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Thomas Foodman

United States

Controlling Guns

March 21, 2016

    It seems to be a running trend in America to stick to old traditions, long past their relevance. Whether it gay marriage, only legalized last year, or daylight savings time, an inconvenience which does more harm than good, America lately seems to always be one step behind the times. One of the most major examples of this is gun rights. It is written in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution that all people have “the right to bear arms.” However, despite this, gun violence is a serious problem in this country above all others, which leads one to ask if this 240-year-old law is finally outdated. While guns do serve recreational purposes their availability endangers the lives of all around them. 

    The first and most obvious question to ask is if gun violence is really a problem. The answer is a major yes. Over 13,000 Americans died in 2015 through gun violence and twice as many are injured. In the same year there were 372 mass shootings, more than one for each day. In 2012, 60% of murders in the United States were done via gun. For comparison, Australia got 18.2% and the UK got 10%, and both of those countries have much tighter restrictions on guns. So, with so many accidents tied to guns, it’s strange that we allow them in the first place.

    Next, one might wonder how easy it is to get a gun. Well, while no actual figure exists, estimates show that there is 300 million guns in America, about one for every person, so availability is not a problem. There is the Brady Law, which requires background checks to be done on store-bought guns, but if the person doesn’t have any major criminal record, they could get it easily. And even then, that doesn’t account for them being given the gun, and less than 1% of purchases are actually denied. 

    Many in favor of loosening gun control argue that if guns are put into the hands of the right people, they could save lives in emergencies. While initially this seems like a good point, it’s actually very faulty. First off, most people who carry guns get concealed-carry permits, which allow them to bring the gun into a public place without making it visible. In many states, these permits are incredibly easy to get, and don’t actually require you living in that state to get one. Plus, only a fraction of people with these permits are properly trained to carry a gun, endangering their own lives and the lives of those around them.

    In conclusion, guns need to be more restricted, not less. They are not nearly restricted enough and primarily serve to put lives in danger. I think this is why we need to activate gun control. 

 "Guns in the US: The Statistics behind the Violence." BBC. BBC, 5 Jan. 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2016. 

Smith, Aaron. "This Is How Easy It Is to Buy Guns in America." CNN Money. Cable News Network, 19 June 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

Murphey, Tim. "How I Got Licensed to Carry a Concealed Gun in 32 States by Barely Trying." Mother Jones. Mother Jones and the Foundation for National Progress, Sept. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.


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