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The Question of Gun Control

Senior Rachel Pickett shares the pros and senior Drake Breuckmann shares the cons of gun control

Rachel Pickett, Editor-in-Chief

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Drake Breuckmann is a senior. He participates in Forensics and is the vice president of membership for DECA. Breuckmann plans on attending University of Kansas or University of Missouri following his senior year to pursue a degree in business.

The cons of Gun Control: 

Every time a mass shooting occurs in the United States the question about gun control comes up. People start to think if some sort of gun control would’ve prevented such an attack. While liberals attempt to take away our gun rights, conservatives believe we should keep our rights. The Left tries to find new ways to take away our rights but the reason they never can is because the facts are not in their favor.

First off, two major countries that banned the use of guns by civilians are Australia and Britain. The Crime Research Prevention center found that there was an increase in the homicide rate after Britain banned handguns in 1997. Since 1997, there has only been a single year where homicide rates were lower than they were before the ban. As for Australia, the University of Melbourne found that Australia’s gun ban had no effect on the crime rate or homicide rate. This goes to show how a gun ban wouldn’t stop crime or homicides in the United States.

The Left also has the idea of a universal background check to not put guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. There are a few problems with this logic. These new background checks would have no effect on these firearms from getting into the hands of the mentally ill or those who commit suicide with the firearms, which account for 60 percent of the adult firearm deaths in the United States according to a Justice Department study. The new background checks would also only affect people who legally obtain firearms. The same Justice Department study reported that a legally obtained gun was used in only 11 percent of violent gun crimes in the United States. If criminals want to use a gun to commit a crime, they will find a way to obtain a gun whether it is legal or not.

In short, gun control doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked anywhere in the world and it won’t work in the United States. It will only have negative effects on this country’s well-being. The Left needs to realize that taking guns away from law-abiding citizens won’t stop criminals from getting guns. It would only make our country a more dangerous place.

 

The Pros of Gun Control: 

I began writing this piece with 100 percent confidence in my belief that gun control laws need to be passed, and I still do believe that. However, after falling through a rabbit hole of statistics and persuasive articles, I have realized that the gun control debate is more complicated than most are willing to admit. Both sides present intelligent, reasonable arguments and there is not one solution that would solve all of America’s gun problems. Despite its complexity, gun control is a conversation that must take place. 

First, it is important to understand the prevalence that guns have in American society. A 2012 Congressional Research Service report estimated that there were 310 million firearms in America in 2009. That means in the United States, there are almost as many guns as there are citizens. Americans are also increasingly reporting that they own guns for protection reasons rather than hunting-related activities, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center. Guns are woven into the fabric of American society, and there is no getting away from that, but we should reevaluate their role.

Talk of gun control is most often brought up in the wake of a mass shooting. However, mass shootings only represent a fraction of the gun-related deaths that occur each year.  

Suicide accounts for the largest type of gun-related deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 92 Americans are killed everyday in gun-related deaths. 58 of those deaths are suicides, 30 are homicides and the rest are made up of accidental shootings, police-related instances and undetermined deaths. 

Simple laws could prevent some instances of gun-violence. Federal laws requiring universal background checks, mandatory waiting periods between the purchase and delivery of guns, a uniform process of license and registration and safety training could all save lives. These laws in no way infringe on American’s Second Amendment Right to bear arms. If these laws were enacted, Americans would still be able to purchase guns. These simple measures would simply create a more uniform system of the distribution of guns. 

It is important that gun violence does not become normalized. Death by gun cannot be a normal occurrence for a country as progressive as the United States.   

I understand that there is a chance that gun control laws could solve absolutely nothing, but the alternative – being bystanders as hundreds of lives are taken – seems too horrendous to consider. 

 

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