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Running head: GUN CONTROL 1

Gun Rights

Nathan Day

Salt Lake Community College
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Gun Rights

Today, one of the most pressing issues that is facing the United States is that

of gun control. Now, what is happening that is causing such a large debate that

seems to be endless? The biggest indicator that a gun control debate is about to

spark in the United States is when mass shootings occur. Aurora, Colorado,

Parkland, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada. These are some of the most recent mass

shootings that have occurred, yet they still continue to happen. What can we as

country do to stop these shootings?

The gun control argument is considered to be one of the most important

debate topics nationwide, each of the two major parties in the United States taking

opposing sides. This is one of the largest concerns to many Americans and can

even determine who citizens will vote for in local and countrywide elections.

Proposals are constantly made to solve the issue, yet almost no bills are ever signed

into law that aid in the prevention of mass shootings.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution gives Americans the right to

own firearms, yet the left consistently argues that the Constitution grants no such

right, that the Amendment was intended to guarantee a ‘collective’ right of the

states to maintain militias. This argument was shut down in the Federal Court of

Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on October 16, 2001, where they sustained the

constitutional right of individuals to own firearms. (Emerson v. United States)
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Another claim that is generally made by the left is that gun possession has a

direct correlation to an increase in violent crime, which has been proven to be false

in other countries who have had higher violent crime rates than the United States.

Countries such as Australia and England have banned personal ownership of

firearms yet have not seen a decrease in crime rate. In Australia, violent crimes

from 1997-1999 had increased in every category. Murders rose 6.5% and attempted

murders had risen 12.5%. England had also seen an incredible increase in violent

crime from 1999-2000, increasing 32%. (Poe, pp. 94-103)

Now, although the left continuously claims that the majority of Americans

support more restrictive gun laws, such as the ones that they propose, this is

another claim that has been proven to be wrong. According to Lawrence

Research’s survey of American voters, 85% of Americans believe that people

should have the right to defend themselves. The same study also showed that 64%

believed that citizens should be allowed to carry firearms outside of their homes

and 72% favor stricter sentences for criminals who use firearms to aid in their

crime rather than harsher gun laws. (Gary C. Lawrence)

One argument that is often put off by the left is that guns are one of the

largest causes of homicide in the nation and that if we have harsher gun laws, then

homicides will decrease. Yet between 1993 and 2011, homicides that involved a

firearm decreased by 39%. (M.P. PHD) From 1993 to 2013, firearm ownership
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rose by 56%. This data shows that the larger ownership of firearms might correlate

to a lower violent crime rate. (Chart of the Day)

Facts and statistics can be provided all day long to show that gun control

tends to lead in the direction of a higher rate of violent crime, yet this still doesn’t

solve the major issue that we face today. What can be done to solve this crisis of

mass shootings? How long will we sit by and argue without bringing logical bills

to the floor to prevent these shootings?

Between 1950 and July 10, 2016, it was found that 98.4% of mass public

shootings occurred in gun-free zones. This leaves just over 1% of mass shootings

had occurred in areas that allow guns. This is one of the most troubling statistics to

be found due to the thought of a criminal entering an area in which citizens are not

allowed to protect themselves. These zones become targets of criminals with the

intent to inflict injury on as many people as possible because of the lack of

resistance that they will face. The issue of denying certain rights by the area you

are in is a major contributor to the cause of mass shootings. (Crime)

In the arena of gun control, the privilege of citizens being able to conceal

their firearms is often attacked. Between 1980 and 2009, it was found that

homicide rates were 10% higher in states that had restrictive concealed carry laws.

(Applied Economics Letters, Vol. 4) States such as Florida have shown

improvement in violent crime rates where the crime rate before passing concealed
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carry laws was 36% above the national average to 4% below the national average

violent crime rate. (Florida Department of Justice)

The proof is in the statistics, many of which show a direct correlation to

firearm ownership and concealed carry laws to a lowered violent crime rate. As

most citizens are fighting to find a solution to gun crime, the answer that they are

looking for can be found throughout several studies by organizations such as

Lawrence Research or even state governments. The answer to gun crime is to

decrease regulation and allow citizens to utilize their Second Amendment right to

own firearms.
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References:

 Emerson v. United States - Response. (n.d.). Retrieved from
https://www.justice.gov/osg/brief/emerson-v-united-states-response

 Poe, pp. 94-103

 Gary C. Lawrence, National Security of Registered Voters, (Santa Ana, CA:
Lawrence Research, 1998)

 M. P., PHD. (n.d.). Firearm Violence, 1993-2011. Retrieved from
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fv9311.pdf

 Chart of the day: More guns, less gun violence between 1993 and 2013.
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.aei.org/publication/chart-of-the-day-more-
guns-less-gun-violence-between-1993-and-2013/

 More misleading information from Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety
on guns: "Analysis of Recent Mass Shootings," Showing how mass public
shootings keep occurring in gun-free zones. (2018, April 25). Retrieved from
https://crimeresearch.org/2014/09/more-misleading-information-from-
bloombergs-everytown-for-gun-safety-on-guns-analysis-of-recent-mass-
shootings/

 An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault
weapons bans on state-level murder rates, Applied Economics Letters, Vol
21, No. 4

 Florida Department of Justice, 1998