By: Isaac Lund
For every 100 people in the U.S., there are approximately 121 guns. This is the highest amount per capita of any country in the world, and it isn’t close with Yemen coming in second at only 52.8. According to NSSF, the U.S.’s guns and ammunition industry created over 60 billion dollars in economic revenue in 2020 alone. So, how come so many life-threatening weapons are allowed to circulate unabaided?
Pro-gun Americans have long repertoires of gun control downsides ready to spout at a moments notice.
Many tend to bring up the second amendment, which states: “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.” With support from the most central document to the U.S. government, who’s to argue that gun owners don’t have the right to own firearms?
Another common argument is that many gun-related murders are executed by undocumented and illegal weapons. The thought process here is that gun control would only prevent law-abiding citizens from acquiring guns to use in self defense, rather than shutting down black market deals that provide murderers with their weapons. Gun control laws such as background checks and microstamping are often seen as an invasion of privacy as well.
Finally, gun owners frequently look at countries with completely different socio-economic demographics and crime levels like Mexico as “great examples” for areas where strict gun control laws were not effective.
Supporters of gun control are steadfast in their beliefs as well.
First and foremost, most mass shootings come from legal firearms. In a study conducted by ‘Mother Jones’ journalism, it was found that roughly three quarters of the firearms used to take lives were legally purchased.
Also, owning a gun obviously increases the chance of utilizing one for homicide. ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’ published a study by Arthur Kellerman showing that people living in a home with a firearm are 40 times more likely to commit homicide than those without one in the house.
Also, background checks seldom occur during the private sale of a firearm, allowing even those who explicitly are prohibited from owning one to acquire a gun.
Finally, gun control measures don’t necessarily involve confiscation; even something like licensing or required tutorials would be a step in the right direction.
At the end of the day, the second amendment was not designed for a time when easily concealable, multi-shot weapons can be owned by civilians, and we should not treat it as such.