“Where you have the most armed citizens in America, you have the lowest violent crime rate.
Where you have the worst gun control, you have the highest crime rate,” – Ted Nugent. Gun control is the regulation of purchasing and use of a firearm and has been a controversial topic in the U.S. ever since the late 60s. Since then, an abundant amount of gun control laws have been made, and more are to come. Despite people’s rights given to them in the 2nd amendment, many people have sought out to take that right away. Gun control laws have proven to be unconstitutional, ineffective, and unnecessary.
Contrary to popular belief, gun control does not prevent mass shootings from occurring.
Gun laws are implemented with hopes of reducing firearm related violence, but they fail to prevent criminals from acquiring firearms and causing harm. In fact, according to an article from German Culture, Germany’s gun laws are among the strictest, “The German system of gun control is among the most stringent in Europe… Compulsory liability insurance is required for anyone who is licensed to carry firearms.” (German Culture). Germany has one of the strictest gun laws in the world; therefore it is harder for the people in the country to acquire firearms for self defense. Citizens have to go through tedious amounts of difficult paperwork just to acquire a gun. However, no matter how strict the laws are on firearms, it will not stop criminals from getting them,“A heavily armed gunman… he killed two people outside and wounded two others in an anti-Semitic spree that smacked of far-right terrorism.” (New York Times). Despite having strict gun laws in Germany, this man still found a way to acquire a firearm and harm others. Similarly to many other situations, the laws did not directly prevent him from acquiring a firearm, because he did not care to follow them. This flaw is present in modern day America as well. An article from the Heritage Foundation states, “These 11 mass public shootings occurred across 7 different states, but three occurred in California, the only state with an ‘A’ rating from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Two more occurred in Maryland, with an ‘A-‘ rating,” (Swearer, 2018). Even though states like California have the highest rated gun safety, people still found a way to obtain firearms and commit crimes. Criminals do not follow the laws of their country, which is why no amount of gun laws will prevent a gun from getting into the wrong hands.
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,” which means that all citizens have a right to bear arms, and any attempt to take away that right is completely unconstitutional. As stated by an article from Missouri University, “Lastly, Part V of this Article explores… including the phenomenon of the ‘shall issue’ legislation that has liberalized the issuance of concealed weapons in many states for individual self-defense, and which generally makes purchasing a weapon about as easy as obtaining a driver’s license,” (Barnet). The second amendment was created to ensure that the people have the ability to protect themselves. Gun control violates that right given to the people in the constitution. Depriving the people of an effective way to defend themselves. Not only is disarming the public unconstitutional, but it’s immoral, Todd Barnett states, “Generally, American legal theory does not recognize any duty owed by the government to protect particular individuals from harms inflicted by other private individuals.” (Barnet). The government’s job is to tax the people and assemble a military to protect us from foreign threats. That means that the government has no right to stop citizens from obtaining firearms to protect themselves. The founding fathers created the second amendment to protect us from tyranny and each other, but now people are trying to take away that right by creating unnecessary laws.
As a reaction to situations like; school shootings, mass shootings, and attempted assasination, people naturally looked to the law to take action, thus gun control was created. Unfortunately, this idea has been taken to the extreme and unnecessary gun laws are constantly being made. An article written by CSN reporter Susan Jones states, “A study from the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy counts only 300 ‘relevant federal and state laws regarding the manufacture, design, sale, purchase, or possession of guns.’” (Jones 2008). Although the article earlier states that there are over 20,000 gun laws, Jones states that there are only 300 relevant laws on gun control. That is a rather large amount of laws for acquiring a firearm; in spite of this, gun laws are still ineffective. The problem lies within the enforcement of these laws, creating more laws will do nothing to make the situation better. According to an article from Lois Beckett, from the Guardian, he states, “Researchers have concluded that the new laws had little measurable effect… there was a lack of enforcement by authorities,” (Beckett 2017). After implementing a new gun law, researched revealed that the new law was ineffective and the reason it was ineffective was because the government failed to enforce it. The solution to gun violence is not to pass a large amount of laws, its to enforce the ones that already exist. Laws that are directed at firearms will never be effective until they are properly enforced. Firearms have been restricted more and more throughout the years, it is unnecessary to make more useless laws when the government isn’t enforcing the current ones.
Firearms are sadly apart of incidents that result in death or severe injury. It is not uncommon to turn on the news and see a segment on a tragedy that involved guns. The Pew Research Center released an article by John Gramlich and it states, “Counting murders and suicides, nearly 40,000 people died of gun-related violence in the United States in 2017,”(Gramlich 2019). Thousands of people die by firearms each year; however, the media exaggerates how bad firearms really are and even claims that firearms are the number one cause of death. That being said, Just Facts published an article and they wrote, “Roughly 16,459 murders were committed in the United States during 2016. Of these, about 11,961 or 73% were committed with firearms,” (Just Facts). America is the only country to count suicides as gun violence. Without counting suicide-related gun violence, only around 12,000 people die from guns. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control released information about smoking, “Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure.” (CDC 2019). People are more likely to die from tobacco than a firearm. Tobacco’s 480,000 deaths per year is towers over firearm’s 12,000 per year. The media has falsely characterized firearms as a dangerous weapon of mass destruction when in reality, it is nowhere near as dangerous as items like cigarettes.
Gun control is a constant topic of controversy that has been debated for nearly 60 years. Although people believe gun control creates a safer environment for everyone to live in, unfortunately, it has failed to do so and should be abolished. Although created with good intentions, gun control is ineffective, unconstitutional, and is unnecessary. Firearms are a right given the people in the constitution to defend themselves. As James Madison stated, “If Men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary,” meaning that men are naturally corrupt, which is why we are granted rights to protect ourselves. Perhaps we should focus our efforts on enforcing the current laws right now rather than creating new ones. Instead of wasting money trying to pass new ones, either enforce the current ones, or reduce the amount of laws and enforce only the absolutely necessary laws.