28 January 2018
English 101 HYC
On January 23rd a 15-year old
student at Martial County High School in Benton, Kentucky killed two and
injured twenty-one of his own classmates (Lieu). This tragic event, along with
a multitude of other incidents including those at Las Vegas, Orlando, and San
Bernardino, have revitalized the debate over gun control. As politicians ponder
on the policy changes needed, it’s clear that only one option that remains
plausible: further restrictions on guns and their accessibility. Through more
elaborate consumer background checks and the implementation of tenacious
limitations on the variety of guns and ammunitions available, citizens of the
United States will live in a safer and more secure society.
Although background checks can feel
like a violation of privacy, they are necessary to screen out who shouldn’t get
guns. For the welfare of society people such as violent convicts, confirmed or
suspected stalkers, and those with certain mental disorders should not have
access to any firearms. The Brady Act imposes a background check and a five-day
waiting period on gun purchases from a federal dealer, so mandated background
checks can occur. This scenario gives a lot of power to the dealer, who gets to
decide if someone is too dangerous to purchase a weapon. The issue with the
system is that guns sold at private auctions don’t have nearly as strict laws
applied. In most states, private auctions don’t require a background check, so
anyone who can pay the money can get a gun. Even though they can only sell four
guns per year, there is still leniency to convicts who can spend the required
funds to get a gun. The best way to solve this loophole would be to implement
legislation that determines if a person is too dangerous to purchase and keep a
gun. Defining the line between the ability to purchase a firearm and the denial
of one would standardize, across the United States, the types of citizens who
can legally own such a life-threatening weapon. This proposed legislation would
cross paths with a fundamental part of American History: The Constitution.
The constitution has been the
fundamental part of the conservative Republican party, and gun control has been
debated as something that contradicts the second amendment of the constitution.
That conflict of interest has fueled the Republican stance on gun control: the
stance that citizens have the right to defend themselves. Many republican
politicians believe that gun control is unconstitutional as the second
amendment states that “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be
infringed.” (US Const. amend. II, sec. 1) If the ability to “bear arms
shall not be infringed” was truly absolute, citizens living in society
today would have the right to obtain any weapon no matter their background,
age, or mental state. Whether you are republican or not, this means that most
people believe in at least partial gun control, but we need additional laws or
amendments placed in our society to maintain public safety.
The additional laws and amendments
that need to be enacted would be limitations on certain types of guns.
Logically, people don’t need semi-automatic or automatic weapons to defend
themselves, and they don’t need hundreds of rounds of ammunition to do so
either. Making that type of firepower and ammunition available would be
devastating and would result in more regular catastrophes such as Las Vegas.
Creating legislation that would limit the total ammunition bought to reasonable
levels and only allow certain weapons not suited for mass killings must be
implemented into society for the general welfare of the people.
Republicans also say that
eliminating guns from society won’t matter because people will continue to harm
others by different methods. Certainly, people won’t stop hurting others, but
the amount of total murders would decrease if we stop putting guns into the
wrong hands. Guns make it easy, fast, and hard to survive from. Putting more
control on guns won’t eliminate all murders but decrease which is a success.
An important historical example to
emphasize this point is Australia’s anniversary of a mass shooting that
occurred in 1996 which resulted to strict gun control that has led to a massive
decline in gun homicides and gun suicides. To achieve this, they had a national
gun buy back causing the elimination of 650,000 guns, banning all automatic and
semi-automatic guns, enacted a twenty-eight-day waiting period, and new
licensing qualifications. Although this took hundreds of millions of dollars
and months to finally put it into operation it was well worth it. The outcome
was positive showing that gun related homicide rates decreased 59 percent and
gun related suicide rates decreased 65 percent (Calamur). From these statistics
it is clear that more guns mean more violence, and thus less guns mean less
violence. This is a successful example of a first world country reducing gun
violence by further restricting guns. The United States of America should
attempt to replicate what Australia did as this would save the lives of many
control is desperately needed in America as many innocent people are being
killed due to gun violence. To achieve this America needs more restrictive
legislation on background checks, a constraint on number of guns and ammo
bought, and bans on certain weapons and people. You want to ensure the safety
of our country, so let’s take into consideration the heartbreaking consequences
of unregulated guns.
Amy. “Reporter at Kentucky shooting learned that suspect was her son.” Fox
News, FOX News Network, 27 Jan. 2018, www.foxnews.com/us/2018/01/27/reporter-at-kentucky-shooting-learned-that-suspect-was-her-son.html.
U.S. Constitution. Art./Amend. II, Sec. 1.
Calamur, Krishnadev. “Australia’s Lessons on Gun Control.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 2 Oct. 2017,