As a consequence of the recent horrible reality of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, more and more people have been debating the need for more rigorous gun control laws in the United States. In fact, the entire nation seems to be involved in the decision about whether or not more rigorous gun control laws will help in preventing such tragedies from occurring in the future. On the other hand, gun rights supports all over the nation have started protesting against gun control advocates based on the second amendment of the US constitution, which states that, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (Alstyne). Even social media users seem to be actively participating in the debate over the issue of addressing gun control. According to gun control advocates, the second amendment right to carry armed weapons does not apply to ordinary American citizens, only to the army and defense forces. The issue of gun control is a burning debate, even though gun control activists claim its necessity to avoid future tragedies, is it really the right solution?
The honest truth is that the issue of violence in the United States cannot really be prevented through more rigorous gun control laws. Gun control advocates believe that this could address the issue of violence but it is certainly not the solution. Preventing mentally unstable people from accessing firearms may be a part of the general solution, but this itself is not the ultimately. This is not the solution because almost half of the adult American population currently owns guns. There is perhaps no explanation or solution that could help mitigate the level of violence of the distressing incident that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and stricter gun control is definitely not it. Although gun control advocates have made it their motto that ‘Guns Kill People,’ but the blunt and honest truth is that it is the people pulling the trigger, who have a motive, kill people.
Men have been killing each other ever since Biblical times, in fact, Adam’s son Cain committed the first murder of time by killing his brother, and he certainly did not use a gun to do it. Cain wanted to kill his brother used whatever he had access to and was able to murder him using it. So it is apparent that when a person wants to kill another person, they will do it using whatever weapon they may have access to. There seems to be recent notable trend of wearing protective gear among criminals who use firearms to commit crimes. They are actually more concerned about inflicting as much damage as possible rather than their own life, and that is why soft spots, where they are least likely to face return fire, are targeted by these criminals. Criminals who have a tendency to break the law will continue killing other people if they want to, and more robust gun control laws will only prevent the public from defending themselves in situations where their life is under threat.
Everyone agrees that people certainly do kill people, but they are under the misconception that only guns make it easier for them to kill. As a result of a peculiar coincidence, on 14 December, 2012, the same day that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred, the Chenpeng Village Primary School stabbing also took place in China where a man entered the school and stabbed over 20 people. Gun control advocates may potentially argue that nobody was killed in the school stabbing incident that in China, while the shooting that occurred in the Connecticut school instantly killed a majority of the victims. This has led them to believe that guns, regardless of whether they are used by people for hunting or for defending themselves, are lethal, especially automatics and semi-automatics. They also believe that the general population of the United States has easy access to military-grade weapons that make it easier for them to kill others. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true because even if people are not allowed to legally carry a gun, criminals will still commit a crime.
Stricter gun control will not stop criminals because their ultimate motive is to break the law. This will only prevent innocent people from legally carrying guns that could actually protect them from such criminals. The gun laws in Texas are a perfect example of the positive outcomes of handgun possession. Ever since it became legal for Texas to carry guns in public the number of ‘mass killings’ in the state dropped to quite an extent. If Americans are allowed to legally carry a gun, those who plan to use solely to defend themselves in life threatening situations will be able to stand a chance against gun wielding criminals. Criminals will find a way to obtain guns and carry them even if it is illegal, so stricter gun control will never prove to be effective. It may be argued that gun control has proven to be effective in Europe, but the European culture is not the same as American culture. The United States has a considerably higher rate of disorganized crime and since the government cannot protect every American, they should have a means to protect themselves.
Whenever incidents involving gun-related violence take place, gun control advocates always criticize gun proponents of having a conservative view of humanity and they argue that guns are dangerously tied to the American culture. However, even gun control advocates cannot deny that people have inflicted violence and have gone on killing sprees throughout history using whatever tools were accessible to them, whether knives, sticks, swords, or merely their bare hands. Controlling the use of guns will not work when it comes to avoiding violence, because people will continue finding ways to kill. Whether they are allowed to legally carry guns or not, society would still have to watch out for criminals who may want to kill them. Having a gun would just enable them to defend themselves, while not having one would make them vulnerable victims of violent crimes. Supporting gun control is merely a sign of giving up our liberty because we are afraid. With a gun and the intention to use it responsibly, people can stop feeling scared and rely on themselves for protection.
Apart from the fact that more rigorous gun control will not put an end to gun violence in the United States, this is also rather ludicrous. There are several reasons why a stricter level of gun control can just not be achieved in the United States. Foremost, American citizens tend to differ when it comes to the issue of legally carrying guns. The large number of Americans who support gun rights would not tolerate even the slightest restrictions on gun rights. This is why gun proponents vote for their candidates accordingly, so that their gun rights are not violated. Thus, since American citizens themselves are conflicted regarding, so stricter gun regulation will only turn out to be unsuccessful in the United States, and that is not all.
Apart from their own opinion, even well-funded gun advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) are backing Americans who support gun rights. Perhaps this is why despite the support of many Americans for gun regulation; the American political system ultimately protects the rights of the political minorities. So if gun control advocates and gun proponents were to have a face off, gun regulations would most likely be effectively opposed by gun rights groups since they have the resources. Moreover, many Americans might not know this, but gun rights groups like the GOP and NRA have deep connections. Apparently, the NRA makes major financial contributions to the Republicans. Gun rights advocacy groups and supports already believe their second amendment right to carry firearms is being threatened. Thus, implementing a stricter gun control legislation will only make matters worse and will be a waste of resources.
Gun control advocates continue to claim that there are fewer occurrences of gun violence in countries like China, Europe, Russia, etc. because of the more rigorous gun regulations in these countries. However, there is another side of the picture they do not see. The truth is that violent crimes take place in these countries as well and there are fatalities too, the only difference is in the weapon used. The number of knife assaults in Australia has increased significantly in the last 10 years, ever since strict gun control laws were implemented. Russia has a substantially high murder rate even though it is very difficult to own a gun in Russia. Thus, this argument can be concluded by emphasizing that Americans should not be deprived of their right to protect themselves. Gun control regulations will only affect American citizens who intend to abide by the law. Criminals will find illegal ways to obtain guns and will not stop committing crimes. So we need to start thinking whether we want our fellow Americans to become helpless victims when they are staring down the barrel of a gun, or do not steal their liberty of defending themselves with the use of firearms if necessary.
Alstyne, William Van. "The Second Amendment and the Personal Right to Arms." scholarship.law.duke.edu. Duke University School of Law, n.d. Web. 28 Mar 2013.