Gun Control: Pro or No?


Julia Barshak and Meredith Nash

Are strict regulated gun control laws really necessary? Two top student correspondents duel it out in this debate

Argument for Regulating Guns

“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.” These words in the Constitution written by our founding fathers, give Americans the right to bear arms.  This right  is different from other rights, such as freedom of speech and expression, because these freedoms do not directly cause death.

As brilliant as our founding fathers were and as ingenious as our Constitution is, the Right to Bear Arms is now outdated. The Constitution was written at a time when people hunted their own food and 911 did not exist, so owning guns made sense then. Today, however, people buy their meat at a supermarket.  The average person simply does not need to own a gun anymore.

Guns are not toys and should be taken very seriously. According to NBC News,  every day in the U.S, 289 people are shot. Of these people, 86 die. Every year, over 100,000 people are shot. That number would close to zero with properly regulated guns, and lives would be saved.  Gun ownership should be a government controlled  privilege, not a natural born right.

Additionally, a large percentage of gun owners are careless with their gun storage.  Studies conducted by the National Institute of Justice found that more than half of all guns were stored unlocked and 16 percent were stored “unlocked and loaded.”  An additional study by the Oxford Journal  showed that ownership of a gun increases the risk of a homicide in the home, and 32 percent of all homicides by guns occur during family arguments.

NRA advocates state that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  This is flawed logic.  Should we extend this argument by saying “Cars don’t kill people, people kill people, or drugs don’t kill people, people kill people? Are we saying that people are responsible for all of the deaths that occur in the world?  The accurate statement is that it is people, with guns, who kill people.

Even though the Constitution says otherwise, the Federal Government should have the power to regulate these killing machines. The Constitution once said that only white males could vote, but it was changed by the 19th amendment.  Since the Constitution can be changed as it becomes outdated, the 2nd Amendment should be changed and updated to reflect our changed society.  It is time human life is valued enough for people realize that it is not the right to bear arms, it is the privilege to bear arms.

Argument Against Regulating Guns:

From before the times we could just reach into our fridge and pull out something to eat, we had to actually leave the comfort of our homes in order to hunt for our own food. Of course, hunting involved guns. Usually the act of hunting is associated with violence, and well, death.

Now, bringing guns into a school and open firing is a whole different matter. Truth be told, we need guns. In most circumstances, we don’t need them walking down the street just for the matter of protection, but what makes it different than any other right?

Our Constitution gives us the right to freedom of speech, the right to vote, and of course, the right to bear arms. Regardless of those given rights, every one of them has their constraints and limitations.

I’m not saying we should be able to keep guns in our homes, unprotected, unguarded, and ready to be used at arms length. Only a complete imbecile would allow that to happen, and maybe those certain idiots are the reason for all these school shootings.

I’m a strong believer that all school shootings are not because of the weapon themselves, but because of who’s behind it. It takes a person to pull the trigger, and without the finger jerking it down what do you think would happen? Evidently, not much.

On the other hand, hunting can be and is used quite often as a form of sport. It involves quite a lot of licensing and certification, but by taking away these rights to own their personal property it’s taking away their sport. To an extent, it’s as if you’re telling someone they can never touch a basketball again just because someone else is abusing the ball. And not to bring the preschool rules back, but just because one person isn’t behaving correctly doesn’t mean everyone else takes the time out.

In the long run, those people who get to the point of using a gun for pure and utter terror will most likely be searching out for a gun even if they ended up being banned. It’s like telling a drug addict to stop abusing whatever drug they are using. Just because it’s illegal, doesn’t mean they’re not going to want to feed their addiction.

Despite those contradictions, it all comes down to our rights. The constitution may have been with us for longer than our grandparents have seen the face of the earth ,but in no way is it outdated. People who use their guns in an appropriate manner should have the right to own their guns just as much as the next person should be able to vote.