken alone probably has more people than most major cities. It's convenient that you had nearly 3 times more to say against guns than for. And what's with the exit question asking if I changed my mind, assuming I came into this for gun control? What a BS and sophomoric article?
YoungDoug on October 14, 2016:
i think it would have been nice to mention that the AK-47 that's legal is NOT automatic.
Konspiracy from Oak Ridge, Tennessee on April 17, 2015:
I enjoy that you've thoroughly posted things from either side of the argument, but I don't believe you've taken everything into consideration regarding our gun rights--I'm not sure you're thinking in the long term for America, and your added tragic experiences with guns, while I sympathize, are possibly skewing your judgment a bit.
Do you believe that by taking the tools used to carry out an action, we are stopping a person from committing the action? If they've made the choice, they WILL act upon it, weather a gun is handy or not.
As morbid as it is, we as human beings have every right to make decisions which may involve whatever tools are at our disposal. At the risk of infringing on your personal take on this issue--your father made a choice, and he is at fault for that choice, not the gun he used.
I've been robbed at gunpoint before, and I was fourteen years old. Let me tell you--if I'd had a gun at my side, I would have blown that motherf*cker away. I've needed the police more times than I can count and they never fail to let me down. I don't trust anyone with my safety apart from myself and a few closely knit loved ones, because law enforcement--AND the people who pass laws--have proven to me very blatantly on numerous occasions that they couldn't care less. So, regardless of what risks come with gun ownership, it should NEVER be infringed upon.
Why is it so easy to buy a gun? Gun ownership one of the last things we have left from early America. Laws are ravaging us and guns are on the list--you'll get your wish, believe me. Gun ownership is under constant attack.
Freedom comes with responsibility. The rest of us gun owners shouldn't be penalized because a handful of people in the world who are exposed to these freedoms don't own up to those responsibilities--Chicago is eaten alive in gun control, as well as New York City. How many people get shot in those places? Quite a lot.
The right to own guns has been explained, now let me inject the logic bit of the argument; if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will HAVE guns.
Questionable individuals who preform these crimes don't obey the law. What makes you think they're going to use legal means to obtain a firearm? They won't pay any mind to the gun control laws. We, the gun owners abiding by the law, will be the only ones affected. We will be restricted and penalized, while the criminals remain unaffected. Gun control does not 'control' anything, except the firearms that ordinary people are allowed to use--not the people who put the rest of us in danger.
So, you must ask yourself; why would they want to slip gun rights away from regular people, while posing as heroes and pretending to pass laws in our best interests?
The government does not have our best interests at heart, and they will use any excuse to oppress us more and more. Grabbing a little control here and there, until we're left with a dying shadow of what we started with. They never let a crisis go to waste. They exploit it and paint a picture for us; make us think that guns are evil and guns are responsible for the deaths of children and criminal behavior.
It's basic psychology; when a person is oppressed, they will revolt.
Stricter laws create more outlaws.
Gun rights come with responsibility--safe handling, restraint, and hopefully resisting any notion you may develop to commit suicide. Just because these issues and responsibilities aren't pretty or pleasant doesn't mean that we shouldn't have the right to make those choices and respond to those responsibilities.
I trust no entity of power with those decisions.
I only trust myself, my loved ones, and the gun I carry.
No one has the right to make those decisions for me. Or you.
brian on January 28, 2015:
You may not realize this but black skin is Very good for protection. Black skin can reduce your chances of getting robbed big time if you are a male. A gun would not make me feel safer. Black skin is all the protection I need.
Britney (author) from Southern California Desert on January 15, 2013:
Statistically you're wrong. But I can see that. :)
MR223 on January 14, 2013:
Dear MrsBkay; We have all had professional instruction, and make frequent trips to the practice range. We are NOT the ones likely to get hurt.
Britney (author) from Southern California Desert on January 11, 2013:
ha ha. Even though your family is MORE LIKELY to get hurt just by having a gun in your home? Hm...
MR223 on January 10, 2013:
If I was under the protection of the Secret Service,or could afford a bodyguard, I would probably be for gun control. Since my family is not ,I'm STRONGLY against it.
Britney (author) from Southern California Desert on January 09, 2013:
Guns and violence wasn't even one of my main topics in this Hub.
Brad Masters from Southern California on January 09, 2013:
I wrote a hub that better describes my comments on gun control not being a solution for reducing violent crimes. That is the issue, not guns or gun control.
The root cause is gangs.
