gun control5





Gun control is undoubtedly an issue that most Americans have been exposed to.
In 1989, guns killed 11,832 Americans. The National Rifle Association (NRA) members
believe that it is their constitutional right to own guns, stating that guns are not the root of
the crime problem in the United States. Gun control activists like the members of the
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) argue that guns are responsible for the majority
of violent crimes that take place. They wish to instill many types of bans and waiting
periods on firearms, making it nearly impossible to obtain a handgun. In fact, in 1993 the
Brady Bill, which mandates a waiting period on buying firearms, was passed. Their
arguments range from protecting children to saying that guns are diseases, but when one
looks at the facts, though, the arguments of gun control advocates seem irrelevant and it
becomes clear that guns should not be controlled.
Gun ownership by private citizens is protected under the 2nd Amendment. It
states that “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.” The forefathers of
our country meant for the people to own and use firearms, and any law or control on that
right would be unconstitutional. Gun control activists essentially believe the Second
Amendment guarantees only to its militia the right of arms, but the “Gun control
proponents have yet to identify even a single quote from one of the founders to support
their claim” (Silver 78). The 2nd Amendment supports gun owners, and hard
evidence that it does otherwise is nonexistent.
Gun control advocates have been lobbying for 7 years for the passage of the Brady
Bill, which makes a waiting period mandatory for all national firearm sales. Ironically,
the passage of this bill in 1993 has done nothing to reduce crime; in fact violence has
risen still since the passage of the bill. This bill, which was most definitely oversold by
its supporters, has become the prime distinction in most American’s minds with gun
control. A waiting period did not help the present situation at all, and similar measures
are almost certainly going to assume the same fate.
Private ownership of firearms is not a public health hazard. Gun control activists
argue otherwise, but to put guns in the same category as influenza and pneumonia is
absurd. The Advocates state that guns are a public health issue and almost deadlier than
automobiles to the public. The fact is that more Americans die yearly from pneumonia
and influenza than in all homicides and suicides, even non-gun related, combined. Many
people listen to doctors, who reason that guns are pathogens. The definition of a
pathogen is an object that causes disease when introduced to a pathogen-free
environment. There are 200 million privately owned guns in America, and only an utterly
tiny fraction of them are used in crimes. According to the definition, guns are not
pathogens and not a public health hazard.
The presence of a gun, specifically a handgun, is beneficial to a civilian in the event of a
robbery or intrusion, because the victim would be able to use the gun for defense. The
gun control activists are right- there is too much crime in the United States. Instead of
attempting to reduce the amount of firearms in circulation, this energy and money should
be diverted into anti-crime applications. Many law-abiding citizens own handguns and
other firearms that they use for their own protection, probably because the amount of
crime present troubles them and drives them to purchase a gun for self-defense. As
David E. Newton shows, “ between the years of 1937 and 1963, gun ownership in the
United States increased by 250 percent. In that same period, the number of homicides
decreased by 35. 7 percent” (Newton 40). Guns are clearly not the problem.
The problem with most gun control measures is that gun violence is not as related
to the number of guns as it is to whom owns them. As an anti gun control slogan states,
“if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” (Bernards 54). This is true,
stating that if the circulation of firearms was limited to only officials, meaning that
private citizens would not have guns, then only criminals would have firearms (illegally
of course) and the public could not defend themselves. Most of the criminals who
commit violent crimes with guns did not obtain their guns legally. Toughening up gun
control laws is not going to