It is absolutely heartbreaking that in the midst of various social movements and a global pandemic, there have been several shootings in Chicago this past week alone. There have been unsolicited and unwarranted attacks resulting in many endangered lives.
With two pronounced dead and more than 47 innocent civilians wounded, this resurgence of gun violence must be addressed immediately and thoroughly.
Although the right to bear arms is instated in the U.S. Constitution, the time for Americans to reconsider the Second Amendment has long been overdue. If anything, we’ve become numb to these events; after countless shootings throughout the past couple years, gun violence is no longer an active topic of discussion.
The lack of conversation around the topic of gun violence is where the problem lies, but it doesn’t have to be this way. People don’t have to accept these dangerous situations or weapons into the U.S. culture and society any longer. People have the power and the right to promote greater change and come to a more agreeable solution.
It is time to weigh some of the moral pros and cons of eradicating the Second Amendment.
Pros and Cons of Enacting More Gun Control Laws
It is not an unlimited right to own guns. The Second Amendment states that only those who are “fit” to own a gun should purchase one, and it does not support the “possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.”
Laws that require a permitting process have also been maintained, but could become more strict. This would essentially reduce the number of people eligible to purchase firearms, and hopefully reduce the amount of unforeseeable casualties due to gun violence.
The Second Amendment also protects the right to individual gun ownership, even if the owner is unconnected with service in the militia. This means that tougher gun control laws would infringe upon the right to bear arms in self-defense, and would therefore deny people a sense of safety.
The police cannot protect everybody at all times. This right dates back longer than some of America’s oldest traditions, and it is these traditions that are the most difficult to change.
More gun control laws would reduce gun-related deaths. Between 1999 and 2016, there were a total of 572,537 gun-related deaths: 33,579 were suicides (58.8% of total gun-related deaths); 213,175 were homicides (37.2%); and 11,428 were unintentional deaths (2.0%).
Firearms are also the second leading cause of death for children, with motor vehicle accidents taking first place. Implementing universal federal background checks may be able to reduce firearm deaths by a projected 56.9%. The more gun control laws are enacted, the fewer unnecessary and violent deaths there will be.
Gun control laws do not deter crime; they deter gun ownership. A study showed that assault weapon bans did not significantly affect murder rates.
These criminals do not, and will not, presumably, obey gun control laws. Resolving the issue of the misuse of firearms will take more than another law enactment; it would require a deep uprooting of future generations’ educations and, consequently, banning the right to bear arms.
More gun control laws and/or the banishment of firearms will help protect women from domestic abusers and stalkers. Five women are murdered every day in the U.S. by firearms. A woman’s chances of getting murdered increases by 500% if a gun is present during a domestic dispute. Statistics show that between 2001 and 2012, 6,410 women were killed with a gun by an intimate partner in the United States.
However, not every gun owner is abusive or has negative intentions. Many own guns for recreational purposes. Gun control laws, especially ones that try to ban “assault weapons,” would consequently infringe upon the right to own guns for hunting and sport.
Under the pretense that all hunters are clear-headed and would never turn a gun onto a person, this would be doing the population a massive disservice and inevitably cause more political issues. In 2011, there were 13.7 million hunters in the United States who were 16 years old or older, and they spent $7.7 billion on guns, sights, ammunition, and other hunting equipment.
Gun control laws would reduce the societal costs associated with gun violence. 100,000 Americans who have been shot generate nearly $3 billion in emergency room and hospital charges, and this is excluding the charges of a taken life. With all of this combined, implementing more gun control laws would be doing a massive service to the people, both physically and financially.
When implementing more gun control laws, there will always be some other type of infringement that follows. Gun control law regulations, such as background checks, ID checks, and micro-stamping, are seen as an “invasion of privacy,” which would go against the Fourth Amendment.
In order to do a thorough background check, the use of a government database that holds all personal information, such as addresses, mental health history, family, and more, would be required.
There are many more pros and cons to gun control laws that are easily accessible on the web, but the recent Chicago shooting has reminded us of one thing: gun control is an important part of the U.S. society and should be taken seriously.
The Second Amendment is interconnected with other rights stated in the Constitution. As shown, enacting more gun control laws in an effort to reduce gun violence incidents is difficult, and by doing so, it also affects other rights and concerns.
To find a real solution, preserve all life, and respect all rights, the leaders of this country must not only reconsider the Second Amendment alone, but also the entire Constitution.
May those affected by the tragic Chicago shootings find peace and continue to protest against gun violence. At some point in the unforeseeable future, a way to put these travesties to an end will be found.