Bang! Bang! Bang! Guns are fired: innocent lives are destroyed. The presence of mass shootings has become rather commonplace in today’s society. Hate groups run rampant and prejudiced radicals spread their toxicity to the general public via social media. The recent Pittsburg shooting that cost several Jewish men and women their lives is an example of the extreme hatred and racism that permeates our nation. Questions and accusations, some good and some bad, naturally pop up in response to such violence, and people begin to call for stricter gun control laws in the United States.
Gun control in America is an extremely controversial current subject that requires careful consideration and deserves special attention. The United States was founded on the principles of natural law and the belief that all people are endowed with certain rights and freedoms to pursue their own desires and goals. One of these freedoms is the right to bear arms, which is clearly stated in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Minutemen, ordinary men during colonial times who fought against the British in the War for Independence, were influential in freeing the colonies from the hold of Great Britain and accessing freedom for future generations. Following the Revolutionary War, U. S. citizens continued to own and carry their own weapons for purposes including hunting and defense. In the 1900s, stricter gun regulations including the Brady Law which requires a waiting period for all those wishing to purchase a firearm were put in place by the government (Bowen et al. 163). Lately, more and more people are calling for stricter governmental regulations concerning gun control, shootings and other forms of terrorism heightening their fears of guns and their negative effects.
Although many people desire stricter gun control methods for the noble reason of preventing violence and terrorism, gun control is not the solution to the surge of violence plaguing our country. Any attempt to regulate weapon usage through governmental means will prove futile because humans set on obtaining illegal weapons will find a way to do so despite government restrictions. Violence will still prevail and will only grow worse as those set on inflicting harm rebel against the regulations barring the means to a violent end. Furthermore, governmental restrictions infringe on the rights of the people and lead to governmental control and oppression.
The answer to the violence permeating today’s society is not gun control, but people control and character change, in which the people responsible for crimes are justly punished, and the people of the United States determine to positively influence their nation and stand up against violence.
Instead of preventing violence, stricter gun control will increase violence and fear in the United States. When citizens are unable to obtain their own firearms, they become unable to defend themselves from criminals and evildoers. In 1992, riots occurred in Los Angeles, and citizens attempting to acquire firearms in order to defend themselves were denied immediate access to such weapons due to governmental regulations (Bowen et al. 163). Although gun control may at first appear beneficial, it actually places a nation’s people in grave danger by rending them defenseless in times of crisis.
Stricter gun control not only endangers a country’s people from internal crisis and violence, but it impedes the people’s freedoms and grants the country’s government greater power over the people, setting the stage for governmental oppression and eventual tyranny. Richard Henry Lee, one of the United States’ Founding Fathers, declares: “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them” (Bowen et al. 162). The freedom to bear arms allows people to protect themselves from governmental harassment. An example of the ill effects of governmental gun regulations is an incident that occurred in the summer of 1992 at the Weaver family’s cabin in Idaho. Armed government agents surrounded the family home because Randy Weaver had not met certain gun regulations and had failed to appear in court. When one of the government agents shot the family dog and fourteen-year-old Sammy Weaver returned fire, a nasty gun battle broke out that ended up killing Sammy Weaver, his mother, and a U.S. marshal (Bowen et al. 131). This example of governmental gun regulation demonstrates the danger such involvement entails for the people of the United States. The ability to bear arms is a vital part of individual liberty and freedom that allows citizens to protect themselves from internal and external dangers.
Clearly, stricter gun control is not the answer to the many acts of violence in the United States. It's not a mere opinion, it's rather a fact. Instead, those who commit heinous crimes against their fellow human beings must answer to their crimes. Although infringing on the people’s rights is not part of the government’s responsibilities, punishing wrongdoers is one of the government’s primary duties. Therefore, the government is required to justly punish criminals and defend the rights of the innocent. By efficiently capturing and punishing evildoers, the government will decrease the prosperity of crime and violence in the United States.
Finally, the people must realize that the government is not the only entity responsible for prohibiting violence, but that the people themselves must stand up against violence and promote a character change in the United States. In order to truly abolish violence and hatred, one must understand the root of such violence: a lack of morality. People must actively promote acceptance and morality by living out their lives with integrity and teaching younger generations the importance of good character and the dangers of hatred, prejudice, violence, and other forms of immorality. Silence is not an option because silence has led to many of the mass atrocities of the past, including the Holocaust. A true revival must occur in order to halt the flow of hatred and violence degrading the United States and its people. A true foundation of morality must be established in order to achieve a truly peaceful and prosperous society.
In conclusion, violence is a legitimate and terrible disease plaguing the United States that must be eradicated. Gun control is not the cure to this illness because it does not truly solve the real and underlying problem from which violence stems. The government must not be permitted to control the people’s rights because this threatens individual safety and liberty. Instead, the people must take on the responsibility of changing society for the better, building a moral foundation that will ensure the livelihood and prosperity for generations to come.
Bowen, William R., et al. American Government. Pensacola Christian College, 2005.
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