24 June 18
Gun Control Title
Gun control in America is a hot topic that has been debated about for years. The debate is simple, should we strengthen gun control laws across all spectrums or leave it alone as it is our Second Amendment Right as Americans. The Second Amendment of the US Constitution reads, “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.” Gun ownership is an American tradition older than the country itself and is protected by the Second Amendment; more gun control laws would infringe upon the right to bear arms. Many Americans favor the idea of strengthening the gun laws because they feel it will reduce the chances of criminals illegally attaining firearms or even reduce the amounts of crime and mass shootings throughout the country. By strengthening the gun laws, we are essentially making it harder for law abiding citizens to own firearms and protect against criminals with or without firearms. Laws are defined as the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties. Criminals do not care about “imposition of penalties,” they do not care about the safety of a community or country. Criminals care about nothing more than themselves. So, what does that mean? At the end of the day, criminals will find a way; they will find a way to acquire a gun, they will find a way to break the law, and most importantly they will find a way to hurt you or your loved ones. The only way to protect yourself against these criminals are to have a “well-regulated militia.” As law abiding Americans, we may never be able to stop criminals with guns, but we most certainly can educate ourselves and train ourselves how to defend against them.
Increased gun laws would ultimately be doing the ‘bad guys’ a favor. Most of the time a criminal with a killing agenda has the intent of attacking an area with a lot of people or an area that is a “gun-free zone.” Taking the guns away from the American people is like giving a golden ticket to a shooter. The shooter isn’t afraid to cause mayhem, and most certainly is not afraid of law enforcement because most of the time law enforcement are not even around during the time of the shooting. Criminals, more than anything, are scared of you. Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves. When you take a look at Americans that live in right to carry states, the crime rates are significantly lower than the states with higher gun laws. A November 26, 2013 study found that, between 1980 and 2009, “assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level” and “states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murders,” (Guis). While gun ownership doubled in the twentieth century, the murder rate decreased. John R. Lott, Jr., PhD, author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, stated, “States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes. 31 states now have “shall-laws”, these laws allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness. When states passed these laws, the number of multiple-victim shootings declined by 84 percent. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90 percent and injuries by 82 percent.” Gun control laws do not deter crime, gun ownership deters crime.
Owning a gun in many states is relatively tedious as you are required to follow many steps such as a federal background check, carry permits, firearm safety courses, fingerprinting and license issuance. In Illinois, gun control laws prohibit the sale, use, or possession of certain weapons outright, including fully automatic machine guns, armor-piercing bullets, and silencers. For other weapons allowed in the state, state law imposes a three-day waiting period for prospective gun buyers. Illinois concealed carry laws are also among the most stringent in the country. Applicants are required to take a 16-hour training course, the longest in the nation. While technically a “shall issue” state, law enforcement agencies still have limited discretion to object to an individual being granted a license. Illinois also refuses to recognize any other state’s concealed carry license. These buyers must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for gun ownership. Illinois gun control laws are also specific as to specific locations, such as schools, where firearms are more heavily restricted. Chicago, otherwise known as “Chiraq” due to the violence and deadly shootings that are almost daily, has some of the strictest gun laws in the entire country with the highest crime rate in the country. In Chicago, from January 1st to present day, more than 253 people have been shot and killed and over 1300 people have been shot and wounded. Despite Chicago’s ban on gun shops, shooting ranges, assault weapons, and high capacity magazines, in 2014 Chicago had 2,089 shooting victims including at least 390 murders. Approximately 50,000 guns were recovered by police in Chicago between 2001 and March 2012. The guns came from all 50 states, and more than half came from outside of Illinois. Illinois remains the only state in the country where nobody can legally carry a concealed weapon, and lawmakers recently introduced more measures to restrict legal gun ownership even more. The point being made here is that America can have the toughest gun control restrictions but that isn’t going to stop a criminal, law-abiding citizens with proper training and gun education are going to make the difference. If more people in Chicago were able to conceal carry, then the rate of shootings would drop drastically because the criminals would be scared to take a shot knowing that they will have a target on their head immediately after showing that gun or pulling that trigger. Gun control will only affect Americans that follow the law, the law does not apply to criminals.
Making gun control restrictions tighter will not stop crime or shooting from happening. Of 62 mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and 2012, 49 of the shooters used legally obtained guns. Furthermore, 143 guns were possessed by the killers, 94 of them were hand guns, 28 rifles and 21 shotguns. One of the biggest debates in America right now is the assult rifle ban. Banning assult rifles