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Running head: GUN CONTROL 1

GUN CONTROL 9

Gun Control Argumentative Essay

Heather Daniels

Sofia Pathways

English Composition II

March 20, 2020

Thesis statement

The opponents and proponents of gun control laws, for a long time now, have been having differing perceptions on the issue but is evident that restrictive gun control laws have harmed the safety and security of the American people by rendering them armless hence not being able to defend themselves when such times arise. Gun control law goes against the Second Amendment of the United States constitution, and there is a need to reduce their strictness to allow Americans to own guns responsibly as provided by the law.

Introduction

Gun control laws refer to any measures carried out to regulate the possession of firearms in the United States. Some parties propose those laws and others that disagree against the initiation of such laws. Then proponents and opponents of gun control, for a long time now, have been having differing perceptions on the issue, and it has proven that this issue is not ending soon. In the never-ending debate on gun control, proponents claim that the Second Amendment was only meant for militias; that violence related to guns should be reduced; that there have been gun restricting rules from time immemorial; and that a large number of Americans, including those that have licensed arms support the idea of limiting new weapons acquired by people (BBC.com, 2019). On the other hand, the opponents applaud the sentiments of the Second Amendment, claiming that it is the right of the American citizens to bear arms; that American people need guns for their self-defense; and that guns help them prevent crime more than it causes it.

The American Second Amendment

Then American Second Amendment outlines that 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 (White et al., 2018). Dated back to the times of the early settlers from England in America, the right to bear arms was seen as essential in different dimensions. According to this group of individuals, their right to bear weapons was significant in that it helps them consolidate a militia government, become part of the law enforcement processes, protect themselves against an authoritarian system.

In modern systems, however, the agenda behind the right to bear arms is different. In this case, the citizens want to protect themselves when they are faced with danger. The second amendment provides a point of argument for the opponents of the gun control laws with the individuals believing that it is their right to bear arms and protecting themselves. The proponents hold very different perspectives as they believe that holding of firearms by citizens puts them in more danger than safety.

White et al., (2018) in their article “Freedom and the Second Amendment,” explain that school shootings are a continuous vice in American as several of the happen every year. In their book, the authors seek to describe the philosophical difference between the freedom individuals of bearing arms and protecting their safety, and how they relate to Isaiah Berlin’s concept of negative and positive liberty. The authors concentrate on the instance of the school shooting, Majority Stoneman Douglas Shooting of 2018 which is regarded as one of the largest school mass shootings to date. Their main aim was to offer arguments that promote strict gun control laws that provide freedom of bearing arms by citizens as well as promoting freedom from gun violence. The information provided by the article illustrates the balance being sought by the proponents and opponents of gun control. The article shows that while there is a notable rift between the two parties, there is a need to come up with a balance that will lead to a peaceful cohabitation.

Opponents of gun control

The first point of argument from the opponents of gun control laws is based on the Second Amendment of the United States (ProCon.org., 2020). According to this amendment, it is the right of every citizen to bear arms to protect themselves when they are faced with dangers. They argue that the constitutional right of citizens bear arms is a tradition and practices that is potentially older than the nation itself. In a renowned court case, in June 26, 2008, District of Columbia et al. v. Heller the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Antonin Scalia, LLB, ruled that the supreme constitution of the United States provides citizens with the right to lawfully bear arms at their homes for self-defense purposes (District of Columbia v. Heller. 2008).

The second reason they put in defending their perception is that gun control regulations do not deter crime the way gun ownership does. In explaining this point, the opponents of gun control believe that gun control laws do not reduce crime as many states which had practiced this restriction still have many cases gun-related criminal acts. Moreover, even with the increasing ownership of guns in the 21st century, murder cases have ominously reduced. In the annotated bibliography initially done, an article by Gius, (2018) looks into the effects of state and federal gun control laws on school shootings. Through empirical evidence, the results of the study led to a conclusion affirming that the ban on assault weapons (1994-2004) ominously reduced instances of school shootings massacres. However, one counterargument shown by the study indicates that several of the gun control policies do not significantly reduce school shootings. Therefore, while there is need to institute gun control laws, it is important that t is done diligently to ensure that understanding is reached among the conflicting parties.

