Pro/Con: Gun Legislation

January 30, 2013

 

PRO

By: Dana Bitto

Given recent tragedies, the debate of gun control has been brought to the forefront of the local news.

Although it is a constitutional right to-bear-arms, many citizens and politicians believe that there is a necessity for higher restrictions. In today’s society, it seems that most people focus on the causes of violent behavior, rather than how to prevent it.

It is only in the wake of tragedy that questions of gun control are acknowledged.

In order to prevent brutalities, such as the incidents in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, the United States should construct higher restrictions on guns.

Whether it is personalized laws for each state or a collective ban altogether, there are reasons why these restrictions could be a positive change.

The first consequence of unrestrictive gun control is the violence that is caused.

According to a study on about.com, “About 80 million Americans, representing 50 percent of U.S. homes, own 223 million guns,” even further mentioning that this is “easily the highest private gun ownership rate of any country in the world.”

It is alarming to see such high numbers. These numbers, like a staggering 30,000 men, women, and children are killed in gun-related deaths each year in the United States, are also clearly reflected by the studies results.

Without proper gun legislation, these numbers will only increase in the future. The next reason for more restrictive gun control is societal.

Allowing citizens to carry guns, even when concealed can cause fear to those around them.

In 1999, a study was conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health. Their results showcased that “Americans feel less safe as more people in their community begin to carry guns; 90 percent believe that “regular” citizens should be prohibited from bringing guns into restaurants, hospitals, college campuses, and places of worship.”

An even more current study produced by the Huffington Post, revealed “50 percent of Americans say gun laws should be made more strict.”

The safety and security of citizens should always be a priority of the government. The results of these studies and other similar ones show that people want stronger restrictions in order to feel safe when they leave their homes.

CNN has even reported in late December 2012 that the President Obama has enlisted Joe Biden in order to “help lead a White House effort to craft proposals aimed at preventing another tragedy such as the Newtown shootings.”

These recommendations, along with others from several lawmakers, suggest the reintroduction of gun control legislation is expected to occur sometime this month. Although in this case, sooner would be better than later, the government needs to take time to make constructive changes to our current gun control legislation. It is for the betterment of our communities to decrease the amount of guns in the public’s possession and ensure the safety of everyone.

 

CON

By Elisa Juliano

Gun control is becoming a very popular topic because of recent tragedies, most recently the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.

While there are many who are in favor of tighter gun control laws, there are many who oppose this idea. Rallies in various states are even held against President Barrack Obama’s new proposal for tighter gun control as proof of this.

So why are people so against stricter gun control laws?

While opponents to gun legislation understand the pain that comes from tragedies like Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Columbine, they still believe it is there right to own and have guns.

The Second Amendment states that citizens have the right to “keep and bear arms.” While many question the context of the law in the current society, others feel that the amendment has played a vital role in our history and independence and should be understood how important it is to be able to own and carry weapons.

Without guns we would not be the free country we are today.

Along with believing it to be their right as American citizens, gun control opponents believe that guns actually save lives.

USA Today writer John R. Lott wrote a story stating, “With just one exception, every public mass shooting in the USA since, at least 1950 has taken place where citizens are banned from carrying guns.”

He argued that killers target the defenseless and that gun legislation really does not deter violence and crime. Along with Lott, some believe that guns can save lives and they actually want guns in schools.

MSNBC also wrote an article on teachers in Utah getting trained to handle guns over winter break. Utah allows teachers to carry concealed weapons. Elementary school teacher Jessica Fiveash stated, “If we have the ability to stop something, we should do it.”

Banning guns isn’t just the only option as well as there can be numerous gun education programs and services that could be enacted in its place.

An article by ABC News Claire Moore discussed the possibility of schools creating and teaching children as young as kindergarten aged about the dangers of guns.

Heidi Cifelli, manager of the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program said that, “Gun education is not mandatory in any state as far as we know, but of course we think all schools should have it,” said Cifelli. “Gun education is the best way to save young lives.”

Gun education programs would teach children that guns should only be handled or touched by parents through the use of videos, coloring books and visits from police officers to speak with children making programs like these very flexible and versatile for schools.

So while it seems reasonable to have stricter gun laws, this is not case. Gun legislation can do more harm than good.