There is a strong battle right now over guns and whether or not they should be controlled or banned, and with each new shooting, it puts extra pressure on the legislature to make a decision.
There are compelling stories from victims’ families, pushing to make it all happen while the other side questions the shooter’s mental health. It has become a nasty back and forth that only gets worse with each passing day.
I don’t know if gun-control is right or wrong, but maybe you do.
So let’s explore some arguments, on both sides.
Guns don’t kill people, the mentally ill do.
One of the biggest arguments from conservatives is that the shooter had a mental health issue and that guns aren’t killing but the mentally ill are. This leaves a pretty rough impression that all people that suffer from mental illness, whether anxiety, a mood disorder or depression, are going around killing people.
However, in an analysis of 235 mass killings, many of which were carried out with firearms, 22 percent of the perpetrators could be considered mentally ill. 22 percent. That's it.
Guns promote suicides.
Another thing to take note of is that those who are committing suicide are more likely to both try it and be successful if using a gun. Suicide rates are higher with gun violence than drug overdoses.
Furthermore, in 2010 the rate of suicides committed using a gun was higher than homicides with 19,332 suicides and 11,078 homicides. That means that three out of five people who died at the hand of a gun committed suicide. That is an alarmingly high number.
Guns protect people.
This is tough, because while guns can be a mode of protection, what are you protecting yourself from? Other guns? With gun control, would this even be necessary?
Gun control wouldn’t work.
Let’s ask Australia, Japan, Norway, and the UK how they feel about that. Or perhaps we can look at their massive decrease in gun-related deaths since implementing gun-control.
No one would support gun control.
OK, that feels like a solid argument for conservatives, but recent poles have actually shown upwards over 50 percent of the U.S. population are actually in support of gun control.
According to polls conducted by Quinnipiac University, 67 percent of voters are in favor of banning assault weapons, 83 percent are in favor of a waiting period for gun purchases, 59% feel that the U.S. would be less safe if more people had weapons, and 75 percent of voters agree that Congress needs to redo gun laws.
Gun control does not mean everything is completely banned. It means laws get tighter and people get safer, of course, people will support that.
Guns are for sport.
It’s important to note that guns can be for sport, but ultimately their purpose is generally for killing. Gun-control doesn’t mean you can’t go hunting or do some target practice. It means that you can’t go buy weapons without going through the legal process to do so.
Are you allowed to go out and just drive a car, or do you have to take driver’s education, pass a test, pass a vision exam, make sure you’re not on any harmful medications, refrain from drinking, purchase a vehicle, and buy insurance first? Case in point.
People will still get them illegally.
While this is true, a vast majority of guns used in mass shootings were actually legal weapons. In fact according to a study by Mother Jones, from 1982-2012 there were 62 mass shootings in the U.S., 49 of which used legal weapons.
While people might still get weapons illegally, having gun control could have eliminated 49 mass shootings. That feels significant.
It is our Second Amendment Right.
You're right. The Second Amendment does give people the right to own guns. However, it is not an unlimited right. Let's be clear that there are still stipulations for gun ownership. Guns aren't shoes. Not everyone needs one and you don't need several.
How would you even do it?
I know, I know. I can feel your frustration oozing. I get it, you don’t want gun control. But let’s think for a minute about what that might look like. In Japan, a person must attend an all-day class, pass a written test, achieve at least a 95 percent accuracy in a shooting-range test, as well as pass a mental health assessment at a hospital.
I get it, it is costly and time-consuming… but maybe also lifesaving? The process alone would eliminate people from purchasing weapons.
Guns make me nervous. They might bring some people a sense of safety, but they are powerful and in the wrong hands, they can do A LOT of damage.
Day after day, I turn on the news to find schools, nightclubs, and theaters being shot up. People are being murdered with legal weapons. Weapons that the U.S. gave them the legal right to buy. Why is that OK?
I don’t know if gun control is the answer, but I am willing to go for it. I am willing to put my faith in it because what else do we have at this point? Why are we having to teach children how to protect themselves?
We are walking six-year-olds through schools, practicing drills, explaining to them how to shield themselves and hide. 10-year-olds are planning escape plans and learning how to take charge of their class in case something happens to their teacher. Teachers are becoming heroes, laying down their lives like the military.
What has this world become? What has America become?
I support gun control.