Firearms in America Argumentative Essay
One of the most divisive debates in the United States is that of gun control policies. There is a surge of mass shootings around the country, most which are conducted using registered guns. Such senseless killings have been conducted in churches, schools, and other public areas, leading to indiscriminate loss of lives. In many such cases, the perpetrators are said to suffer from mental illness. As such, the problem is not completely within the field of the use of unregistered firearms, but it has to do with possession of firearms in general.
While it is possible to argue that firearms are for personal protection, one will not need a gun for protection against fellow citizens who do not carry similar weapons. The possession of illegal firearms is a problem worldwide; at the same time, the main problem that the U.S. is faced with is that of legal firearms. The United States should not ban the possession of firearms completely because it is a Second Amendment right.
At the same time, this paper argues that gun possession should be limited to only dire cases, with the exempted parties having to go through a thorough and regular mental check to possess and renew their firearms license.
Arguments AGAINST firearms
The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, and this has been used to vehemently oppose the application of stricter gun control laws. However, the laws of any country should be applied in a manner that promotes the overall good of the nation.
Currently, the mass possession of firearms has proven to pose a danger for the citizens rather than offer protection, as multiple innocent lives are taken every year (Gramlich, 2018).
Many homicides and mass shootings are carried out using registered firearms. This proves that simply registering a firearm does not offer protection, as apprehension of the perpetrator takes place after the fact. The arrest of a shooter using identification of the gun does not compensate for the lives that have been lost already. Therefore, it is inaccurate to argue that gun possession is safe for as long as the firearm has been registered.
Arguments AGAINST firearms
The fact that bearing arms is a Second Amendment right does not mean that it is an absolute right. There are other rights within the Constitution that have been limited, such as the right of expression, to ensure the overall safety of the people. It is thus not unconstitutional to limit the right to bear arms to circumstances that warrant such possession.
The current regulations of gun possession stop at ensuring that the candidate meets certain criteria. However, it does not focus on the necessity of the firearm (Lopez, 2018).
Some firearm owners own multiple weapons as a hobby, but this is not balanced against the safety of the community. The standard of necessity can also eliminate persons who own guns for sports such as hunting. If the criterion of necessity was applied in the United States, most gun owners would lose their possession.
Arguments FOR firearms
On the other hand, some people choose to own a gun due to the high crime rates in their neighborhoods. They constantly fear for their personal safety, their property, and families. They thus purchase guns for personal protection and that of their families from attacks. This is especially true in areas where gang activity is rampant, and there is high circulation of illegal firearms. It is impractical for persons who are vulnerable to an armed attack at any moment to live unarmed.
- Such circumstances may justify necessity through self-protection.
- The challenge of illegal firearms is that they are harder to track, since they are not registered.
- The only way to identify them is by connecting them to crimes that they have been used in. Law enforcement agencies may not even be aware of the number of such firearms circulating in a certain area.
Arguments FOR firearms restated
However, arming people because they come from violent neighborhoods does nothing to reduce gun violence. Such an approach fuels gun violence making the area more dangerous. It also turns citizens into their own police officers. The most appropriate solution to such a problem is for law enforcement agencies to organize crackdowns for illegal arms and crime in general.
Furthermore, it would be more productive if police were to cooperate with residents to identify the individuals that run such criminal organization. It is safer for the citizens if the police take on the task of reducing crime rather than arming the residents to facilitate more violence.
The government has a duty to keep its citizens safe, not only from external attacks but also from within. The ordinary citizen should not be worried about maintaining public safety, as there are government institutions responsible for that.
The whims of an individual should not override public good. While many take gun ownership as a hobby and others do it to facilitate their hobbies, it poses a risk to the entire community. However, rights provided in the Constitution cannot simply be denied to the people. Necessity ought to be balanced against the risk before any individual is issued with a gun.
For the safety of the citizens, the right should be limited to ensure that an individual who qualifies under the test of necessity can only own a single firearm. The question of mental health cannot be divorced from baring of arms, as many licensed owners have used their weapons to carry out mass killings. A more thorough background and mental health check up is also needed to ensure that such weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.
Gramlich, J. (2018). 7 facts about guns in the U.S.Pew Research Center.
Lopez, G. (2018). I looked for a state that’s taking gun violence seriously. I found Massachusetts. Vox.