The issue of gun control has been a very important topic following the Sandy Hook Elementary School and Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings just last year. We all feel compassionate for the families of these Americans whose lives were taken in the most horrifying way. We are all too familiar with the saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” my goal is to find some validity to this statement. The most prevalent question is whether the problem is the access to the gun or the person with access to the trigger. The answer to this I will soon come to but as of now let’s focus on the issue at hand. Crimes resulting in death would be reduced if the purchase of guns could only be made legally and there were training for the proper use of the gun.
Those against gun control most likely ask is it necessary? Most advocates for gun control are convinced that the tightening of the laws would make the world a safer and better place. “The background check system, for example, excluded private sales and those conducted at gun sales, and an assault weapons ban passed by Congress in 1994 after a string of mass killings contained a definition that allowed many such weapons to remain available.”(Gun 3). The only laws gun control advocates can really get a chance to adjust are the ones concerning the purchasing of guns. As previously stated in the Gun Violence Prevention article background checks excluded private sales and the sales made at gun conventions. So how is it that the adjusting of laws pertaining to guns can be an effective way of creating a solution to a problem that is so significant? The adjusting of any other laws would eventually lead to the invasion of every American’s second amendment rights, which is to keep and bear arms.“Opponents, led by the National Rifle Association, warn that stiffer restrictions will lead to a massive bureaucracy of regulations that would infringe on gun owners Second Amendment rights and ultimately prove ineffective. Instead, they call for increased focus on mental health and cultural influences, such as violent video games as a way to address the problem.” (Gun8). Now don’t get me wrong, adjusting such laws won’t be a bad thing but it can’t be the solution on its own.
Mr. Harry Henderson, author of the book Gun Control, states “But to most gun advocates, gun ownership is not a mere privilege; it is a right, as freedom of speech or of the press” (7). According to the Constitution of the United States, Americans have the right to legally possess and carry a gun. Although some may feel that gun ownership is a right it is also one not to be taken lightly. The Honorable Ted Cruz stated during the Should Congress Pass Stronger Gun Laws Judiciary Committee hearing “instead of passing ineffective show legislation – sound and fury, signifying nothing – we should be acting to deter and punish violent criminals and to prevent those with dangerous mental illness from illegally acquiring firearms.” (21). It seems gun control advocates only solution is to outlaw guns completely but if you outlaw guns as a whole you leave those who don’t need access to guns with total access. In other words, if guns were made illegal they would still be accessible due to the private sales or black market, leaving the rest of the world completely defenseless. “We need to be honest about what works and what doesn’t work. Proposals that would only serve to burden the law-abiding have failed in the past and will fail in the future.” stated Mr. Wayne LaPierre (Should 23).
During the Judiciary Committee hearing, “Should Congress Pass Stronger Gun Laws”, The Honorable Patrick Leahy stated, “If we can all agree that criminals and those adjudicated as mentally ill should not buy firearms, why should we not try to plug the loopholes in the law that allow them to buy guns without background checks?”(20). Unfortunately, guns purchased without background checks are all most