Thirdly, they argue that gun control infringes on the right of individuals to self-defense, and it denies them their intricate right to their safety. The National Rifle Association (NRA) estimates that legally acquired guns are used for self-defense two and half million times in a year. As a result, their right needs to be protected at all times. Finally, they argue that the government needs to be supplemented in their bid to protect its citizens since the task is a hard one that requires a collaboration of both the government and the citizens.

Another point put forward by the opponents of gun control is that such laws that illegalize “assault weapons” infringe on their right to own firearms for hunting and sporting. A large number of American people engage in legalized sporting and hunting activities. Gun control laws are a treat to this massive sport that is loved by a large number of Americans. Research in 2011 indicated that there were a total of 13.7 million hunters aged 16 years and older. This population pumped a whopping $7.7 billion into the United States economy. The introduction of stringent gun control rules will be a treat to this industry.

Gun control laws, according to the opponents of gun control, do not prevent criminal gangs from obtaining guns and use them to break the law. In the United States, 62 mass shootings were recorded between 1982 and 2012, and out of this number, 49 cases involved guns acquired legally. 75% of the 143 guns owned by the shooters were all legally obtained. Because of this evidence, it is clear that gun control rules cannot effectively reduce criminal activities. Despite bans by Chicago targeting gun ownership in 2014, the State was reported to record 2089 victims of shooting cases, including murders amounting to 390 cases. Lott (2018) in an article on a botched study elaborates on the need for researchers to publish relevant information on the issue of gun control rather than publishing fake information that has no basis. John Lott expounds on a botched study that fooled many people across the world into believing a tainted image of America because of its share of mass shootings. Research by Adam Lankford (2016) got humongous media coverage in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and others despite how botched the stuff was.

Proponents of gun control.

Proponents of gun control base their main argument on the issue of the Second Amendment. They argue that the amendment does not give the citizens unlimited rights to own firearms. While the constitution gives individuals the right to bear firearms, there is a restriction when it comes to usage in some areas such as schools and government buildings. The second argument is based on their belief that gun control laws gun-related deaths. They say that there is a need to seriously contain gun ownership issues since death-related crimes have caused many deaths in the country—five hundred seventy-two thousand five hundred thirty-seven gun deaths reported from 1999 to 2016. Gun-related homicides were the most significant contributor to deaths when compared with the total tally of homicide attacks, contributing to a whopping 67.7%. A study by Lancet in 2016 confirmed that background checks could lead to a significant reduction in gun deaths by 56.9%.

BBC.com (2019) reports that the U.S. recorded the highest number of killings related to gun-violence. The news article by BBC News indicates that the U.S. experienced a higher number of mass killings in 2019 when compared to any other year. This is according to a compiled database by U.S.A Today, Northeastern University and Associated Press (AP) showing that a total of 41 incidents were reported amounting to 211 people dying. Out of the 41 cases revealed, 33 were perpetrated with the help of firearms. The article pointed out that California recorded the highest number. The statistics indicate the need to cub gun violence through enacting of strict gun control laws hence contributing to the debate pushed forward by proponents of gun control laws.

Proponents of gun control continue their arguments by saying that high-capacity magazines need to be banned since they lead to mass murders—half of the 62 mass shootings recorded between 1982 and 2012 involved high-capacity magazine guns. The proponents argue that NPR polls in 2019 indicated that 65% of Americans support the idea to ban high-capacity rifles in attempts to reduce gun-related violence.

