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Opinion: Gun Control Not Answer For Illegal Gun Use

Second amendment being restricted too much from original purpose
Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

Firearms played a pivotal role in the U.S. ever since its founding, and to further limit access to them would be unconstitutional.

The second amendment states that as Americans, we have the right to “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.” 

Although parts of this amendment are not up to date, it still needs to be kept with the same respect as all other amendments. We may not need to have a “militia” but as Americans, we need the ability to protect ourselves and our rights.

Most of the problems surrounding guns in America do not come from assault rifles or shotguns. Based on information submitted by state and local police departments, 64 percent of all shootings in the U.S. come from handguns according to the 2017 FBI crime statistics. Assault weapons were used in 4 percent of the cases, and shotguns in 2 percent.

A handgun is the easiest gun to conceal and carry, making it the most deadly in the larger picture. Despite this fact, Former Vice President Joe Biden and his party want to ban assault weapons. If the real goal of this ban were to save lives, supporters of gun control would be focusing on stricter background checks.

For discussion of how to keep any kind of handgun shooting from happening we need to prioritize gun safety education. By teaching about gun safety from a young age we could prevent deaths from accidental shootings. The Nemours Foundation’s “KidsHealth” tells parents that by teaching kids simple gun safety, the family can safely have a firearm in the household.

A study featured in the New York Times found no association between the rates of gun ownership and non-domestic firearm homicides.

This was hypothesized to be caused by illegal guns. Limiting the average person’s access to guns only keeps them out of the hands of responsible people. While in Texas, a person does not need a license to buy a firearm, they still need to pass a background check before taking possession of the firearm. 

In 2017, Republican representative John Faso opposed gun control measures for targeting the wrong people.

“The vast majority of crime that is gun related is committed by people who illegally are possessing that firearm,” Faso said.

Politifact supported this statement, grading it as “mostly true,” adding context about the state of research on illegal guns.

Another way that guns are watched closely is through the ATF. When buying multiple guns at once, they must notify the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF. This makes the buying of more than one gun in a short time period more difficult and regulates the sale of multiple guns to those who wish to keep their actions hidden from the government.

Removing legal guns will not change the number of illegal guns that are used each year during crimes. By removing the number of guns that can save people, we will be reducing the likelihood for citizens to protect those around them. 

While stricter background checks bring more effective vetting, banning specific guns despite the reliance on handguns to commit crimes only constricts the opportunity to use guns for good.