Gun control is a hot issue in the United States, and some people argue there are merits to the idea of sensible gun control. The paper concludes that, while gun rights are enshrined in the Constitution, there must be some limits on gun ownership for the sake of the American public and its safety. This sample essay provides an example of why Ultius clients give writers five-star reviews.
The necessity of sensible gun control laws
On the morning of December 14th, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 26 children and staff members of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Since the tragedy, American lawmakers have sought to impose stronger restrictions on gun ownership in the United States. While many citizens perceive gun control to be antithetical to the U.S. Constitution and an infringement upon their civil liberties, it is in the best interests of safety for the American public to accept more stringent controls regarding firearms.
The second amendment to the United States Constitution 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” (Bill of Rights Transcript Text, 2013).
Unfortunately for the many individuals who have been victimized by gun crimes, it is the “well-regulated” portion of the amendment that seems to go unheralded. According to a study performed by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, the level of firearm fatalities per capita shows a sharp decrease in correlation with the implementation of stricter gun control laws (Fleegler, Lee, Monuteaux and Mannix, 2012).
The study in question was cited in the decision by the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in March of 2013, to approve legislation that would make gun trafficking a federal crime (O’Keefe, Ed 2013). Despite the approval of the committee, widespread public support and nearly unanimous cooperation among Democrats on the issue, the bill failed to pass the House of Representatives.
Argument for stricter gun regulations
The argument for stricter gun control policies would not be complete without comparisons of the United States to gun policy around the world. In Japan, it is legal to own guns, but you must demonstrate a need for one to the Japanese government before you are given a certificate to purchase one. In the United Kingdom, guns are outlawed in their entirety to the civilian populace, and most police officers are armed only with non-lethal weapons, such as stun guns and batons (Kelly, Jon 2012). In countries such as Canada, Norway and Australia, many high powered weapons are banned and owning a gun requires waiting periods, background checks and government licenses (Council on Foreign Relations, 2012).
The United States, meanwhile, owns anywhere from 35-50% of the world’s civilian firearms, has no codified federal licensing system, requires no background checks (despite numerous laws disqualifying individuals, such as convicted felons, from owning guns), has only recently and through painfully slow political processes instituted waiting periods and just saw the Assault Weapons ban enacted by President Bill Clinton in 1994 repealed a mere decade afterwards (Plumer, Brad 2012).
Repercussions of failed gun legislation
Since the expiration of the ban, there have been 27 mass shootings in the United States (Postel, Theresa 2013), most notably that of the Newtown school shooting and the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting that took place only 5 months prior. James Holmes, a college student, dressed himself in riot gear and a gas mask, released tear gas into a crowded theater showing the premier of “The Dark Knight Rises” and opened fire, killing 12 and causing 70 total casualties (Pearson, Michael 2013).
While the fight to keep guns as accessible as humanly possible may seem noble to some, the reality of the situation is that there are untold numbers of weapons that remain unchecked on the streets of American cities, mass shootings are becoming everyday news, and gun laws vary by state. The lack of governmental action following the Newtown shootings discouraged a great deal of Americans, hoping that another such tragedy could be averted. The evidence in favor of gun control laws remains statistically strong and, until our policies catch up to our science, we must continue to live in perpetual dread of the next catastrophe.
“Bill of Rights Transcript Text.” Bill of Rights Transcript Text. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
Florida, Richard. “The Striking Relationship Between Gun Safety Laws and Firearm Deaths.” The Atlantic . N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2013/03/striking-relationship-between-gun-safety-laws-and-firearm-deaths/4902/.
Council on Foreign Relations. “U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons.” PBS. PBS, 21 Dec. 2012. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/12/gun-policy.html.
Kelly, Jon. “Why British police don’t have guns.” BBC News. BBC, 19 Sept. 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19641398.
MD, MPH, Eric W. Fleegler,, Lois K. Lee, MD, MPH, Michael C. Monuteaux, ScD, David Hemenway, PhD, and Rebekah Mannix, MD, MPH. “Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Fatalities in the United States.” Journal of the American Medical Association 173.9 (2013): n. pag.JAMA Network. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
O’Keefe, Ed. “Senators reach bipartisan agreement on gun-trafficking bill.” Post Politics. The Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/03/04/senators-reportedly-reach-bipartisan-agreement-on-gun-trafficking-bill/.
Pearson, Michael. “Gunman turns ‘Batman’ screening into real-life ‘horror film’.” CNN. Cable News Network, 1 Jan. 1970. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/20/us/colorado-theater-shooting/index.html.
Plumer, Brad . “Everything you need to know about the assault weapons ban, in one post.” Wonkblog. The Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/17/everything-you-need-to-know-about-banning-assault-weapons-in-one-post/.
Postel, Theresa. “Since the Assault Weapon Ban Expired, There Have Been 27 Mass Shootings in the U.S..” PolicyMic. N.p., 9 Jan. 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. http://www.policymic.com/articles/22262/since-the-assault-weapon-ban-expired-there-have-been-27-mass-shootings-in-the-u-s.