The Second Amendment is Americans given right to bear arms, and over the past few years it has been an extremely controversial topic because there have been many tragedies that have taken place due to gun violence. The Right to own a gun has been our given right since 1791 when the Bill of Rights was written. Americans were given the right to own a gun as a way of feeling secure and to protect themselves. Society especially felt the need to own a gun after 9/11 occurred just in case there were more attacks that would take place.
In the past few years owning a gun is now looked down upon by some of society because of the amount of school and social events shootings that have occured. In the United States it is sadly not uncommon to watch the news and see that another shooting has happened at a school, concert,bar, church,hospital, or nightclub. Survivors of these attacks are traumatized while others are mourning the loss of their loved ones.
These survivors are trying to take actions against the second amendment to help make a change and put an end to these tragedies. While supporters of the second amendment are also standing up against survivors and others who do not want change stating that no change needs to occur because the second amendment is our given right. Throughout my research I have found that it is not difficult to purchase a gun and there is no extensive background check needed.
There are different age restrictions as to what gun can be purchased but each state has different regulations. Many people argue that by adding gun control laws it will help to reduce gun violence while others who are against it state it will not change anything. I also found that the purchase of firearms does have a huge amount of yearly revenue in the United States. The National Rifle Association has an impact on the political elections due to them sponsoring with massive amounts of money for a specific candidate.
America is one of the highest countries that has gun violences and it’s mainly impacted because of our weak gun laws. Purchasing a gun in the United States seems to be a simple process to do depending on where a person may purchase the gun. Although, some states have stricter laws others do not and it’s very easy to purchase a gun. I found that a background check is only required when purchasing a gun from a store. When purchasing at the gun store the required information asks for your name, address, place of birth, race, and citizenship. They will ask for your social security number, but it is not required for you to provide it (Smith). The form asks for the following questions: “Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence? Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any other depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Are you a fugitive from justice? Have you ever been committed to a mental institution?” (Smith). This information is then ran through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NCIS, by the FBI and it takes minutes to run.
This background check is not extensive at all, and it should be since these people are trying to get their hands on a weapon that can cause harm to others if it falls into the hands of the wrong person. People who have no criminal history, but are unlawful drug users can lie on this form if it will allow them to get their hands onto a gun. The store will not know they are stating the truth with this question since there is no drug test required. There are hardly gun laws in the United States, but yet they are not required for every purchase of a gun only when it’s through a store. Gun shows take place all across the United States every month and a simple search on the internet can help you find the closest one nearby. Buying a gun from a show does not require any type of background check. A gun may also be purchased from a private seller this can be a neighbor, friend, family member, or anyone that is occasionally selling guns.
There are some states where gun regulations are more restrictive but mainly they are the same for every state. Not all people who sell firearms are required to be licensed this rule mainly applies to those who are selling guns at a store. One difference some states may have is the age of purchasing and possessing a gun. In Hawaii and Illinois you must be the minimum age of 21 to purchase and possess a handgun or long gun. The laws for handguns were more restrictive than long guns (rifles and shotguns). For most states handguns require the minimum age of 21 while shotguns you had to be the age of 18. There are different laws that licensed and unlicensed dealers must follow when selling guns. In order for licensed dealers to sell handguns “Dealers may not sell or deliver a handgun or ammunition for a handgun to any person the dealer has reasonable cause to believe is under age 21” (Minimum age to purchase and possess). For long guns to be sold “Dealers may not sell or deliver a long gun, or ammunition for a long gun, to any person the dealer knows or has reasonable cause to believe is under age 18” (Minimum age to purchase and possess).
There seems to be less restrictions on long guns due to the fact that individuals use these types of guns for recreational purposes. Some of the recreational purposes are for hunting, shooting competitions, and firearms as a hobby. Unlicensed dealers do not have these strict regulations that they must follow when selling a gun to an individual. “Unlicensed persons may not sell, deliver or otherwise transfer a handgun or handgun ammunition to any person the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is under age 18, with certain exceptions” (Minimum age to purchase and possess). Selling long guns while unlicensed “Unlicensed persons may sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer a long gun or long gun ammunition to a person of any age” (Minimum age to purchase and possess). These regulations let anyone get their hands onto guns that they wouldn’t be able to purchase through a licensed dealer.
There are many flaws in the few gun regulations that are in the United States. Gun control is an extremely controversial topic there are typically two sides to this topic those that are pro-gun control and others that are anti-gun control. People who are pro-gun control may argue that by having stricter gun laws it will lower gun violence and help to prevent guns from ending up in the wrong hands. While others that are anti-gun control argue that the second amendment is our given right and it is needed to protect ourselves. Our society will never agree all together on one topic because it’s our freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Those who are pro-gun control argue that by having strict gun laws it will lower gun violence and suicide rates since other countries with strict laws have lower rates. “Both Switzerland and Finland require gun owners to acquire licenses and pass background checks that include mental and criminal records, among other restrictions and requirements” (Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?). Switzerland and Finland ask more questions when purchasing a gun and their crime rates are lower.
In the U.S. most people commit suicide with a gun, by enacting gun laws it can potentially lower the suicide rates in the united states. Another factor that is argued about guns is that they are rarely used in self defense like users claim they do. Data shows that from 2007 and 2011 from the violent crimes that were commited very few of them used a gun for protection. “the 29,618,300 violent crimes committed between 2007 and 2011, 0.79% of victims (235,700) protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm, the least-employed protective behavior” (Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?). Gun users claim that their right to firearms should not be taken away in order to protect themselves in certain situation,but these statistics show that less than half use guns for protections. Guns that are purchased legally end in the hands of criminals when they are stolen. “Between 2005 and 2010, 1.4 million guns were stolen from US homes during property crimes (including burglary and car theft), a yearly average of 232,400” (Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?).
A lot of guns are being stolen yearly in robberies, but gun laws would not help to improve this criminals are going to continue to steal guns in robberies. In the past few years we have had many mass shootings across the U.S. that have taken the lives of many. Gun laws can be a step in the correct direction to help reduce the amount of gun violence that is happening every day in America. Anti-gun control people believe that having laws on guns will not allow them to their right of protection as it is stated in the second amendment. One of the major arguments anti-gun control believers make is that they have a need for a gun in order to protect themselves. “According to the National Rifle Association (NRA), guns are used for self-defense 2.5 million times a year” (Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?). The National Rifle Association is a huge organization that contributes in protecting the second amendment. Guns in the U.S. are used for recreational purposes such as hunting. These users do not want there to a ban on any kind of gun that they are able to get their hands on today.
“According to a Feb. 2013 Pew Research report, 32% of gun owners owned guns for hunting and 7% owned guns for target or sport shooting” (Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?). Adding strict gun laws would give too much power to the government, and by adding more extensive background checks for any purchases of guns it would be an invasion of privacy. “57% of people surveyed by Pew Research in Feb. 2013 said that gun control laws would give too much power to the government over the people’ (Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?). This research shows that a little more than half of those that answered the survey believe gun control would give the power to the government. Requiring background checks would allow the government to keep a lot of information about an individual depending on what the law would require if this was added. Suicide rates will not be lowered if guns had more laws