Through the past several years many questions have been raised about the laws in America concerning gun rights. A problem that continues to occur in America is the amount of mass murders that have taken place. The debate continues to flourish on whether guns should be banned from American citizens, or at least significantly restricted. On June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, forty-nine lives were recklessly taken one night by a man named Omar Mateen. Mateen was supplied with a semi-automatic assault rifle along with a Glock 17 9mm semi-automatic pistol when he entered a bar around 2:00 am. The Glock 17 9mm pistol is the most widely used pistol worldwide. Mateen had bought the two weapons legally a week prior to the shooting. The question that continues to be raised: should Mateen have been able to buy the weapon? Where do we draw the line regarding who can buy a gun? Every time a firearm is purchased, there are background checks on the person who is purchasing the firearm unless the the firearm is bought through private sales. Background checks are designed to identify a person who is not qualified to purchase a firearm under federal, state or local law. Yet firearms still land in the hands of terrorists. Due to private sales those who are not eligible to own a firearm are now able to obtain the weapon. Should private purchases be a legal way to buy firearms? In the year 2015, over 12,000 lives were taken due to gun related incidents and more lives will be claimed in 2016. While these numbers are tragic, are the guns really the problem or is the sole perpetrator the person behind the gun?
Though many lives are taken through gun violence, guns help provide protection against criminals. National Rifle Association Chief said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” Forty percent of families own a firearm in their house. People choose to own a firearm for the safety of themselves and their family. Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self defense. The Second Amendment states that as American citizens, we have the right to bear arms. If the government makes gun ownership illegal, the problem of gun control would not be solved. The criminals who own firearms would not turn in their guns and would only continue to break the law. Studies have shown that cities which impose gun control have the highest assault and murder rates in America. Chicago is one of the most violent cities in America, and yet has the strictest rules concerning gun control. Clearly, the government’s system and attempts to make America safe have not been effective and are in need of a change. Gun violence undoubtedly needs to be addressed, but it’s time to acknowledge that the sole problem doesn’t lie in weak gun control laws but with individuals, who have little regard for human life.
By: Carsyn Arvan