Again, they argue that gun control laws will help in reducing cases of stalking, which are perpetrated against women in the United States. In the United States, five women get stalked and killed using illegally acquired ammunitions. Such cases could have been significantly lower if gun control laws are in place to ensure that the stalkers do not get access to firearms. Owning firearms increases the possibilities of women being stalked and killed by 500% (Everytown for Gun Safety, 2020).

Conclusion

In conclusion, gun control debates are a never-ending topic in the United States. The issue has brought two different perspectives from those that support it (the proponents) and those that highly oppose it. While both sides of the issue have relevant points in support of their arguments, the opponents win because their argument is based on the Second Amendment that is clearly outlined in the constitution. However, Everytown.org (2020) counters the idea on losing or winning between the two parties by elaborating on the need for them to collectively reduce the case of gun violence and contribute to the country-wide gun safety revolution campaign.

B. Reflection

Question 1

There are several places in the paper that I used source materials to support my arguments. One such area is in outlining the American Second Amendment. Having a source to back this up is critical in my essay in that it forms the foundation of the arguments that are raised by either party to the gun control debate.

Question 2

In the ultimate touchstone four revision, feedback is essential for me in that it will help me revise well. The kind of feedback that will be helpful for me as I review is feedback on areas that I did not tackle well. At the moment, I do not think there are parts of my draft that I am uncertain of. However, I remain open to any corrections because I want to have conclusive research on the issue of gun control.

References

Pros & Cons – ProCon.org. (2020). Retrieved from https://gun-control.procon.org/

District of Columbia v. Heller. (2008). 554 U.S. 570, 128 S. Ct. 2783, 171 L. Ed. 2d 637.

White, L., Koellner, K., Austing, N., & Herrman, D. (2018). Freedom and the Second Amendment.

Lott, J. R. (2018). How a botched study fooled the world about the US share of mass public shootings: US rate is lower than the global average. Available at SSRN 3238736.

Gius, M. (2018). The effects of state and federal gun control laws on school shootings. Applied economics letters, 25(5), 317-320.

The US saw the highest number of mass killings on record in 2019, the database reveals. (2019, December 29). Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50936575

Everytown for Gun Safety. (2020). Retrieved from https://everytown.org/

Touchstone 3.2 Rubric and Feedback

Rubric Category

Feedback

Score (acceptable, needs improvement etc.)

Argument Development and Support

You have a clear start here, but I’d like to see more in your introduction. Give some context and information to build to your thesis. Make your thesis more specific.

You develop your ideas somewhat clearly throughout, but there is room for more development. It’s not clear what your argument/position is. Rather than focusing on what the various sides are, foreground your argument.

28/40

Acceptable

Research

You cite some useful sources both in the text and your references page, but there are some parts where you should include more credible or clearer citations.

24/30

Acceptable

Organization

Includes many all of the important components of an argumentative essay, but the paragraph structures need work. Aim for stronger topic sentences and transitions to smooth out your writing.

11/15

Acceptable

Style

Demonstrates some effective style choices and achieves a neutral, effective tone.

5/5

Advanced

Conventions

There are only minor errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Be sure to cite appropriately in the text.

4/5

Proficient

Reflection

A nice reflection.

5/5

Advanced

Overall Score and Feedback: 77/100

Acceptable

Heather: You have a start here, and this is a good and important topic! Aim for a more developed introduction and thesis. Really try to contextualize the issue and build to your thesis. One of the bigger issues is the lack of clarity as to what your main position is. What are you arguing? Why is this the case? How does your research support this? Really aim for more clarity here, rather than focusing on other people’s arguments. On the right track!

�Your thesis statement should be part of your introduction. You want to provide some context for the issue and build to a clear and effective thesis statement.

�Follow this up with your thesis.

�Showing various sides of the issue can be helpful, but for this essay try to foreground your position. What are you arguing? Why/how?

�Yes, but what is your argument?

�What research? From where?

�Again— you bring in some clear information and other people’s position on the issue, but you need to foreground your own position. What are you arguing?

�What is your argument?

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