In the wake of the recent atrocity in Las Vegas, there has been renewed debate regarding gun policy in the US. It is one of the most polarising topics in the world – with some suggesting guns should be outlawed outright, while others posit that this argument is about tradition. Is there a right answer to this? It is near impossible to suggest. Read on to take a look at both sides of the argument – perhaps you can decide which side you fall upon.
Both sides of the debate, as will be discussed, have strong arguments. Given how many mass shootings there are in the US, it can be expected that there is fierce opposition to guns. Parents are understandably concerned about bringing up their children in an environment where they are continuously exposed to guns. As mentioned, shootings are common. These atrocities can even lead to unexpected phenomenon’s – such as how gun manufacturers see a rise in shares in the immediate aftermath of these shootings – bucking the expected trend. But protection and tradition are also integral areas. Let’s analyse both sides.
For Gun Laws to Remain The Same
A common mantra is that ‘everyone has a right to protect their home’. While this can easily be misinterpreted, it is a logical statement – no one can deny that. If someone has worked hard for several years to own a home, then surely they do have a right to do what is necessary to protect it. This, especially, includes houses where children are involved – parents always want to protect their offspring.
‘The right to bear arms’ is a statement written in the Second Amendment of the United States. Tradition is an important part of this argument. Guns and America are two areas considered inseparable. For hundreds of years, the US has been the most powerful country in the world. This success has been achieved while guns have been prevalent. While there is no link between the two – it can be suggested that as a country, the US have succeeded with their policies – of which gun laws are a fundamental part of. Finally, the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ statement could be applied here. Homicide rates too aren’t as high as other nations. However, some would disagree with these arguments.
Against Gun Laws Remaining the Same
In light of the recent Las Vegas atrocity, many questions have been raised regarding gun laws. The Las Vegas atrocity was just the latest in a long line of shootings – the Aurora Shooting, Orlando Nightclub shooting, and perhaps most infamously – the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting, where a number of children were killed, are just recent events. With all of the singular homicides caused by guns, the statistics don’t lie. All of these have been caused by guns. Therefore, can it really be suggested that guns should be lawful? Comparing homicide rates in the US to those of ally United Kingdom (where gun laws are very tight), and questions could surely be raised.
Cast your mind back to 2014, 12-year old Tamir Rice was fatally shot dead by American Police. Rice was believed to be threatening people with a gun – however it turned out to be a replica – harmless. If laws hadn’t been so lax on guns, the officers in the situation wouldn’t have believed that Rice was holding a proper gun. This was a 12-year old boy. This was far from an isolated case – yet provides more weight to the argument that guns should be outlawed.
The Huffington Post ran a survey asking its patrons their opinion on gun laws. They were given a choice of three answers – leaving gun laws the same, loosening regulations, or tightening regulations. Here are the results:
- 48% of respondents suggested that gun laws should be made stricter.
- 29% of respondents suggested that no change was needed.
- 16% of respondents suggested that gun laws should be made less strict.
- 7% of respondents abstained from choosing one of the three options.
These statistics show how polarising the argument is. In terms of our debate, it would leave 48% supporting the ‘against’ argument, with 45% supporting the ‘for’ argument. As shown, this is incredibly close.
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So overall, this article has shown how much of a difficult topic this is. Both sides of the debate were shown and analysed – with both sides having reasonable points attached. There is always heightened discussion of shootings after atrocities – it could be the case that one day guns will be outlawed. But for the near-future, they are likely the same. However discussion and fierce debate will be sure to continue in the near-future, it really is a very polarising topic.