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CONTROVERSY EDITION

Mass shootings, gun-related homicides, and suicides have plagued the US for years. In fact, in just 2018—the most recent data available as of now—38,390 people died from firearms in the US (National Center for Health Statistics). Thus, I believe that to avoid any more tragedies, the U.S. must prohibit guns from citizens at all levels.


Taking this action is crucial because there are no perfect ways to control the sales of firearms. One may refer to background checks, but their failures are apparent as it is impossible to predict one's future decisions by studying one's past. Indeed, most mass shooters in the U.S. obtained their firearms legally after passing the background checks. Others were able to acquire the guns due to mistakes in the checking system (AP News). Therefore, if the government cannot be sure that guns do not fall into dangerous people's hands, it should prohibit the sales of guns.


One popular justification for guns is that the second amendment in the constitution guarantees individuals' right to bear arms. Proponents of gun control have two areas of disagreement with this logic. Firstly, although laws are meant to be followed, there are distinctions between just and unjust laws. Remember that the U.S constitution once recognized slavery through its three-fifths compromise (which stated that five slaves are worth three people when determining the number of House of Representatives a state deserves). Moral standards change dramatically over time; it is, therefore, crucial that laws mirror these changes. Hence, society must avoid justifying laws with the decisions of people who lived around two and a half centuries ago. Secondly, the guns available when the 2nd amendment passed are substantially different from the firearms present today. No guns in 1791 allowed for mass destruction like AR-15s. The amendment was ratified to provide self-defense; hence, if opponents want to adhere to the founding father's decisions, the applications of this law must be rethought to reflect its original purpose.


Now, opponents of gun controls do make valid points in saying that handguns are a source of safety for those who do not have other self-defense methods. 68% of U.S citizens lack adequate home security systems, which some claim make guns even more essential (safety.com). However, handguns may have opposite impacts in reality. In fact, gun injuries constitute the second leading cause of death among U.S. children and teens, most of which is due to children's access to firearms (Center for Violence Prevention). This statistic may be explained by the fact that one out of three homes with kids have guns.


In conclusion, there are trade-offs when taking any stance on this issue, but the positives seem to outweigh the negatives. With tragedies such as the most recent Atlanta Spa and Colorado grocery shootings, the U.S. must take immediate steps to outlaw guns to all citizens.

Pro-Gun Control

Sanghun Byun