by Sarah Weeks
Currently, one of the most talked about topics in the news are guns. Should we restrict? Should we continue as we are? America will never come to a more clear understanding than that of the Constitution and our Amendments given to us by the founding fathers.
Amendment two give all Americans the right to bear arms and shall not be infringed; a personal sense of freedom for many Americans. Living in the land of the free, because of the brave, is an important aspect to look at when we address the want to restrict gun laws, or even completely pry them from the hands of citizens. Realistically, the Constitution says “shall not be infringed,” meaning Americans have the right to bear arms, and that cannot be stripped from their citizen rights.
Many of the arguments that emerge from the topic of guns result in talking about the previous shootings, mass murders and events that have occurred over the last few years. While restricting guns may seem like the right answer, laws restricting the usage or selling of heroin do not stop drug addicts from using. Ranker, an informative website that gives pros and cons to controversial topics, says that gun free zones work for law abiding citizens because they will follow the law. To a criminal who is driven to be an active shooter, the gun free zone leaves Americans defenseless and an open target. Unfortunately, those who break the law will never follow the law, even if we continue to create new ones restricting guns.
Another important argument is that of how the criminals are buying their guns. The process of buying a gun legally is to first be of legal age, 18 for a long gun and 21 for a handgun. Then there is a background check conducted followed by a waiting period. If the person working to purchase the firearm clears the background check, he or she is free to pick up their firearm. Unfortunately, the bad guys who obtain guns usually do so illegally by buying off of the street, the black market or traveling with unregistered handguns they received from other opportunities. While the background check is a great way to check to look for a criminal history, there is talk about a mental health check on the person purchasing to help clear additional information which would be a good addition to purchasing a firearm.
While it is not necessary to obtain a semi-automatic firearm to protect your household or take to the shooting range, some people do so because they have a right to be able to. Many practice target shooting at a gun club, or even keep in the case of a house invasion to protect themselves and their families because the semi-automatics are quicker to release more bullets in a shorter period of time. Another argument of gun lovers is that many people are hunters and enjoy the sport of hunting. Hunting can be archery, shotguns, rifles or crossbows depending on the time of year and location. Taking guns away from the people who use them for their sport of interest, whether one agrees or not, is not rational. Hunting requires the person to obtain a legal hunter’s safety license and a hunting license within the state of residency that provides a limit to prevent hunters from taking too many animals. This is monitored by the state’s wildlife management operations and is frequently updated and protected.
With many arguments flying, one to keep in mind is that even if guns were gone, it would not stop criminals from mass murders, or finding guns illegally. Weapons such as knives and blunt objects are still used for murder. Even in countries where guns are banned, the rate of assaults are not much lower than the United States as stated on Gun Facts, a website determined to bring myths to a halt. While guns may create an “easier” way to commit the assault, taking them away would not stop them from happening.
With all options in mind, it is in the best interest of the United States to come together rather than to continue arguing. Rather than blaming the weaponry of the country for the murders and assaults, it is time for the country to take responsibility and realize that it is a people problem. If someone left a gun on their porch overnight, it would not fire itself.
Solutions, such as adding a mental health check along with the background check while purchasing a gun is one that many can agree upon. However, removing guns from America completely is unrealistic. With rights and freedom given to each and every American individual, we have and always will fight tooth and nail to protect our rights.