In the wake of the Newtown shooting last month, there has been much debate over gun control in the United States. President Obama has come out and said that the country needs stricter gun control laws, and has been attempting to pass new legislation. However, there has also been controversy over whether or not more gun control would make the country less safe, since many people use guns for good reasons such as self defense. I am going to try to give a brief summary of each side, then present my views, and finally provide some links for more information.
The case for more gun control
Fewer guns would be mean fewer shootings, although not necessarily less violence. Tragedies such as the events in Newtown would be harder to pull off. A ban on assault weapons would help prevent mass murders, while individuals could still own non-assault weapons for self defense and other purposes. The down side is that criminals can still get access to guns illegally, so there would need to be strict reinforcement of the laws, meaning more time and energy on the part of law enforcement.
The case for less gun control
It can be argued that if more people have guns, it will act as a deterrent of crime because everyone can be armed and protect themselves. Criminals will be less likely to commit crimes, because it will be significantly more dangerous for them to do so. Obviously there needs to be some requirements so that any random person cannot obtain a gun, but the requirements would be such that it is not very difficult to obtain a gun either. More guns in the hands of good people will lead to a lower crime rate.
As is typical with these types of situations, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. I do not think that people should overreact to one specific event, such as the Newtown shooting, which the White House is doing now by attempting to rush new legislation through Congress. I also think that more measures need to be taken to reduce the chances of anther Newtown or Virginia Tech or Columbine happening. I would support thorough and detailed background checks on any person who wishes to purchase a gun. I would also have required paperwork from a doctor that indicates they are mentally stable. I would put a ban on assault weapons for ordinary citizens, because I think they are simply not necessary for most people. You are perfectly capable of protecting yourself with a gun that is not an assault weapon.
I certainly am not very educated on this topic, but wanted to give kind of an overview of the different issues to think about. I would love to hear what your opinions are in the comments down below. Also, if you would like to be more informed about what the current administration is doing in regards to gun control, check out the links down below.
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