What Is the Purpose of Gun Control and Gun Violence

Most people who are for it believe that it will keep streets safer. Ones that are against it also believe that it will keep civilians safe from gang violence, mass shootings, and crime in general. Gun control has become a debatable topic that should be discussed. In this essay, I will use data and information from sources to support why I believe there should not be a gun control law.

A sensitive subject I want to talk about are mass shootings. There is no precise definition for mass shootings, but it is labeled as a single gunman killing four or more people in one specific location. In recent years, the number of mass shootings has increased tremendously. In 2018, so far there have been 307 mass shootings in the US. In 2017, there was a total of 346 mass shootings (Robinson et al.). Some of the widely known mass shooting including ones such as Sandy Hook, Mandalay Bay shooting in Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs Church, and Nightclub in Orlando.

One incident I want to discuss about, a mass shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. 24 year-old, David Katz, opened fire killing 2 people and injuring 10 others. What was brought to my attention was, Katz had a history of mental illness since he was a child. “He was prescribed an antipsychotic drug as an adolescent and had been hospitalized at least twice for mental illness” (McFadden et al.). With a history of mental illness, how would he be able to possess a firearm? Different states have different regulations for purchasing a firearm. It is a federal law that people with history of a criminal or mental illness record are prohibited from purchasing firearms. In this case, Katz was able to purchase two guns at a pawn shop in Maryland. He was able to surpass the background check because, he was not held in a mental institution for 30 consecutive days. This information will lead me into my next topic, gun regulations.

I do not agree with having a gun control law, although, there should be an increased restriction on individuals who have records or history of mental illnesses. In the paragraph above, I mentioned that Katz was able to qualify to purchase a firearm due to the criteria that he was not held in a mental institution for 30 consecutive days. In my opinion, if anyone has a history of violent crimes or mental illnesses they should never be able to have the freedom to purchase a weapon. In December 2012, the FBI, “recorded a record number 2.78 million background checks for that month… FBI checks for all of 2012 totaled 19.6 million, an annual record” (Bell). Looking at this information, the FBI does a fantastic job of thoroughly checking every gun purchase. Although a variable they can not control are the individuals who break the law by stealing from a close personal, buying from dealers illegally, or businesses that do not perform background checks.

Can giving civilians who pass the criteria of carrying a firearm help decrease the likelihood of crime? Absolutely. Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted a report that “gun homicides dropped 38 percent from 1993 to 2011” (Bell). Following this time period non-fatal homicides dropped an outstanding 69 percent. A 69 percent decrease just from the allowance of citizens carrying a firearm? Looking at these statistics, I strongly believe that giving law abiding citizens a permit or right to carry a concealed weapon can decrease crimes. Could this be part of the solution in decrease of crime rates? It may not be a permanent solution, but a progression towards lower crime rates.

A topic I believe helps support my opinion is the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. By definition the US Constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (Perez-Pena.). Having this given right by the US government, enforces that civilians may possess a firearm in the matter of self-defense. I am for businesses doing background checks and private auctions to make sure that the person purchasing a firearm meets legal criteria. In order for civilians to defend themselves against criminals who commit robberies or home invasions, it is important to be able to protect themselves and family out of harm’s way.

Another point I want to address, how criminals manage to get their hands on a firearm. According to Bureau of Justice statistics, in 2004 a survey conducted prisoners on how they gained access to guns. “Two percent got theirs at a gun show or flea market. Ten percent from a pawn shop or retail shop. 37 percent from family or friends and 40 percent from an illegal source” (Bell). This survey shows evidence on how someone who does not surpass a background check, can get their hands on a firearm. In my opinion, if a criminal wants to get their hands on a firearm, they will find a way whether there is or is not a gun control law.

Would there be a different process if there was a gun control law? The federal government takes strict precautions when it comes to people qualifying for firearm purchase. Those who do not qualify may vary from having a criminal record, illegal citizenship, history of drug usage, domestic violence, or restraining orders.

In conclusion, I believe that there should not be a gun control law. Many people may think that if a law is made, criminals will abide by it. In reality, it will be no different to criminals who already break the laws and having it inhibit citizens given right to defend themselves. This world is a very dangerous place, especially with the amount of ways a criminal or mentally ill individual can possess a firearm. Enhancing thorough background checks can help ensure people meet the criteria without taking away the 2nd amendment. It is human nature to defend themselves against danger as it is survival of the fittest.

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