Britney (author) from Southern California Desert on December 28, 2012:
"I am sorry but you cannot control guns anymore than you can control alcohol, tobacco or drugs. Prohibition failed.
During prohibition alcohol was a black market. Any time you control something that the people want, there will be a black market." - Already addressed.
"I seriously doubt that most intentional deaths by guns are even registered, or gotten legally. There are enormous amounts of guns and weapons held by professional gangs, and street gangs. The authorities know where these hot beds are but they don't seem capable to reduce these threats." -This presents a whole new problem. I have serious issues with "cops", especially dirty ones. I grew up in a lifestyle where I had a lot of experience with crooked cops and that skews my perception of most police officers and their motives. :/ I don't think all, or even most cops are bad, but, you know. And if access was tightened it would be harder for those getting guns illegally. That is my stance, and you believe differently, and that is okay.
"No one at the US Government was held accountable for giving guns in Fast and Furious."- I'm confused. lol. I've never seen this movie...
"In addition, mass killing by violent people are not relegated to guns."- Never claimed it was. Life kills a lot of people ;P
"The point here is that there are many weapons that can be used to kill lots of people, yet the root cause in all these scenarios is a person willing to kill."- This is where we differ. The root, in my eyes, is the person's access to and plan for killing.
"Random acts of violence cannot be dealt with before the events. Only law abiding citizens follow the law, and those willing to kill don't care about the law or its consequences."- This same mentality is what has the US's healthcare so messed up. Let's not put stock in preventative measures, let's just deal with the aftermath, even though it's more expensive and costs more lives.
"People can continue to blame the guns, and the NRA but that is not the problem, nor is tighter gun control."- it isn't the entire problem but it is a huge part of it.
"Yes, these events are tragedies, but take a look at the environment we live in today. The movies, video games, TV shows are fountains of violence and they inspire sick minds to do sick things. I believe that these things contribute more to these violent events than the weapons they choose to use in them."- How do we weed these "sick minds" out? I play the same violent video games (although I do not play first person shooter games because of my beliefs and the fact that I suck at them), listen to the same degrading music, and watch the same gory movies. But I am a peaceful, loving person. Why? Because my parents taught me the difference between that and reality. Violence in the media is not the problem in this case, parental involvement and supervision are.
Brad Masters from Southern California on December 22, 2012:
I am sorry but you cannot control guns anymore than you can control alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
During prohibition alcohol was a black market.
Any time you control something that the people want, there will be a black market.
I seriously doubt that most intentional deaths by guns are even registered, or gotten legally. There are enormous amounts of guns and weapons held by professional gangs, and street gangs. The authorities know where these hot beds are but they don't seem capable to reduce these threats.
The US Border Patrol is out manned and out gunned by the Mexican drug cartel on our own southern border. No one at the US Government was held accountable for giving guns in Fast and Furious.
In addition, mass killing by violent people are not relegated to guns. On the Internet, as I understand it, there are directions for making bombs using household ingredients. Also, a couple of gallons of gasoline can kill a lot of people.
The point here is that there are many weapons that can be used to kill lots of people, yet the root cause in all these scenarios is a person willing to kill.
Random acts of violence cannot be dealt with before the events. Only law abiding citizens follow the law, and those willing to kill don't care about the law or its consequences.
People can continue to blame the guns, and the NRA but that is not the problem, nor is tighter gun control.
Yes, these events are tragedies, but take a look at the environment we live in today. The movies, video games, TV shows are fountains of violence and they inspire sick minds to do sick things. I believe that these things contribute more to these violent events than the weapons they choose to use in them.
Britney (author) from Southern California Desert on December 22, 2012:
Either way ;)
Britney (author) from Southern California Desert on December 22, 2012:
"Guns like motor vehicles can be licensed and people tested for safety."- Yes, but not all, not even MOST states require a license to own or conceal carry a gun. AND they don't always do a background check. Private sellers do not have to run FBI checks.
"But prohibition didn't stop people from drinking alcohol, and likewise even the strictest gun control won't prevent the violent and the stupid from killing people."- True. But I look at it this way. There are 100 people. Of these people, 75 are willing to commit a crime. Of these 75, 60 people will use a gun. Gun law comes into effect. Only 45 of these people will go against that law. These are NOT statistics, but I do think laws will prevent more "accidents" or "crime" than if there were none.
"The government needs to protect the people from terrorism of all kinds, but they shouldn't violate the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens."- Absolutely. But I don't want to live in fear of someone hurting me or my loved ones with an AK-47, who got it legally even.
