What is the Debate on Gun Control in America About?

Guns are intricately linked with America. There are plenty of people in favor of guns and just as many against. The debate heats up every time there is a mass shooting and then calms down again.

The fact is that America owns approximately half of the world’s civilian guns.

Any American can purchase a gun or accessory through Gun gods or other similar organizations. All you need is ID, a background check and the necessary funds.

Of course the level of violence in the US has led to an ongoing debate regarding gun control.

Arguments for tighter gun control
It seems like a gun related massacre happens every few weeks. This is seen as an advocate for tighter gun control. The assumption is that tighter gun control will prevent guns from being owned by those who are likely to cause harm with them.
The Debate on America's Gun Control Continues (Image: wsimag.com) 

The arguments for tighter gun control centre round these points:
  • Statistics actually indicate that the easier it is to access a gun the more likely it is that someone will shoot you. 
  • Two thirds of gun deaths are suicides. The higher the ownership level of guns the greater the number of suicides. 
  • 80 percent of gun massacres use legally obtained weapons. Controls need to be tighter to eliminate this element. 
  • Australia banned guns and saw a 59 percent drop in gun homicides
In short, removing access to assault style weapons and increasing the checks performed prior to obtaining a weapon will reduce the number of deaths caused by guns. It is worth noting that most people in favor of tighter gun control are not against gun ownership.

The case against gun control
There are always two sides to a coin. People against tighter gun control laws advocate the following points:
  • The Second Amendment gives the right for any American to bear arms. Restricting this right is a restriction of the freedom of the people. 
This is actually a fundamental point. Any decision by the government to restrict guns could be seen as unconstitutional and spark a riot or even civil unrest!
  • Tighter gun control will simply force the criminal element to source their weapons on the black market. They will still be able to kill people but the job of enforcement officers will be made much more difficult. 
  • The gun is just a weapon. Take away access to guns and murders will still happen. People will simply find another way to achieve the same result. Tighter gun controls won’t change human nature. 
  • The ability to carry guns means that people have a means of defending themselves. This can actually deter criminals. This is borne out by the fact that many of the mass shootings take place where guns are not commonly found, such as schools. 
  • Firearms are not the issue. The inequality and abundance of poverty are what causes people to turn to gun. Society’s issues need to be addressed first. The sad fact is that neighborhoods that have a majority of African Americans haven’t changed in decades; these are the areas that are the poorest and where homicide rates are the highest. 
The fact is that African Americans in the 20-29 age groups statistically have an 89 percent chance of being involved in a gun related homicide. This shows how society needs to focus on the problems that create poverty and inequality.

In contrast, white Americans in the same age range only have a 23 percent chance of being involved in gun related homicides. The areas that need assistance most are those with the poorest opportunities which are also the ones with the highest gun-related incidents. This is not a coincidence.

As you can see there are strong arguments on both sides and this makes it extremely difficult for the government to act decisively. Everyone has an opinion on this subject.

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