Pros and Cons of Gun Control
Gun control is a volatile topic in the United States. Those who favour stricter gun control laws claim that they could reduce gun violence and overall crime, and that the Second Amendment is either being interpreted too liberally or is simply outdated. Those who do not agree with stricter gun control laws believe that the Second Amendment is a right which should not be tampered with, and that gun ownership does not increase crime and could in fact deter it.
Who’s right? It’s hard to say for certain, and the debate is especially heated in Florida. Some of the more hotly debated issues include whether or not gun owners that don’t have concealed carry permits should be allowed to concealed carry during emergencies, and whether or not concealed carry should be permitted on college campuses.
Here are some of the major points from each side of the gun control argument:
On the Second Amendment
- Pro-gun control advocates point out that some types of gun control legislation actually pre-date the Second Amendment, which indicates that the amendment was never intended to mean that gun ownership should be an unlimited right. Therefore, they reason, enacting stricter gun control laws should not be seen as a violation of the Second Amendment.
- Anti-gun control advocates believe that anything beyond the minimum gun control laws present at the time of the Second Amendment are a violation of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
- Pro-gun control advocates believe that unrestricted weapons ownership violates citizens’ freedom to live in a violence-free, safe society.
- Anti-gun control advocates think that the right of the populace to own weapons is an essential element in maintaining a free society.
- Pro-gun control advocates believe that access to guns increases the potential for violent crimes to be carried out, and that reducing access to guns will result in less crime and less violence.
- Anti-gun control advocates, however, believe that when law-abiding citizens are able to bear arms, it deters criminals from believing they can get away with criminal acts because citizens can defend themselves.
On How Lack of Legal Access to Guns Would Shape Society
- Pro-gun control advocates believe that a lack of legal access to guns would result in a society where guns are simply not necessary—because we wouldn’t need to protect ourselves from people who have guns.
- Anti-gun control advocates believe that a lack of legal access to guns would only affect good citizens who don’t wish to break the law, resulting in the only gun owners being criminals who would misuse them more without repercussion.
- Pro-gun control advocates believe that no one needs to own a gun, and therefore there should be extensive background checks and registries to track gun ownership (and to determine if someone should be allowed to own a gun.
- Anti-gun control advocates believe that such background checks and registries are an invasion of privacy, and furthermore create databases of sensitive information on citizens which could be misused.
Both sides have some very strong points to make. The Bill of Rights is fairly explicit in that the people should have the right to keep and bear arms. However, it’s still up to the legislature to determine the scope of that right, and it seems unlikely that there will be a complete consensus on these matters any time soon.