"So the point is to realize that the people that will do these acts of violence are not impeded by the laws."- I absolutely disagree. This is NOT a fact. It is an opinion. Read this: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2... where the tag line reads "In part by forbidding almost all forms of firearm ownership, Japan has as few as two gun-related homicides a year." It begs the same question that the clip from Bowling for Columbine asks; Why are Americans so different?
"If their plan was to burn down the building containing their victims, how are you going to prevent people from buying flammable products?"- Kids can't buy super glue or paint but they still huff. Should we allow them to buy these products and give them more access to these products? NO ONE can buy too much cough medicine for fear that they might make meth and/or blow up a lab and hurt people. Should we abolish this barred access, too? The US government restricts harmful things ALL THE TIME.
My personal opinion does not rest and fall on the fact that guns help violence. I am an extremist. I don't think killing is good in any right, except for survival (meat, TRUE self defense). However, even with self defense, you can defend yourself without killing the assailant. I understand MY ideals are not the majority's, but they are called "ideals" for a reason. Thank you for your comment and the great discussion it enables!
Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on December 22, 2012:
We have something in common then! I'm willing to hear both sides of an argument no matter what my feelings are as long as I'm respected for my opinion too. I am not for gun control but I take certain arguments and process them to see if there's middle ground.
Britney (author) from Southern California Desert on December 22, 2012:
Thank you! Obviously I am pro gun control, more specifically, I am more for the abolition of concealed carry and gun "collecting". I think access is the problem, not necessarily the guns themselves. Thank you for your comment. I do take the other side's opinions to heart and think about them. I whole-heartedly agree that people just jump on the band wagon. I'm so tired of hearing the same thing from people simply because someone else said it.
Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on December 22, 2012:
You and I are definitely in agreement on several points. The main problem is the heart. There is a debate going on in one of the forums where I make the case you're presenting in more detail. I won't do it here necessarily though. I was just commenting on the hub. I don't believe the hubs are debate centers. That's what the forum is for.
Brad Masters from Southern California on December 21, 2012:
This is not a matter of research, the government cannot make legislation on guns that would be effective against random acts of violence.
Guns like motor vehicles can be licensed and people tested for safety.
But prohibition didn't stop people from drinking alcohol, and likewise even the strictest gun control won't prevent the violent and the stupid from killing people.
The government needs to protect the people from terrorism of all kinds, but they shouldn't violate the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens.
Apparently it is fairly easy to get the instruction on how to make homemade bombs from the Internet. I understand that you can get the ingredients at the local store.
So the point is to realize that the people that will do these acts of violence are not impeded by the laws. They are going to commit deadly crimes, so they will go to the black market and get what they want for their plan.
If their plan was to burn down the building containing their victims, how are you going to prevent people from buying flammable products?
Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on December 21, 2012:
I think you've got some good points on both sides. My whole thought process is that people "must" do their own research and not just use completely biased sources at all times. I think that unfortunately there are many "low information" people out there who choose not to do their own research and make critical thought processes.
That honestly goes back to something that has been a bad issue in our nation when we decided to teach "how to learn" rather than "how to think". Which means that I can sponge up anything I'm told as long as 70 percent of it I agree with from someone whom I like. When I use the "how to think" process, I begin to use more common sense in my judgement for issues. I'm also more willing to look up things for myself and educate myself to those issues and be willing to change my mind on issues I disagree with originally. If I find that the evidence and common sense on certain issues are overwhelming against a position I once held, then I'm more willing to open up towards the opposite position.
It's the same thing as my own gun story. I was once against owning them, I was presented with evidence and experience that overwhelmed my original argument against them, I was willing to see the other side. Does that mean that everyone "should" see my position? No. But I would be against anyone who is unwilling to take the time to investigate for themselves every angle of the argument, and if they are just being completely stubborn based on "bias". Another reason, I hate the "party line" thought. I must vote a certain way because of party. No, it should be a vote for someone's quality of character, not party line. Do I expect perfection in my own attitude in this? No. I'm fallible just like anyone else. But I do expect people to respect both sides of an argument and not just bash the other person for their views. I expect people to use critical thinking and do their own research for their own benefit.
To me, that person is more honorable and I'm more willing to listen to them rather than a "biased" person who doesn't do their own research. I think you've done some decent research and it is a very well written article. Bravo, you've done a great job in the presenting. I will be researching your arguments and forming my thoughts from that. Thank you for presenting it as fairly as you can. Voting this up and Merry Christmas!